Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Organization for Autism Research

I have recieved several donations to my fundraising page for Autism Research and I wanted to thank those who have given. You can see their post here at my site.
And a update on my running/ trainning. I try and run every day either in the morning or at dark and I usually can get in at least 3 miles per day, or around 1/2 hour. My long runs are on Sunday. This past sunday I got in 6 miles in about an hour. I will start picking up the pace and increasing the milage as I get my slogging legs back into shape. When i get to my max milage per week I should be doing around 50 miles per week. Right now I am at 20.
I also hope to get a good gps tracker so that i can include that information and better keep up with it.
Again thanks for the donations. It only takes a small amount to make a big difference and for those who are to young to take care of it themselves they can not say thank you so I will for them. Thank you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stength Trainning and decision making.

I have been lifting weights more lately preparing for the upcoming Scottish Highland games this weekend. I have a big decision to make. I will have to decide how to spend my upcoming long weekend. The Greenville Scottish games are Saturday and one of the only games that I had planned to attend this year so I could do that and do some sailing locally or I could do a 3 day trip to either NC or Fl. and do parts of the challenge races that are coming up and not do the games.
For about the past 5 years I have been strength trainning and working on explosive power in order to be good in the heavy events. I am now finding that the quickness and power is not helping me much with the endurance events so my focus is going to have to change somewhat.

Here is my pressing 130 lbs overhead with one arm this past Saturday. Currently I weigh 207 lbs. And yes I am very trusting in the ducktape! It got to expensive buying new dumbells so this is a 100 lb one with 6 each 5 lb weights taped to it. I asked my wife if she feels secure knowing that I could lift her overhead with one arm and she said sure....but that does not include her "fudge factor" so it may not be the same.
Anyway,  This helps me in the stone throw. The large stone we throw weighs around 25 lbs usually and sometimes up to 32 and I usually put the 25 lb around 24 feet. The normal stone is 16 lbs and I put it around 33 feet. My Best event is the 16 Sheaf toss where we throw for height over a bar with a pitchfork. I currently hold the world record at 30 feet for the masters 40 - 49 age group for men under 200 lbs.
This does not sound like such a great feat until you put it into perspective. Imagine thowing a bowling ball 30 feet into the air over a bar with a pitchfork- It weighs 16 lbs too!
I would like to get a shot to improve some of my events and maybe better my personal records. I have limited my games this year becasue it takes quite a toll on the old booty...I mean body. SO that is my dilima for the weekend. Miss the games or miss an oportunity for a challenge practice which I despertly need.( I wish this thing had spell check)
I have always admired the old strong men. I have studied and read about them and there is a strongman web page that I visit often and learn from their trainning. They call it Diansaur trainning. It is another interest of mine. The current day version is the strongman events where they lift odd things. Those guys are crazy strong.


Friday, May 20, 2011

New Hobie Island trimaran.

Here is a photo of how the boat came to me. The hull was double wrapped and there was one other box which had seen better days, and it was only in the hands of the delivery company for 3 days total! (UPS)
There was some damage but nothing major. The rotomolded outriggers had some impressions like something heavy was put on top of them even though the box clearly stated "Top load Only". Not the sellers fault. Oh, by the way the Backyardboat folks were great to work with and no issues at all.
This is the first time that I have bought any major purchase brand new that was just for me and something that I did not have to have. I'm 46 now with 3 grown children so I figured I was due, anyway that is how I justified it not that I needed to but it made me feel better about doing it.
Why did I buy it? It is going to be my Ultra Florida Challenge race boat. You see I needed a boat that could do many things because of the race around Florida. The race goes something like this....Start in Tampa Bay and sail to key largo with 3 checkpoints along the way which are up tital creeks and the everglades. It you take the inside route you will do what they call the Everglades wilderness waterway which includes one part that is the toughest that is called "The nightmare". At Largo you turn north and head up the east coast. There is one checkpoint about 1/2 way up but you keep going  until you get to the St. Marys river at the Fl. , GA. state lines. You go up the river to around the mid point of the States (more check points)  where you then portage your boat for 40 miles and put in again at the Okeefenokee Swamp. The portage is where you walk and pull your boat behind you for 40 miles. You put your boat back into the water at fargo GA. and  run down that river (120 miles) until you hit the Gulf of mexico again and then turn South again and back to Tampa Bay with one more check point along the way. This is around 1200 miles total. You have 30 days to complete the race and you can of course drop out at any time. Why do this? That is a stupid question for someone who wants to do it but for someone who does not want to do it then it makes no sense at all and that is another story alltogether. Much has been written about why people do things like climb mt. everest so i will not get into it here except for saying that this has been titled as the toughest small boat race there is and that is why I want to attempt it. I hope that you noticed that I said "attempt"!

My second outting in the boat. Heading up the creek at Lake Robinson, Greer SC. No wind so peddaling and I had just gone under a low bridge so I took the mast down.

Lunch is over.....more to come.
So the Hobie Tandem Island is reasonably lite. 190 llbs. It is fast. It is stable in heavy weather and tough to turtle. It folds its outriggers down in just a few seconds or about a minute with the tramps on. It has a dolly system so it can be towed although it will be heavy loaded. It can carry enough supplies for one person for one month. The mast takes less than a minute to take down. The sail is furling so any amount of sail can be put up from one foot to the entire 90 sq. ft and it is done while sailing and is easy to do if a squall blows up. It is well proven design that has seen some tough weather and most of the faults have been worked out so that extra parts can be carried along. It has peddal drives so that you can use your strongest muscles when there is no wing, going against the currents or other.  It carries two people so that if I can talk someone into doing the race with me then they can come along and enjoy the adventure as well. Any takers? Bully...P90Rex?...anyone? I'll give you some time to think it over.
Another good point is that my wife Dawn and I can go out on the lake and get some exersize amd no be bored to death on a treadmill. In two trips already on Lake Robinson I have seen some great wild life and I will blog about it tonight. I saw some things that were suprising to me and that I did not know.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5-18-11 update and saying goodbye to PC.

Puddlecat adventure at the Everglades challenge 2011. photo taken By Jim. Thanks for sending Jim.

Today I towed the PuddleCat Adventure to work and will go sailing today on her for the last time as owner. Rex the new owner will be getting a shakedown sail demo. Winds are light and 30 % chance of rain but we are going to go and it should be a good day for a first sail for him. The nice thing for me is that I work with him at Honeywell so the boat is not going to far and we sail together on the same lakes. Also it will give me more time for building and to get use to my new boat. That is right, a new boat! A Hobie TI that i have just purchased. I have not had it on the water yet and it was purchased for a mission. I will get more into that later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5-11-11 UPDATE

On this past Sat. 5-7-11. I worked from 5 till 11 and then went straight for a paddle. I put in at Lake Robinson and paddled all the way up the lake to the creek. This is aprox. 4 miles. Next time I will try and go up the creek a ways to see how far I can go. At the enterance to the creek the rudder begins to hit so it is only around one foot deep.I got out of the yak there for a minute to simulate being on a challenge and trying to get to shore. I sunk up to my knees in muck, sticky and stinky. It smelled like decay. Getting use to the kayak is going to take a while. I am so long legged that it is very dificult to even get out of it. If not for the shallow water I would have went over. I headed back and made good time. I will post my trip odometer if I can find it. It was a nice day but I am fairly sure that I had a head wind both coming and going. It certainly seems to be a very good boat. Fast but just arm power is different and it kills the shoulders.I suppose it is going to take a while to learn good form.

On Sunday May the 8th I went out to lake hartwell to try out the new electric motor system that I have been putting together. I purchased a minn kota 55 saltwater electric motor, 2 deep cycle gel batteries that only weigh  43 lbs each and a couple of different solar chargers. The latest and one tested is a 30 water battery charger. My test begin around 7 am at the lake. The plan was to run up the river as far as the batteries would allow.
To be continued, I have to upload some youtube videos for you.

An update on my trainning. I started trainning agin the beginning of May. The first week I ran 7.5 miles total and paddled for 11 miles. So far the 2nd week I have run 2, 4, and 3 miles tonight the 11th so I am picking up as I wanted to do. The goal is for me to run as far as I can and when I stop I am done. The thing is to keep moving and not the stop and go that I did in 2009 which only resulted in me running a 4:45 NYC marathon. My goal is to break the 4 hour mark and to meet my fund raising goals.
No injuries so far, although pains are popping up, the knees are starting to feel it and the right muscle just about the knee on the inside is pulling just a bit. Tonight I worn my Tommy Kono knee bands and they warned them up nicely and I managed the 3 miles in 35 mins. I hope to double my milage from the first week and ease into it so that I do not injury myself. I have been running on the track so far except for tonight was my first road run and it does make a difference.The road is harder with the hills and valleys.
Thanks, Roger

Friday, May 6, 2011

Velux 5 oceans

                                                          Derek Hatfield-Solo circumnavigator.
                                                      Dereks Boat, appeared to me to be the newest. 90+ foot mast  gives some scale. Open 60 Class boat and very fast.
                                                                                                    Donna, Race manager for Chris and Spartan and not afraid to get  her hands dirty. Very sweet and great accent.
 Brads boat taken from Spartan. The american entry and hometowner from Charleston.
 Me on Spartan, thanks Donna for taking the photo. The largest rotating mast I have ever seen.
                                                       Spartan. Note, the outriggers on two above photos, they are to allow for the rotating mast.

Inside Spartan. Engine work being done.

On 5-4-11 I had to make a trip to Charleston to pick up my step son from college for summer break. It just so happens that the race boats and racers in the velux 5 oceans race were there for a layover and soon will be leaving on their last leg of their solo circumnavigations to France. I have been following the race from the start and track them during their legs. The night that I got there the last racer was due in just after midnight, he had lost his bowsprit and had to stop for repairs. I was able to meet the race manager of Chris's boat named Spartan. They are from England. Her name is Donna and she was extreamly nice and let me take photos of the inside as well. I was able to meet just one captain. Derek Hatfield is from Canada. He was working on a bielge pump. I was not expecting to meet a racer but he was very nice and answered a few questions and let me take his photo. The american entry's ground crew seem to go out of their way to avoid any contact at all and did not even reconize my presents standing 10 feet away from them. Maybe they were just busy. Hopefully if Brad the captain was there he would have been alittle more social to the fans, Me, since I was the only one there looking at the boats. I was there for nearly 3 hours and not another person came onto the docks. These boats are remarkable. The shear number of control lines running back to the cockpit is amazing.
I would bet that one hayard line cost more than the total cost of building my Puddlecat Adventure catamaran.
This was a great time for me to check out some of the fastest around the world sailboats. These guys have been averaging 14-15 knots at times and have hit 25 knots.....and they spend 20-30 days at sea alone per leg. These are some remarkable sailors. It was a real honor to meet Derek. He was an insperation to me. He was down to earth and not above talking to a nobody standing on the dock. Thanks Derek.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Everglades challenge adventure race 2011

PuddleCat Adventure resting on the beach at Fort Desoto Park in Tampa Bay, on Mulet key.
This is going to be a short story at my attempt at the grueling 300+ mile Everglades challenge. For those of you who are not interested in the details but would like to know how I did I will now give a very brief account of it.

    We launched at Fort Desoto State Park. This is located on the North Side of Tampa Bay. The first thing we do is cross the bay and get on the outside into the Gulf of Mexico at Bean Point and then turn South down the coast. We launched at 7 am into 10-15 mph winds and 2-4 foot choppy seas. Here is a video.
At 7 pm I went ashore at Seista Beach,and had covered 34.4 miles in 11:15 moving time and just over 45 minutes stopped time. This stopped time was due to an eye injury while rowing.
My average speed was 3.2 mph and my highest logged speed was 9.6 mph. All of this was done into a headwind and 2-4 foot seas and there was a small craft advisory warning of adverse conditions until late afternoon when the winds then became light. At this point I had 38 miles to get to the first checkpoint and I had 17 hours to get there. I then made a decision that I could not make it to the first checkpoint in that amount of time because of a number of reasons. Mainly the eye, it needed some attention.The wind was directly south and at 5 mph and forecast to remain out of south until morning but it was to increase to 10-15 mph.  My desired direction was south to Gassparilla Pass and into Placida. Knowing that I could not make the checkpoint 38 miles away into the wind I decided to turn around and head north with the wind and get back to where I started. But First I had to get some rest. I went to sleep in the boat and got up at 9:15 pm. The weather forecast remained the same and my decision remained the same to drop out of the race so I called the race manager and withdrew from the race with the reason given as Medical. Since I was now officially out of the race It was my responsibility to get back on my own and they listed me as DNF and discontinued the tracking on their website. Although this was far short of my goal I was very pleased with the way the boat sailed in the adverse conditions especially the first half of the day. I learned many things and I will return to attempt it again someday, maybe next year but until then I am signed up to enter the Florida 120 and the NC OBX 130 in May of 2011 and I will start preparing for those races as they are much less extreme and much more laid back than the everglades challenge. As an overall summery I would put it this way. The boat was ready and built for a solo attempt at the Everglades challenge. I was also very prepared with all the required safety equipment needed and supplies. Personally I was not very prepared because I did not take care of myself like I should have done in order to continue. I neglected even the very basic requirements like drinking water because I was just to busy sailing. I was only focused on clocking off the miles and overlooked the big picture in at this is a 8 day endurance race. My only regret now is stopping and turning around and this is why. The race managers but a blanket weather wavier on the time given to the first checkpoint due to the adverse conditions the first day. What this means is that anyone who got to checkpoint 1 no matter how late they were they got to continue the race. There was no way for me to know this was going to be done. IF I would have rehydrated, ate, and got some sleep and started fresh in the morning I would have made the first checkpoint although I would have been late, when I got there I would have found out about the weather wavier and been able to continue. So lessons have been learned. Next time I will continue even if I am past the allowed time. These are very good lessons but still upsetting so I will take it as experience and sail on. I very much look forward to attempting it again and getting into other challenges.

Above is the short version. Followings will be a detailed account of my encounter of the Everglades challenge 2011. 

    Preparation in an endurance challenge is everything. I considered myself well prepared. Just a few weeks before the start of the Everglades challenge I was on Hartwell Lake in SC. in a small craft advisory with 26 mph winds gusting to 35. I was reefed down and handled the conditions well and the boat stayed very dry. Conditions that I saw that day should be similar to what I should see in the challenge. If the conditions were to get worse I could just drop the sails and ride it out and wait for better weather. And I had also already done half a dozen long sails of not less than 25 miles each and one sail of 42 miles. The boat was new. The first sail was Jan. 2011 but I had already sailed it well over 300 miles in two months. I could handle the boat in any situation. I could reef, go from one sail to two and back again with ease.
    I was also very prepared with all the safety equipment. I had all the required coast guard equipment for day and night sailing, first aid, survival, signaling, lighting, charts, and a full complement of gear to camp. My gear also included clothes, and enough food (32 lbs) and water (60 lbs) for eight days. I carried two gps units and a battery power pack so I could recharge everything and spare batteries in case something went wrong with the battery pack plus two solar panels.
    Having mentioned everything above and having all the gear you need means nothing unless you use it. Something as simple as water! Let me explain and start the story of my journey.
    My trip started with a 10 hour drive to Tampa Bay. I got a late start and ended up driving all night because I wanted to be there when they started at 10 am Fri. morning for boat inspections. I got there at 10 but did without sleep Thursday night. Having never been in the challenge before I did not know where to start but folks quickly surrounded the boat just to check it out and I learned what to do. I needed to get around the ranger station, access the beach road and get the boat off loaded onto the beach. This was started and the remainder of the day was getting the boat placed at the high water mark and next to around 80 other boats and many types. Smallest was maybe 10 feet and largest was 22 feet. The day was sunny, breezy and 84 degrees. I spent my time getting everything laid out for easy inspection for one of the watertibe officials. I spoke with many interested people and just enjoyed being there. My inspection was soon done I started putting everything back into their places in the boat all of which were carefully thought out ahead of time for easy access if I was busy sailing. Before I knew it someone was announcing that we had 5 minutes in order to get off the beach before dark and the gates closed before sunset. This caught me completely by surprise. I rushed to get off the beach but I was not ready.  
Photo taken by KiwiBird, she was in the race as well and finished in a sea kayak. Very nice lady.

To be continued.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Islander Catamaran updates

tuesday May 3rd. 2011
I was able to recover a video of when I started the Islander catamaran project, about a week into it. The video shows the sides and the 4 main builheads. Building the sides flat on the floor is much like building an aircraft fuselage and is where I got the idea.
I had tried building a 16 foot catamarn by another designer but abandoned the project about two months into the project because I had only just gotten the hulls framed. It was very disapointing to be so slow building. Anyway I will never go back to that way of building a catamaran. Here is the video.
I will have to upload on youtube and put a link here.
May 2, 2011
I have found that I have lost some of the photos for the building of the Islander Catamaran. I will see if I can get them recovered. Up to the point that you see below I have approx. 2 weeks of part time work invested. Although this is a big boat at 20 feet long it went together quicker than any other that I have build. This was due to the sides being built flat on the floor. Once all 4 sides were done 4 bulkheads were cut out and stood upside down on the floor and the sides added. Only thing to do at that point was to square all  up and pull a center line and glue. The the transon bulkheads were installed and the bow pulled together. At this point I have ply started on the bottom of one hull and next step will to be to do the other hull and finish the bottoms on both hulls. I should be able to get back to this soon as the Tri. is going fast. I may try and sneak in a day of two here and there as well working on it while waiting for other stuff to dry. I will be back when there is something new to report.

Start of the blog below

I started building the RagWing Islander Catamaran in order to sail it in the Upcoming WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge in Sept. I have made very quick progress and have both the hulls almost covered. This is a 20 foot boat with standup headroom in the hulls. I was doing some research for the race and found out that this boat will not fit under the bridges in the Harlow canal. For that reason I am slowing down on it and starting on another that will. If it is not done by race time I will take the puddlecat adventure.

Learning to blog

I am trying to decide how to run the blog. As it was going you would read old stuff first and have to scroll to the bottom to get updates. I am now switching to putting fresh stuff first. I think this will do better for people that actually follow a blog.
Also I am renaming some post because I get off track a lot. Islander catamaran is now Tribal Trimaran and Charleston sailing is now Puddlecat adventure.
As I make updates I will try to keep them grouped.
I will see how this goes. The other idea is to use this as a sort of journal and just put in what I do every day. This would be a jumbled mess of stuff. Maybe I will just start a title of Journal.
Anyway, still learning so things can change easy enough.