The Everglades Challenge 2021 is on. Covid be damned. I had no doubt it would carry on. Florida certainly was not going to stop it. More importantly, sailing and paddling in one or two man small boats across mostly wilderness and open sea is one of the safest activities you can undertake from an infectious disease standpoint. There will be some nods to preventive procedures on shore. The WaterTribers are a pragmatic lot. The biggest difference is the reduced number of racers this year. Cross country and international travel remains a Covid induced PTA. Still, there will be 71 small boats set to launch from Fort DeSoto Beach this Saturday morning.
Unfortunately, Robman (aka Robert Waddell) and JohnnyMac (aka John MacDonald could not get to Tampa to be reunited with their Dovekie 21, Southern Cross. Between flight restrictions and quarantine requirements, it was just impractical to travel from Auckland, NZ to Tampa and back again. However, Southern Cross will still be on the beach with a different crew. I’ll be following her even without the two kiwis aboard. That boat has a history.
Lucky for us, we have Robman’s and JohnnyMac’s accounts of last year’s race to entertain us. Here’s an excerpt from JohnnyMac’s sea tale.
“The culinary skills of Capt. B in our family circle are legendary. Any family gathering, no matter who hosts, you will find Capt. B’s cooking prowess coming to the fore. So, it was with much delight that as I sailed Southern Cross towards our third check point, Capt. B was in the galley ferreting around through our stores and preparing dinner. We had an assortment of dehydrated meals and like the maitre d’ of the fine dining establishment befitting Southern Cross he informed me of the specials for the night.“
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