Initiation and test of Race Report thread for Shipwreck aka David Shropshire, by his shore contact and brother, Angus Shropshire.
EC2012 Shipwreck Race Reports(9 posts) (1 voice)
28 Feb, Tuesday
Shipwreck called in 0905hrs. Leaving Quechee, VT, in the snow in a Ford pick-up with a 9'6" hand-built Pram in the back that is much older than the truck. Family in the rearview concerned, but used to such antics. Headed to EC 2012 in Florida. Phone call 5 minutes and terminated due to loss of coverage.
28 Feb, Tuesday
As of 1730hrs, Shipwreck was just south of WDC at 38.7947 latitude, -77.0564 longitude
.....He has sent in a total of 7 "Spot" reports indicating all was well as he moved he moved South, and the tracking system seems to be working fine.
29 Feb, Wed
Shipwreck called in at 1330hrs enjoying Sonny's BBQ in backwoods Florida. He caught a few hours sleep last night at a truck stop, and all still seems to be on track. He planned to continue on to Ft. Desoto this afternoon and, as of 1820hrs, had sent a spot report indicating he had arrived at the park.
Lynn and I plan to head over Friday to pester as best we can.
01 Mar, Thurs
Spoke with Shipwreck for approximately 15min at 1945hrs. All is well. He took the boat out today to make sure it floats in warm water:) Had some minor problems with sheet for new main sail,but got it figured out.
Had just finished dinner, and had to fend off a family of racoons that was trying to bumrush him for dinner. He will be sleeping in tent at the park this evening. Spent last night at local hotel... last comfort sleep for awhile.
Check-in and coordination meetings tomorrow. Race starts Saturday! Forecast has a front possibly moving thru saturday, with initial Southerly winds that may be a problem, but more favorable Northerly after front.
02 Mar, Friday
Lynn and I drove over this afternoon and met with Shipwreck half way through the Captain's briefing. Spent the afternoon with him, had a good dinner at a little german restaurant, met with Susie and Spence at our hotel, and dropped him off at the campground at 2130hrs.
Roll call tomorrow is 0615hrs and race starts at 0700hrs. Weather looks to be tough and there were strong winds and whitecaps when we arrived. Tomorrow morning there will be strong winds in the morning in the opposite direction Shipwreck needs in order to get across the mouth of Tampa Bay. Sometime in the late afternoon or evening, a cold front is scheduled to pass through with bigger winds, and then hopefully some favorable Northerly winds to move him down the coast.
My pucker factor went up exponentially as we walked down the launch line and saw all these fast, high tech, boats ready to go... some as big as 30' with a crew of five. Shipwreck's little pram was the second or third smallest on the line. The boat looks sturdy, but Shipwreck was as anxious as a squirrel on an ice rink, as scared as a virgin bride, as ... ok, i'm exaggerating, he was fine. The park is beautiful and the adventure grand. Lynn took lots of photos that we will find a way to share. We hope to be there bright and early tomorrow to see him off.
Wow, what a nerve wracking start!
Roll call followed by group of about 100 challengers and fans singing the National Anthem. At 0700hrs, bagpipes played and, one by one, most of challengers departed, frequently with difficulty due to inbound winds. A few decided it wasn't safe and appeared to be packing it up.
Susie/Spense and Lynn/I went down to nearby pier after launch, and watched Shipwreck take the opposite course everyone else seemed to be taking. Winds increased as the morning progressed, reported at 20, but feeling like a full 25/30 to me; bay was very choppy with whitecaps. He made it out to Egmont Island and we could seem him beach/pause for a bit, but eventually headed East toward the mouth of Tampa Bay. We held our breath as we watched through binoculars as he crossed the mouth of the bay, making very good speed.
He had launched his boat around 0720hrs, made it to Egmont Islandaround 1000hrs. Appeared to readjust rigging and then move out smartly. Crossing the mouth of the bay took only about a half hour, and he reached the other side (where all the other challengers were) right around 1200hrs.
Shipwreck has sent two "Spot" reports indicating all is OK, the first while leeward on Egmont Island, and the second after successfully crossing the mouth of Tampa Bay. Winds remain strong from the South. There is a front still scheduled to move through late this evening. Looking at the tracking maps, other challengers in his class seem to be having a tough time getting past a bridge and into the Intercoastal.
03 March, Saturday
Shipwreck called in at 1610hrs and we spoke for approximately 10 minutes. He was holed up temporarily about a half mile south of the first bridge on the Intercoastal in some mangroves on the west side. He was alert and enthusiastic despite a rough journey so far. Reported that he had stopped three times to bail out the boat, but no major problems. During his current respite he discovered a problem with his rudder, the details of which I was not able to fully understand. Apparenly a threaded rod that held in his rudder had been worrying itself free, and he tightened it as best he could with his leatherman. Reported that wind and tides in the Intercoastal were making for very hard going, and had resorted to some rowing.
He is aware of front coming through tonight and plans not to be out sailing in the dark. He was getting something to eat, and was likely to try to make some more progress before he camped and waited for things to blow over. Agreed to call whenever he set out after the front passes.
03 March, Saturday
Shipwreck called in at approximately 1940hrs and advised he was throwing in the towel. Wind and waves too much for his little pram, and the incoming cold front exceeded risk tolerance.
He was picked up without incidient at the first bridge to the Intercoastal around 2030hrs, safe and sound. We loaded the boat into the back of a pickup truck! He noted that he had lost his bailing bucket during an incident with a less-than-observant motorboater. Rudder rod was bent during transit at the mouth of Tampa Bay, and the chop had tried to toss his oars out of the boat more than once (quickly recovered). Per chief's guidance, he had eaten up, and tried to sleep, but also listened to his radio, and forecasts of gale force winds tonight reminded him that he had a family. Again, he is safe and sound, and I called Chief enroute to advise status of above developments.
Good luck and Angel's wings to all challengers. Special thanks to Chief, whom I have not personally met, but I can tell nourishes the best traditions of this country.
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