Everglades Challenge 2022

mundt

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Could one of you Original Gangsters of this event explain how you approach the navigation?  Seems like the biggest challenge is shallow water?  Do you take a motorboat pre-race and set waypoints for yourself or..?  What are the mileage differences and risks of shotrcuts?  How do tides factor in?  Thanks

 

TBW

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Could one of you Original Gangsters of this event explain how you approach the navigation?  Seems like the biggest challenge is shallow water?  Do you take a motorboat pre-race and set waypoints for yourself or..?  What are the mileage differences and risks of shotrcuts?  How do tides factor in?  Thanks
I am by no means an OG, but I have done the event a couple of times.  Some details:

I had never been to South Florida before my first EC.  My first time south of Tampa on the Florida coast, was as I was sailing down the coast.  So no, there was no pre race scouting.

In addition to recreational sailing I had worked as a ships navigator for close to 20 years prior to my first EC, so navigating in unfamiliar water was routine for me.

I spent hours, maybe dozens of hours, consulting electronic charts, paper charts, google earth and tide charts in the months before the event. 

Primary nav tool for my first EC was a Garmin GPS Map 78 SC.  Second EC I switched to a cell phone/Navionics type system and brought a Garmin as a spare.

In practice, in spite of months of route planning, I took the head out into the Gulf of Mexico and turn left approach.  Sailed over night one night and half of another night.  So there was night navigation.

I created custom charts on my home printer and laminated them at home to create a chart binder.  I find having the custom paper charts handy.

Finding suitable camp sites and rest stops was the most difficult part of navigation, I think this is where native Floridians who know the area have a big advantage.  

 Boat navigation is boat navigation.  If you know how to navigate, the process doesn't change.  The EC is not the place to learn small craft or wilderness navigation.  This is a skill that should probably be well developed before considering an event.

 
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MisterMoon

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Could one of you Original Gangsters of this event explain how you approach the navigation?  Seems like the biggest challenge is shallow water?  Do you take a motorboat pre-race and set waypoints for yourself or..?  What are the mileage differences and risks of shotrcuts?  How do tides factor in?  Thanks
I talked to a lot of people and read a bunch of accounts before my first attempt and studied the charts and satellite imagery to get a feel for how to approach the course. 
 

The shallows and channels in Florida Bay are pretty easily visible on Google Earth satellite imagery. I plotted courses there and exported them as GPX files into my GPS software. Also the NPS recently put up new markers for all the channels and helpfully posted all their coordinates in the last two years.  Even with all that, it’s only just now after a couple of times across FL Bay in the daylight hours that I’d trust my routes and waypoints enough to go over at night. 
 

Course prep isn’t just routes however. You need to a slow think about alternates, rest or bad weather stopping points, tides and currents, and timing. If you’re a nerd like me, the hours of prep is a lot of fun in and of itself. And the time you spent prepping makes your time on course even more rewarding as your plan unfolds perfectly or you expertly adapt to changes as they come. 

 
I'm blessed to be a native, so scouting is very helpful. In fact, TwoBeers and I went to Stump Pass today to inspect the dredging operations, and we went all the way into CP1 and now have the peace of mind of visualizing the way in.

We have also run Caxambas Pass all the way into Chockoloskee this month and learned a lot with that trip, the sand bars South of Marco Island are constantly on the move.

NateDog and my first year we went across Florida Bay at night after doing quite a bit of homework, chart review, word of mouth, etc.  We did a lot of Jamaican bobsledding thru the mud, (we actually have yet to cross from Flamingo to Key Largo without substantial amounts of pushing).

Wind and tides consume you in this event, having a contingency for every variable is a must, even if that means doubling back or beaching for rest.

The "clean run" has escaped us, perhaps this is the year, or maybe we crash and burn, we are about to find out!

AndyMan

florida-bay-map.jpg

 

TBW

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My first crossing of Florida Bay was done in the dark.  I have never actually seen Florida Bay in the day light aside from being on land looking out from the Pelican Cottages.  Florida Bay is tough navigation, we had rain and lightning squalls through the night, so nothing in the way of moonlight.  We used our headlamps to pick out the stakes in the mud and used our kick up rudders like curb feelers and of course our waypoints from our google earth research.

It worked out not too badly.  8 hours to make good 31 miles.  Distance travelled through the water was probably about 40 or so.  Figure 4 knots made good, 5 knots average sailing speed.

fb.png

 
My first crossing of Florida Bay was done in the dark.  I have never actually seen Florida Bay in the day light aside from being on land looking out from the Pelican Cottages.  Florida Bay is tough navigation, we had rain and lightning squalls through the night, so nothing in the way of moonlight.  We used our headlamps to pick out the stakes in the mud and used our kick up rudders like curb feelers and of course our waypoints from our google earth research.

It worked out not too badly.  8 hours to make good 31 miles.  Distance travelled through the water was probably about 40 or so.  Figure 4 knots made good, 5 knots average sailing speed.

View attachment 493655
That's a beautiful crossing!

 

mundt

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Outstanding!  You guys are illuminating what makes this such a challenging event.  It makes the accomplishment of a finish (especially a fast one) all the more impressive.  

 
Could one of you Original Gangsters of this event explain how you approach the navigation?  Seems like the biggest challenge is shallow water?  Do you take a motorboat pre-race and set waypoints for yourself or..?  What are the mileage differences and risks of shotrcuts?  How do tides factor in?  Thanks
Someone could probably write an entire book focused on answering those questions. 

Being old guard with local knowledge would be very helpful, but anyone with seamanship skills and knowledge of tides can do it. 

I found when I did my own homework and started asking educated questions, prior finishers were happy to give advice. 

As for questions like 'what's the best route?', the answer is almost always 'it depends'

 

mundt

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Though the key variables change year to year it would be interesting to determine the route taken by course record holders in each class.

 

TBW

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Though the key variables change year to year it would be interesting to determine the route taken by course record holders in each class.
I think we all look at what route others in our class are taking, not just the class winners, I look at every one.  I look at other classes too.

From my perspective, the EC is my vacation, and I don't think the fastest routes are the routes with the most interesting scenery or wildlife.  You need smaller boats to get up into the Wilderness Waterway.  

 

Pertinacious Tom

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17 Hobie Islands ain't bad for toy boats.  Hope we get some solid drone video of the start.  It's always a pleasure to watch.   
We bought our AI's in 2007 and the first couple of AI's to try were nearly laughed off the beach. I already knew it was a cheater boat for this event. I believed in it so much that I talked the owners of the dealership where I worked into taking on the line and selling them. They lost a bunch of money, mostly because the older customers in our area wanted the Tandem Island, which didn't exist at the time. But I was right about it being a very versatile, capable, and fun boat for our waters. Still enjoy mine.

I like that it's impossible to completely tear down the outside in any boat. It makes it far more difficult for a sailboat but I wouldn't want to see it set up any other way
It's not as difficult now as the original course.

Sailors had to take down the mast on the water and then get through a low and narrow bridge. That's why Sizzor folded the way it did. Too wide for the old bridge.

I have a personal interest in sailboats that can pass a low and narrow bridge. This RR bridge is between our ramp and open water.

rrbridgelibby.jpg


 

Fat Point Jack

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The Tom Challange:

The trip makes a left in Gasparilla Sound and thru the shortcut between Bull & Turtle Bay.

Across the harbor to 'Gator Creek, then thru Buckley's Pass (I told Bucky that if they want it that bad, then the price is $10,000,000).  On the rim canal you'll go by the guy's house that used to visit here.  You can match race against his Morgan on the way out Poncey Pass.  The down the bay and then upriver to your place.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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The Tom Challange:

The trip makes a left in Gasparilla Sound and thru the shortcut between Bull & Turtle Bay.

Across the harbor to 'Gator Creek, then thru Buckley's Pass (I told Bucky that if they want it that bad, then the price is $10,000,000).  On the rim canal you'll go by the guy's house that used to visit here.  You can match race against his Morgan on the way out Poncey Pass.  The down the bay and then upriver to your place.
For those who don't know, the "shortcut" he's talking about is a mini-version of the Nightmare. Not particularly navigable.

Then dragging them all the way up the Peace River and Shell Creek and off the edge of the chart isn't enough? You have to do it by way of PGI?

These people don't want to see waterfront homes. They want swamp. Up the West Wall and through the Myakka Cutoff. Let's get 'em really, really tired of Charlotte Harbor!

Not sure if I'll be watching this year but I'm getting my boat back from the shop on Monday so if any Tribers see this:

SpeckTaterTF1w.jpg


It's not just some random idiot getting too close in a 'toon boat. It's a very specific idiot doing so and I just want your picture and Tribe name.

And if a little white drone goes overhead and you see 20 feet of yellow Bimini top in the distance, that's probably me too.

 

MisterMoon

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3 hours ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

Spawn is the descendant of Frankenscot a slightly modified Flying Squat



Video I shot on the first day of the 2018 Everglades challenge of Spawn coming into Stump Pass just before the first checkpoint. 

 
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Bump-n-Grind

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Their new hull is some kinda skiff of some sort with water ballast, bigger sailplan I think and is technically more up to date and quicker... but I think they've had better results with the Frankenscot.

 

Steam Flyer

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Their new hull is some kinda skiff of some sort with water ballast, bigger sailplan I think and is technically more up to date and quicker... but I think they've had better results with the Frankenscot.
I think Spawn has done better than FrankenScot did. It's reportedly a lot easier to row, too.

- DSK

 

MisterMoon

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Their new hull is some kinda skiff of some sort with water ballast, bigger sailplan I think and is technically more up to date and quicker... but I think they've had better results with the Frankenscot.
Spawn is the monohull record holder. 

It's a custom 22' skiff designed by OH Rodgers, built by the owner Jeff Linton. It has (I think) a carbon rig from Melges 20, big water ballast tanks under the hiking racks and an enormous assy. 

It holds the two fastest overall times for monohulls in EC history, the fastest was 1 day 12 hours 46 minutes. I think the only boats who've ever gone faster was Jamie Livingston in a Tornado at 26 hours 2 minutes and Randy Smyth in his Sizzor at 1 day 11 hours and change. 

Spawn is a beast. 

 

Bump-n-Grind

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Spawn is the monohull record holder. 

It's a custom 22' skiff designed by OH Rodgers, built by the owner Jeff Linton. It has (I think) a carbon rig from Melges 20, big water ballast tanks under the hiking racks and an enormous assy. 

It holds the two fastest overall times for monohulls in EC history, the fastest was 1 day 12 hours 46 minutes. I think the only boats who've ever gone faster was Jamie Livingston in a Tornado at 26 hours 2 minutes and Randy Smyth in his Sizzor at 1 day 11 hours and change. 

Spawn is a beast. 
I stand corrected, thanks for the update.

 




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