Bill and Riverslayer left Monday morning and were roughly 30 miles from the Ft. Clinch checkpoint. They enjoyed a nice dinner on the ICW knowing that was probably the last meal they were going to get that didn’t require putting boiled water in a bag. Not so many restaurants along the St. Mary’s river. They expected to arrive around 4:30pm and weren’t too far off from that. I stated in past blogs how looking at the SPOT tracking map is deceiving — how such a short distance can take so long to arrive at. I experienced that first hand at Ft. Clinch. I could see Bill and Rod in the distance paddling up the St. Johns so I quickly made sure my camera was at the ready. And then, I watched. And watched. And watched some more. From the time I first spotted them, to the time they were close enough to hear my claps and “woo-hoo’s,” felt like an eternity, and was almost an hour!! Bill said he felt the same way on the water. When he would see a bridge or other landmark in the distance he would think he was never going to get to it.
First thing on their minds? FOOD!! Then, just like at Sebastian, time to resupply. A little easier this time since the boat was in good shape and the repairs were holding. After doing the math, they figured they needed to carry 8 DAYS worth of food. Neither were happy about that due to the weight it will add to the boats. Not to mention the weight of Bill’s sailing gear. (He mentioned more than once how much he was “enjoying” hauling it around the state of Florida and not being able to use it.) Other than his weight, physically he is doing pretty well considering he has gone over 710 miles in a kayak. Mentally, well that was questionable back when he signed up for this race but, all things considered, he is in good shape. I think he is at that stage that marathoners and triathletes commonly refer to as “hitting the wall.” I am hopeful that getting out of the salt water and into some different scenery will be just what he needs to get over that wall.
At this stage, it is not so much about the wind as it is tides and currents. Departure time for this morning was important and based solely on the tide and they left at approx. 6:00am. Hopefully there will be some cell phone coverage and he can check in along the way. I am looking forward to some good material for the blog during this stage of the race. Do you hear that? Sounds like banjo music in the distance. Paddle faster!! 🙂