Monday, February 28, 2011

The last minute, oh, oh's

I finally managed to start packing yesterday afternoon for this year's WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. Considering I need to deliver everythingincluding boatto SandyBottom's on Wednesday night, and we leave pre-sparrow fart on Thursday to drive to Tampa, FL, and the race starts Saturday morning, this isn't bad timing.

Except when you start testing gear and it doesn't work: case of the oh, oh's, which inevitably leads to $$$...

First up was the GPS. My wonderful Garmin Map60CSlasting four ECswas the first not to turn back on. (Yes, I should have downloaded all my routes as soon as I returned from last year's EC...) After a few hurried conversations with Floatsome, SandyBottom and DancesWithSandyBottomand a few discouraging frowns from FliesWithKiwiBird, I am now the (hopefully) proud owner of a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx (could have sworn it didn't say "Discountinued product" yesterday), with pre-downloaded BlueCharts. I've also downloaded Garmin HomePort, and I should be good to go (when the GPS is (hopefully) delivered tomorrow). Just have to figure out how to get all my routes and waypoints transferred...

Then my costly Princeton Tec Apex Pro headlamp decided to quit. I've never been happy with this bit of gear, always breaking down on me (even with replacements), and it's supposed to be top-of-its-class. I've replaced it with a (slightly) cheaper Fenix HP10. Having a Cree product in it (local company) encouraged me to buy it. The HP10 looks very cool on the Web site, but a bit "Made in China" (which it is) when you finally manage to get it out of its protective thankgoodness-I'm-not-90-packaging, but I'll test it out and see how it goes.

So, let's hope that's all that I'm going to have to replace pre-start this year...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Everglades Challenge 2011

It's happening again. WaterTribe's 2011 Everglades Challenge launches off the beach in Florida on March 5 at 0700.

This will be my fifth year of competing in the EC, and once again very gratefully sponsored by BUBBA GIRL (more of that to come).

In a nutshell, we have seven days to paddle or sail (depending on which class you're entered in) to paddle the 483kms (300 or so miles) from Fort De Soto's Tampa Bay, south to Key Largo. And once again I plan to paddle via the Everglade's Wilderness Waterway, an additional 48kms (30 miles).

Over the next few days, I'll post on what gear I'll be packing and what training I have (or not) been doing.

(Top photo: the finish of the 2008 EC, before I discovered Hydropel)