Friday, February 19, 2010

hydrate or die!!!

Hydrate or die!

That is just one of the tips I have picked up from the Watertribe website. I have found a lot of sources of good information about small boat cruising over the years but the best by far is the Watertribe site. I visit it all year long but I study it closely three times a year - before the spring cruise, before the fall cruise and right now just before the start of the Everglades Challenge.

The Everglades Challenge is the hallmark event for the Watertribe crew, a three hundred mile race down the west coast of Florida. The Watertribe discussion board really gets going as they get closer to the race. Right now there are great discussions on......

There are a lot of good questions and great responses from some very experienced people. I can't begin to count the number of ideas I've picked up over the past few years from the forum.

There is also an excellent magazine site on the Watertribe page. Here are some of the articles that I consider a must read before going on a small boat journey.

  • Fueling the Fire (all about food for an on the water adventure)
  • Hydrate of Die (this one I need to pay better attention to as on some hot sunny days both Bruce and I have dealt with a loss of energy in the afternoon on our cruises)
  • Surviving when the gods play
  • Make a Hypothermia Kit (a hypothermia kit, based on this article, is required gear on Spartina)
  • The Watertribe Kit (This is the basis outline of the gear we take on our trips. The evening before each cruise we spread out all our gear and use this as a check-off list to make sure we have all the gear)
I should note that all of the articles listed above were written by Steve Isaacs (aka "Chief" on the Watertribe site). I've never met him, probably never will, but I cannot thank him enough for all of this great information.
In addition several competitors have articles describing their race adventures. Reading these stories will give anyone making small boat journeys something to think about.

As with any race you have got to have your favorites. For the past few years I've followed Kiwibird and SandyBottom. I came across their blogs a few years ago (this was how I heard about the EC) as they trained together and I have followed them ever since. (SandyBottom will notice that I have stolen many of these photographs from her blog (hope that is ok!)). I did get to meet SandyBottom and her husband DanceswithSandyBottom (there is some imagery for you) a few months ago, and I hope someday to meet Kiwibird. I will be pulling for them all during this year's race.
Note the interesting names. Each competitor has a tribal name, sometimes descriptive, sometimes entertaining. Take a look at their Rogues Gallery to see some of the tribe.
Now I do not expect I'll ever compete in an Everglades Challenge. Somehow I don't see my favorite techniques of "anchoring in a cove reading a book/drifting along a marsh casting a lure/taking a nice afternoon nap" as good race strategies. But I have learned to never say never. And if I do compete I want to have a good name. With that in mind I reserved the name "Skeeterbeater". We'll see if I ever use it.
So while the EC crowd is gearing up for their race I am getting ready for sailing season. I had to run down to North Carolina (just 15 miles from my house) for work today and stopped along the Dismal Swamp Canal (above) to enjoy the warm sunshine. I've got four days off starting Sunday and the good weather should hold. The only thing on my schedule for the long weekend will be getting Spartina ready for a an early March launch. I can't wait!



SandyBottom said...

I was disappointed to see that the Pathfinder registered for the EC has pulled out.

Steve said...

I had been meaning to ask Paul about that, he had mentioned one was entered. It would be interesting to see how a Pathfinder would do in the race. The Pathfinder is a perfect cruising boat. I'm still not convinced it would be practical for long distance rowing.