With the planning for the Keys Challenge and the road trip, I spent a lot of time around 3 o’clock in the morning going over plans and checklists. Since that kept me occupied until it was time to get up, I wasn’t getting much sleep. I knew that I’d be fine once the event actually started. For me at least, things always appear more daunting in anticipation than in reality.
The view across Joe and Ruth's enclosed pool.
Boat theft is still a problem in Florida. Joe told me about a couple thefts in his area. The Cubans come to steal boats for smuggling people, and the Mexicans come to steal boats for smuggling drugs and people. While in the Keys we were reminded yet again about the flood of people invading our country. One morning we passed a stranded Cuban boat in the shallows. In presentations, we saw pictures of just a few of the many stranded Cuban boats that find their ways to the Everglades and Florida Bay. People here send GPS units to Cuba with waypoints already entered for navigation, and landing and pick-up locations. Or is such a discussion too politically incorrect?
Credit: Photo by Kliments of me in canal.
The intention was for a bit of open water paddling while Joe took care of some commitments, but the wind was blowing hard enough that I took advantage of the canals. There is a good bit of current that develops as the area drains and fills as the tides change. While paddling against the current around the rim canal, a bit too much time was spent enjoying the sites. After lunch I found the current had changed and would also be running against me all the way back. The tally was only 8.5 miles, but the effort was much more. I didn’t need to feel cheated. There was a lot more paddling to come.
Just before I left, Joe decided to help by finding me an updated forecast. He sat the paper on the table in front of me. I took one look at it, and the only thing that would develop in my mind was, “Oh, holy crap!” The forecast was for winds gusting 30-35 knots over the next few days.