Last week, we left Monitor reporter Warren Richey stuck in the mud in Florida Bay with fellow paddler "Manitoucruiser," waiting for the tide - or so we thought. Turns out neither was stuck, but each thought the other one was. They were waiting for each other. Last Wednesday morning, they paddled the last 15 miles to Key Largo together. Thus ended the 300-mile Everglades Challenge. Warren was first in Class 1; "Manitoucruiser" was first in Class 3. The race continued up Florida's Atlantic coast.
By Tuesday afternoon, Warren was just north of St. Augustine. He sounded much happier than he had the day before, though he was paddling in the rain and into winds gusting up to 35 m.p.h. A small-craft advisory was in effect. He'd just come through a big storm, though it hadn't washed all the salt out of his shirt.
Monday night he'd paddled until 2 a.m. He'd found a great classic-rock radio station out of Daytona, and the music had kept him going - Hendrix, Queen, Jethro Tull, even Don McLean's "American Pie." He thought he'd reach Fort Clinch - Checkpoint 3 on the Ultimate Florida Challenge - by Wednesday.
Warren is doing great - third overall, behind two sailors, and days ahead of the next Class 1 boat.