Checkpoint Choko – The Deadline Looms…

Tomorrow at 10 AM, CP-2 at Chokoloskee closes.  Any WaterTribers arriving after that will receive a DNF, unless dispensation has been issued by Chief.  I’m going to post Chief’s decision here:

“The CP2 deadlines are not being extended. This is because we have a brick wall deadline at Key Largo and if you can’t make the deadline at CP2 it is going to be even harder to get to Flamingo and then Key Largo on time. There are alternate routes that can help you avoid open water and you are even somewhat protected from the wind. Take a hard look at your charts if you did not put alternate routes in your GPS. Easy for me to say – I know.

Consider too that the CP2 to CP3 leg is very remote and it is not as easy to drop out if you need to. If and when you get to CP2 you must do a hard core assessment of your abilities and conditions and decide if you really can make Flamingo. It is not prudent to call out the coast guard and put other lives at risk along with your own. There is honor in doing the right thing and no honor is lost when conditions are this bad for such an extended period. Look at the WaterTribe legends that have already had to drop. They didn’t like it but they did the right thing.

All that being said, we will assess things on a case by case basis. Normally two missed deadlines is a strong indication that conditions are beyond your capabilities.”

Some unfamiliar with WaterTribe or Chief may think this is worded a bit tough… but what we do IS tough.  If you have followed this blog, you know that we retired from the 2011 Everglades Challenge, and that we found no shame in that at all.  It WAS above our capabilities to finish.  Capabilities in this case can mean man, machine, and mother nature,  or any combination of the three.  Chief simply stated fact as fact.

The important thing nw is that ground crews and shore contacts get the word out to their Triber, so the Triber can begin the decision making process.  And shore crew/contacts, keep this in mind: your Triber has been out there a long time, in some incredibly rough conditions.  They may well need your help in making the right decisions.  Forget about attaching much importance to finishing, rather, help them assess the situation and decide it it’s safe, responsible, and prudent for them to continue.

I value my fellow WaterTribers greatly.  Let’s all meet on the beach next March, talk about this March, and do it all over again!

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2 Responses to Checkpoint Choko – The Deadline Looms…

  1. Steve anderson says:

    I have ben watching on your site with great interest, but can’t post there. Sew sew just pushed help button. Can you get an update?

    • Mike says:

      SewSew’s help button has been an issue for the past 24 hours… SPOTS are not 100% reliable. If this helps any, even if it were a true ‘help’ signal, the ‘help’ signal means that help will be required at the next stop, checkpoint, or shore landing. Essentially, it notifies your shore contact. The emergency (911) button is the one to push when you want help to come to you on the water. It notifies EVERYBODY, including the Coast Guard and other rescue services, public and private.

      Thanks for following along… and more importantly, thanks for commenting about the issue. It’s always good to know that people are looking out for you when you’re out there!

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