A Beachin’ End to My 2013 Everglades Challenge Attempt…

Just checking in to let you know that I did indeed survive a landing on Fort Myers Beach after Discovery’s rudder gudgeon loosened on the transom. It never came off, but it would have if I kept going. It appears that the core material between the transom and liner let go, so there would have been no safe way to tighten the mounting bolts. Additionally, I heard some nasty fiberglass noises, so it was definitely time to beach. I was hoping to spot the Holiday Inn on the beach, as that’s where we have our company Christmas party each year, and I thought I might be able to use that annual multi room booking block to my advantage somehow, but I couldn’t spot it, so I aimed at the hotel with the biggest crowd (this is the beginning of spring break) I simply aimed for the biggest college guys I could find, and ran Discovery through the breakers and up on shore. Four guys jumped up and helped me drag the boat out of the surf, with the only casualty a spilled cup of Baileys. Conveniently for him, I happened to HAVE a full flask of Irish Cream (for my  coffee) so I topped him off, immediately drank the rest, and then we all got some pictures taken.

... All's well that ends with survival!

… All’s well that ends with survival!

The piratical-looking swagger was accidental (since Discovery has a prominent bowsprit, it does come pretty easily, though: if I had a cannon on the bows, it’d be a requirement)… the big guy to my left had simply put his arm on my shoulder and darn near knocked me over!  Of course, the Bailey’s may have had something to do with it, along with my wobbly sea legs!  I never got their names, but I’m hoping they’ll contact me and let me know.  I’d like to mention them here with a proper thanks.

I’ll write more about it later, but for now, I’m catching up on some much needed
rest (rescuing the boat took a LOT of driving and work!)  However, special thanks go to KayakCowboy, SeaFrog, and SeaFrogs’ 3 friends, Gil Gilkison, Roy Merz, and Fran Carley. These 5 gentlemen answered by call for assistance in getting the boat off the beach, and the 6 of us simply carried Discovery right through The Outrigger Inn’s outdoor bar to the parking lot, and onto the trailer!  Thanks guys… seriously.

I also want to be sure to thank Go2Outfitters for all the help they have given me on my Challenge attempts- they are a GREAT outfit with everything you need to plan your own adventure.  Additionally, Feeding Children Everywhere, the fantastic charity whose name I carried on the bow, gets mentioned both for the great jobthey do worldwide, and for the hot food their meals provided me on those nights in the low 40’s.  Check them out: they are a very worthwhile, and totally privately funded, charity that feeds kids the world over, including right here in America.

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One Response to A Beachin’ End to My 2013 Everglades Challenge Attempt…

  1. Pingback: SailBirdMike’s Final 2013 Everglades Challenge Report (Part 3): | Clarity... in sailing, and in life

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