Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All packed, I think

Andrew and I went to REI last night, to spend my outstanding dividend and a gift card on a few kilos of energy bars for the 2011 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. We love REI. And it's always better to go on a week night with a nearly-four-year-old, as there's fewer people around when he rides the bikes.

The new Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx arrived mid-morning yesterday, courtesy of an overnight UPS service, and thanks to fellow paddlers KneadingWater and Seiche I now have a set of routes, waypoints and tracks to steer me by. I've even read the user's manual...

For the first time I weighed a few things. I've 6.87 kgs (15.5 lbs) of food, which includes bottles of Ensure for an evening swig, a few freeze-dried dinners, dried mangoes, a few Hammer gels, and lots of bars. I find if I don't eat at least every hour, I tend to fall over.

The rest of the gear weighs in at just over 11 kgs (c 24 lbs), which includes Macpac tent (1.8kgs), Exped sleeping mat (1 kg), sleeping bag (1.4kg), toiletries (1.16kgs, including three WagBags!), gas stove and related (1.36kgs), wet weather jacket (846gms), first-aid bag (286gms), sacrosanct dry gear (1.1 kgs), repair kit (730gms), under deck bag with head lamps, mozzzie head net, bug spray, etc (902 gms), and a tow belt (532 gms). This doesn't count what I'll be wearing, such as the PFD.

I'm not bringing a kayak cart. Race rules have been tightened up this year. Usually, there's been a cart of some sort at Flamingo's CP3, and that's helped us get from one side of Whitewater Bay to Florida Bay--a distance of about 200m. But now we're on our own to make the portage. Instead, I'll unload all my gear into two big Ikea bags, carry those over, and then carry the boat over. The boat weighs 24kg and fits snugly over one shoulder. I'm usually staggering a bit by then, but this should be doable, particularly after one of Flamingo's micro-waved hamburgers and an ice-cream!

So, we leave tomorrow morning for Tampa Bay, Florida, and the race starts at 0700 on Saturday, March 5.

Floatsome will be updating this blog, the Forum's always a good place to keep an eye out for what's happening, and you can watch our SPOT progress on WaterTribe's Challenge Mapper. I'm Kiwibird ;)

Photo: KneadingWater, SandyBottom, KiwiBird and Seiche, at CP2, Chokoloskee, EC 2010.

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