With less than a week until the WaterTribe is set to push off the beach for the Everglades Challenge, it's now all about the weather.
Every year, it's the same backing-and-forthing with my favorite skipper and his gang. What will the future hold? Will there be a cold front and a line of disturbed weather, or will a high pressure stall over us. Will it be the dreaded easterly? Or more exactly: WHEN will the cold front roar through, and WHEN will the dreaded easterly kick up.
Each sailor seems to have a personal preference: Sailflow. Predict Wind. Windy or Wunderground. NOAA avionic or the local weather.
My opinion, and soothsayers will confirm, predictions are only as good as the memory holding them...because que sera, baby, sera.
Not so much challenging as Challenging. The Everglades Challenge to be precise.
Each first Saturday in March, a swarm of small and eccentric craft takes to the water and head south from Fort De Soto Beach toward Key Largo. This year, on March 4 (casual National Military Day, let's say), the starting conch will moan at 10:00 am, a few hours later than usual.
Among the WaterTribe's many members will be my own beloved skipper TwoBeers aboard Spawn with his doughty partner-in-adventure Moresailesed (Jahn JT Tihansky). Again.
NO they will not be racing around the entire state of Florida this year. That event is held in alternate years.
YES, there is serious talk about bidding a fond adieu to both Spawn and the speedy canoe Miss Patsie.
Anyone in the market for a battle-tested and record-breaking sail-and-canoe platform for adventure races? You can be the next owner!
Step right up!
Because of the success of last year's Ultimate Florida Challenge –– longing to recall those times? Here's a link to past blogs –– Spawn has required little to no modifications for 2023.
Spawn went to the spa at the Morgan's place and came home looking all fresh and Mediterranean bluey.
As usual, the WaterTribe concors d'elegance will be open on Friday afternoon, March 3 at the beach at Fort DeSoto, for those who want to check out all the dreamers' machines.
The variety and diversity of ideas in action on the beach boggles the imagination. People approach the challenge from such different places and with such novel solutions!
I recommend taking the afternoon to soak in the enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, between 2.4Meter races, Flying Scot events, Merlin, Moth Midwinters, AND the upcoming Challenge, our house is humming with activity.
It's command central for the annual big pile-up of survival gear. Checklists and girthy blue Ikea bags full of waterproof duffles have begun multiplying. Floorspace is starting to close in.
Perhaps because Spawn is more or less turnkey at this point, (aside from some tidying and refreshing), my sweet skipper has been able to sail with fellow WaterTribesfolk.
He and Andy "Andyman" Hayward sea-trialed the Dovekie, a generously-beamed creature that was first sailed by a cheerful Kiwi team a few Challenges back.
Andyman will again hit the beach with Nate "Natedog" Vilardebo; spousal hopes are high that this will be a less dramatic year for team Dovekie.
Mr. Linton came back considerably wind-blown after a morning with Dave "DeSea" Clement on the Prindle 19. A catamaran will do that to a person.
DeSea will be competing as a trio this year, with teammates Chris "CCock" Growcock and Ed "SailEd" Ruark. They are also hoping for low drama/high fun.
Crossing fingers and knocking wood.
If past performance is any kind of predictor, this month will slip under our keel like the tidal surge at Fundy.
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