One of the nice things about staying at CP1 is that there is a bathroom, a shower with hot water and a bunk house with four bunks. I have never had a problem with getting into the bathroom, and I have always been able to get a shower with hot water. Don’t know how big the hot water tank is there but it has to be a big one with the number of showers that occur. Everybody has some quirk about them and cleaning up before going to sleep is one of mine. Thus a shower is special treat for me
Now the bunk house is another story. I have never been able to use a bed in the bunk house. It is first come first serve and the silly fast, steam comes off their wake boys get those. Figuring that Jungle Jim and Salty Frog would be in the bunk house I went to visit. Sure enough they were there but low and behold a Watertriber in one of the other bunks was packing to leave. Geeeh everyone else is staying here for the night and this brave soul has decided to cross the ugly Boca Grande Pass. (Did I mention that I don’t like this pass?) He is sailing a catamaran but still the sun is starting to set. Hmmm I can try to talk this guy out of it or let him go and have his bunk. “,Hey can I help you take your bags down to your boat?” Who am I to judge what this guy can or cannot do? I mean he got to CP1 before I did.
After getting my sleeping arrangement taken care of I grabbed some hot dogs (with buns!!) potato salad and baked beans. No dehydrated meal tonight and man did it taste good. The sun was starting to set and I figured the flying teeth would be coming out shortly. So I went down to my boat with my repair kit to see what I could do about fixing my PAS sail. Watertribers are an interesting bunch. Very competitive on the race course but at the same time very giving in helping another Watertriber. Well a Watertriber who goes by the name PaddleCarver, who is a legend in his own right since he has done 7 Watertribe challenges, asked me what my problem was. I explained to him about the shackle and before I knew it he had a bolt and nut that solved my problem. That bolt and nut worked for the entire UFC. Thanks PaddleCarver!
My water bottles and water bladders are filled. I had a dinner of fresh cooked hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans. A hot shower , and a bed in the bunk house. Ahhhhhh man what more could I ask for. This is how this event is supposed to be, not like the first day. Sleep came fast and so did the 4:30 AM alarm. As I walked down to my boat I noticed that both Jungle Jim and Salty Frog’s boats were gone. They had talked about leaving around 1:00 in the morning which means they were crossing the pass in the dark. That is just plain spooky but some folks feel that is the best time to do it. As I was packing I heard someone say “coffee or hot chocolate?” Wow!! Where did that come from? It was Paula Martel, “PaddleDancer” who Chief had somehow talked into being the race director for this year’s race. Obviously she didn’t know what she was getting herself into or she would have run for the hills when he asked. Paula not only did a great job running the race this year but she was extremely helpful in providing little comforts to the racers. Paula, thanks for all that you did in the race.
As I continued packing I noticed that Cwolf had made it in. I really enjoyed paddling with him last year and was hoping to do some paddling with him again. Throughout the years I have learned that it is really hard to predict how someone will react to long periods of pain and discomfort. You hear folks talk about what they did in the military or other organizations or some other athletic events but that is no guarantee they can handle an expedition endurance event. So I am very hesitant on joining up with someone unless I know them and have been through some stuff with them. The last leg of last year’s EC was a tough one and Cwolf was great through it. Unfortunately for me I was packed and ready to go when Cwolf was just starting to pack. The longer I wait on the ramp, the more the winds will start to build, and the bigger the waves will get in the pass. Cwolf told me to go and not wait. He would catchup. Hmmmm. Then I hear this voice. “Hey you heading out? I am Riverslayer and I am doing the UFC ………………….