----WHAT A HOOT----
Wanting to experience a new adventure, Dipper, Sean
Gaultois, the Sungod, IMAX, Viking, and Goat travelled to the
Northumberland Staright town of Pugwash to compete in the Wet and Wild
Ocean and Island Orienteering Race. It was a ball and definitely an
event to put on our 2002 schedule. After the 2 hour drive and necessary
Timmies stops we arrived, greeted by growing winds and showers.
Registered, we holed up in our car to study the map for the best
route(s) to most quickly find the check points.
There were basically three divisions, 1--paddle only 200 meters to
Victoria Islands, find seven check points on the 2 sq. km, and return to
home base, or 2--paddle the perimeter of the Pugwash Bay, 2 km in either
direction from start, finding the 16 checkpoints in various coves and
inlets, or 3-- DO IT ALL. Actually there were six divisions as each
division was for canoe or kayak. There was a total of about 16 craft,
the GONZO Adventure Team deciding to enter the whole thing.
The gun was fired and we had three hours to complete as many check
points as possible. IMAX and Sungod in their Recreational style
Penobscot 16, turned left and headed inland up the bay, with the tide,
hoping when they turned around the tide would have peaked and we would
not be fighting going back. We immediately had a lead on the other craft
going in our direction "knowing" only one craft (Viking and Goat in
their 'Stealth') going the other way, that is faster than us. We
proceded to knock off the check points, pulling futher ahead of all the
craft, except for a tough kayak, turned around and headed against the
tide for the Island. We passed Dipper and Sean in their Camper having
trouble in the tide and cross winds. It is fair to note that IMAX,
Sungod Viking, and Goat have a fair amount of experience in both canoes
and waves while they were rookies. What we recognized as pretty serious
conditions later on must have been double that to them. Our strategic
decision #1, to start with the tide, turned out to be a bad one. The
tide was still coming in and going through the narrows at the bridges,
it was like paddling up river-starting to hurt.
After getting into the open bay we were not only fighting the tide but
were going into 3 foot swells, with white caps. It was now more
important to keep as direct into the wind as the fastest course to the
island.-hurting more. Half way across the bay we passed Viking and Goat
going the other way, having completed the far end of the bay and the
island. At this time second place didn't seem like a bad goal.
We landed on the island, crashed through the brush and proceded to run?
around the trail knocking off the checkpoints. We ran? so fast we went
right past one and had to go back. Error #2. Once back in the boat we
proceded to keep heading up the bay on the windy side of the island
because it was shortest route, Error #3. After ploughing into the waves
for 3 minutes we decided, assuming we can paddle faster than swim, to
turn around and backtrack to the lee of the island and up the other
Requireing six more checkpoints up the bay, we past the finish line at
2:10pm. 50 minutes to go get em. We knew we could get 4, the other 2 we
would assess at turn around time. The first two we would get on the way
back. Head down and paddle-1, head down and paddle-2, it is now 2:25pm,
let's go for it, we would have the wind coming back. We proceded to go
get'em, turned with the wind and AWAY we go. Slowing only to knock off
the last of the check points, we FLEW back to the finish with 15 minutes
Before we got to the finish we noticed Viking and Goat had already
raised the victory flag. In full view was the 'Stealth' firmly tied on
top of the trailor. We were thinking second was a posibility, not
knowing that other teams had also decided to go in a different direction
that we didn't know about. In these craft were a girl who happened to be
a one time national level orienteering competitor and today a coach of
the same, some guy who is on the executive of NS Orienteering whatever.
Oh well, 4th place is pretty good.
For the record, of the teams that did the 'FULL' course, the Stealth was
numero uno, the Penobscot was 4th and the Camper 6th.
AND IT WAS AS MUCH FUN AS WE HAD IN A LONG TIME. A DEFINITE 2ND ANNUAL
The Sun god