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Horace Wimp: Trying to find my boat in the EC2023!

Posted by Greg on April 24, 2023

Note, this post was penned by Everglades Challenge 2023 participant Andrew Findlay (tribe name “Horace Wimp”).
This lively story was shared at every checkpoint along the course with much relish and amazement to all who heard it. With Andrew’s permission I’m sharing it here so others enjoy.

The 10:00am late start made for a leisurely wake up and morning of preparation. The winds had died significantly from the afternoon prior and Tampa Bay was looking quite reasonable for small craft, with a moderate southwesterly breeze. Like most others leaving the beach we initially headed SSE, across the shipping channel, and continued on towards the southern side of Tampa Bay. I then tacked a couple of times heading almost due west and lining up with the channel between the northern end of Anna Maria and Passage Key. As I approached it was clear there were still significant swells from the SW, most probably in part due to the strong winds 24 hours earlier. I steered clear of the shallows, which were clearly visible from the many breakers, and kept heading west until I was about 1.2 miles out from Anna Maria, and beyond the breakers. I tacked a couple of times, trying to head southeasterly, while staying in the deeper water beyond the breakers. All was going well, making about 6 knots, and my X-cat rolling a little with the southwesterly waves. I was feeling relaxed to be out of Tampa Bay and heading down the coast, all was good.