Saturday, March 14, 2009

cameras, anchors and the everglades challenge

Cold, grey and wet this morning.  Can hardly believe I was out sailing less than a week ago with blue skies and temperatures in the 70's.  But I knew at the time that it was an early season tease.  Still have a few weeks to go until we can count on comfortable weather on this part of the mid-Atlantic coast.  And a couple of months until we can count on hot weather.
Bruce and I realized we were online at the same time the other evening so we "skyped" for a while.  He has got his bivy sac from REI (I think), a very important part of our gear.  Plus we went over the camera gear we'll be taking on the Skeeter Beater 126.  With cameras, as with all the other gear, we take the approach that any piece of equipment needs to "earn" a spot on the boat.  Right now we are looking at taking once Canon body, a wide angle zoom (16-35), a medium zoom and then a longer lens.  Plus we'll have to carry the battery chargers.  We'll also have my waterproof Pentax Optio W20 camera which takes surprisingly nice photos, including the one above at sunrise as I was rounding Juniper Swamp Point at daybreak.  In fact probably half the photos I've posted on the blog have come from that nice little camera.
Bruce also says he is working on a new anchor rode for Spartina.  Anchoring reminds me of an incident that occurred this past week during the Everglades Challenge.  I read that one competitor anchored for the night, so they thought, only to wake up in the morning to find themselves 20 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.  Oh no!  Take a look at the track below and you can see the drift offshore and a nice run south with the current, followed by an attempt to head back north to a checkpoint.  This will be a good story to tell for years to come, but also a great reminder about making sure a boat is secure at anchor.  Fortunately everything turned out ok with this little misadventure - but we have to be honest and realize that drifting out in to the gulf at night could have led to tragedy.
I believe today is the conclusion of the Everglades Challenge.  It looks like they had a great race.  A team that goes by the name Bumpy and Lumpy finished the 300 mile race on a catamaran in two days and 39 minutes, well ahead of everybody else. It was a day later before the second place boat arrived at the finish line.  A couple of kayakers that I follow on the web, Sandybottom and Kiwibird, appear to have crossed line together after 6 days, 9 hours and 45 minutes.  You can read a little about the adventure on their blogs.  Take a look at Sandybottom's blog and you'll see their tracks through the wilderness waterway.  It looks like a beautiful area to visit.  I hope they will have more complete versions posted once they catch up on their rest.  
I've stolen a lot of great ideas from all the competitors of the race.  I'll be looking forward to reading their stories.


1 comment:

Bruce said...

Steve, my GPS has an anchor drag alarm. When set, if the boat moves outside a certain area the alarm will go off. You might recall I set the alarm on several of the nights at anchor on our 07 cruise. The alarm never did go off. :)