When Jeff (TwoBeers) started planning the modifications to a Flying Scot that would make it fit for the Everglades Challenge race, I didn't think it would take very long.
Especially since more and more, Time seems to be flying like a tether-ball around the pole of the New Year.
Still, the process of building and assembling comes in waves: just now, three separate Frankenscot components are equally half-finished with only a few working days left in the month.
However, a most excellent set of breakers (they were, one might say, tubular) rolled through and dropped TwoBeers and me in on the front side of some unexpected treasure.
The 330 miles of the Everglades Challenge will most likely include some windless moments and narrow channels. Possibly both at once. Consequently, the sail plan needs a back-up.
Luckily, we have a connection to The Stewards Foundation, Inc. Thanks to Cal Reed (aka, the Godfather of Frankenscot), we met with Denny Antram, the VP of Stewards at the Julian Lane Waterfront Park near the University of Tampa to talk about what might work.
There are rowing shells and kayaks and canoes -- sleek, narrow little vessels that can be paddled or rowed at tremendous velocity. And there is a Flying Scot.
It's a question of an order of magnitude, like... oh, I know, it's like an Italian greyhound versus...
Like a plump Butterball Turkey and a... No wait. Let me try again.
Like a 1958 Caddy and a... hmmm. Well, yes.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Turns out it's a bit of a metaphorical challenge to compare boats in a way that wouldn't insult the spirit of the Frankenscot.
If we have learned NOTHING else from the hours in front of the Saturday Creature Feature, it's that one must never irritate the monster.
Besides, comparisons are odious.*
Thinking about the work in propelling the Frankenscot by means of oars...The Chief of the WaterTribe, the man who organizes the Everglades Challenge and other adventure races, recently sent a message about the Everglades Challenge Derby. This Derby allows participants to indulge their every competitive instinct and log their miles of running, paddling, sailing, and generally exercising outside in the months before the event -- for A PRIZE!
*Who says comparisons are odious? John Donne, for one, Miguel Cervantes for another, as well as Jonathan Swift and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Odious (or "odorous," as Shakespeare gave us, the sly dog) as they may be, comparisons are central to understanding -- like air is to breathing. Or oars to rowing.
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