Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crazy People in Small Boats

Well, maybe just a little crazy....

The Everglades Challenge (run by The Water Tribe) is a race run every year. 300 miles (more or less) from Fort DeSoto in St Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay) to Key Largo by way of the Everglades National Park.

The rule being that you have to be able to beach your craft and launch from a beach. (Race starts with boats on the sand, and you have to hit several checkpoints along the way.)

Everything from kayaks to small sailboats, including some truly wacky designs.

The videos include bits of what I consider off-shore for small sailboats. (for example, a 21 ft, open sailboat)

You can find a collection of 2010 videos at this link.

I'm not sure which is worse, kayaking through the Everglades - alligator capital of America - or sailing out of sight of land in a big canoe. For example, see the SandyBottom Blog description of the alligator menace. [click the image for a larger view of that fellow. This photo also answers the perennial "trick question" of "What color is an alligator?" Why, black, of course.]

If you are really ambitious, every other year they run the Ultimate Florida Challenge. Fort DeSoto, to Key Largo, up the East Coast to St Mary's River, north to GA state line, a 40 mile portage to the Swanee River, down the nature coast to Clearwater, and back to Fort DeSoto. (approx. 1200 miles before you're done) If you want to compete in the 2012 Ultimate Florida Challenge, you must finish the 2011 Everglades Challenge (I think).

If you are disappointed that you missed the fun this year, don't despair, the North Carolina Challenge (100 miles around Pamlico Sound) is at the end of September. See The Water Tribe for info.

No comments: