And so it begins...the incessant clicking to refresh and update the tracking websites on the 2022 Ultimate Florida Challenge...
Meanwhile, on shore, between laundry, packing up the van, rescuing Care Bears (for reals! stuffed-animal-fetching side-hustle!) and securing the canoe, I ventured out on shopping quest on behalf of the Spawnsters.
Their demands -–– peculiar and specific –– sound via tense telephone call as if by motivated but slightly dimwitted kidnappers.
Please, they said:
What kind of felonious craft project are they creating?
Whatever it is, I don't know how long it will take.
Which is the second most asked question I get as the intrepid ground-control for Spawn.
My usual answer is: "Well, the current record for these 1200 miles is 17 days."
Then the questioner and I share a moment's silent begogglement before the other person pipes up with some version of, "What the bleeping heckydoodle!?"
I can only shrug.
Yes, I don't know when they will arrive at any particular place, or which way they intend to traverse any given set of navigational challenges.
Yes, I can't say whether they will camp out tonight and eat one of those delicious meals I packed.
I'm just driving the trailer (and The Miss Patsie) and a box after box of meals, haberdashery, and other diverse matérial for their restocking stops.
In what might be my most cheering moment of the week, I found the bears and got them back to their youngster -- the daughter of the friend of a former student of a friend sailing a different regatta on the other side of the Bay.
Still wouldn't want to paint it.
They sounded wearied but resolute; perhaps the enormity of the event hitting them –– as it did me, nearly weeping for no particular reason this morning after the start –– right in the midriff.
Track them directly by clicking on the map below.