I'll be posting more details very soon, however, have wrapped up the 2012 UFC due to more miles than time would allow for. The math would not have made it possible to complete the event before having to resume teaching and the lecture circuit. A number of factors contributed included a heavily loaded boat, which made for painfully slow progress against the easterly winds we all encountered heading to Key Largo. I was carrying sufficient povisions for a run to Sebastian Inlet, the only place I was able to arrange in advance reprovisioning. It's amazing how much multiple power bars, trail mix, dehydrated packs etc. weigh. Plus, the folding bike and heavy duty cart for the portage allowed barely room for me on the AI. 3 days were lost due to a busted dagger board (human error), and then having to return to CP2 when the boat began taking on water and almost sank due to a bizarre set of circumstances related to the excessive load. But the deciding factor was the leaking dry suit. The constant spray had me drenched within a hour of starting out each morning. When the sun went down, it was darned uncomfortable preventing the overnight runs that would have enabled me to make up lost time. The wet conditions also took a toll on equipment. I had to replace my VHF in Key Largo, wiped out a brand new SPOT when water leaked into the battery compartment (covered under warranty), destroyed my supposedly waterproof navigation lights and powerful flashlight (also replaced in KL), and noticed my new GPS was oozing brown stuff from the battery compartment, and responding sporadically to button presses when I arrived at Sebastian Inlet (covered by extended warranty). I was aware of dry suit loan offers, but thought that would have been a rules violation unless it occured while under way, and only by a Watertriber in the race. There were other factors including what began as a minor thumb cut on day 1, which still has not healed more than 2 weeks later. Indeed, it's been getting worse and has opened into a v shaped wedge. Forget the human brain. It's the opposable thumb on our dominant hand that sets us apart from all the other primates. I learned to become a lefty very quickly. The AI was predictably superb and had the conditions not been as harsh ( or had I been more skilled), it would easily have been amongst the few entries capable of running the entire course from start to finish. Had I been willing to accept the boat switch option (something I don't personally agree with, but accept the reasoning) I would have used the Hobie TI for the run to Ft Clinch. I discovered in 2010 that the back seat is reaonably dry even in rough conditions, plus there's plenty of room for the extra gear required for the UFC. Then, a switch to either the AI or Hobie inflatible for the portage and river segment to Ceday Key. I've entered all the UFC's to date having been spoiled with a finish during the inaugural 06 event due to certainly the best overall conditions of the three. I've logged two partials since then, but I have lots of incredible memories as well as a treasure chest of new material for the lectures. I'll be back for number 4 with hopes that my choice of boat along with weather conditions make for a successful run. If not, there's always 5, 6.......
Licking wounds at home(14 posts) (13 voices)
Well done, Nick. You are a fine competitor and always a winner. Thank you for sharing.
Pelican sent me pics of his right thumb and left finger - Scary wounds!
I will leave out his comments on the thumb gash.
His finger wounds are good info for the Gashes, rashes, hurts and squirts post.
I have nothing but awe for your effort, expertise, and most of all your judgment. I am not “thumb”ing my nose at your problem. That thumb and by extension your surviving intact for another try is more important than all other problems. Having the judgment for when to go and when to stop is perhaps the most important skill for this kind of adventure, me thinks. Capt. Lugnut taught me that…. Karank
Nick! Glad to see you are home safely! Those of us watching got quite a lesson in tenacity. You had a lot of people watching your track and cheering you on as we got updates. I didn't think I could have any more respect for you than I already did, but I do.
Louis and I made the difficult decision to withdraw after making it to the Placida checkpoint. The damage to the sail rig that occurred Saturday was repaired, but further damage occurred Sunday, so we stowed the sail rig in Sarasota and paddled to Placida. I'll share the rest of the story for a time when I can buy you a meal. But I will say that we had a great time and both of us got a great lesson in what it sometimes takes to overcome obstacles. We are forever grateful to you for loaning us the Tofino and sail rig (which I will return in good order), plus for your wisdom and encouragement. Making it to Key Largo was our goal, and on that we fell short. But the more important goal for me personally was to experience the adventure with Louis... and on that goal I succeeded -- thanks to you!
You have my utmost respect!!!
All my best,
Thanks for the details Nick. Best wishes in swift healing and future UF events.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T!! You have mine!
Good show Pelican! Can't wait for the tales!
Impressive Nick - Great RUN! Now take care of that right thumb gash and left finger sore.
The stories are more important than anything, so it's a win. --Wade
Nick, it was a great run while it lasted. We learn from our failures not our sucess. I hope to see you on the starting line next time...
Dogs & I are AI owners and we were rooting for you. Great run! ...and see you next year on the starting line.
That was a most impressive display of true grit Nick. I think I've got some aches and pains just from watching you UFC competitors. Congratulations on once again showing what an all-out effort looks like.
Your trips are always inspirational whether you finish or not. Your ability to fix what goes wrong and always find the workable option is unmatched. Not to mention your continuing good cheer and willingness to share the lessons leared. And you show us there are more ways to win that merely finishing.
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