UPDATE: Follow Up Report

Team Whynot
I’m not sure if it started as a dare or a joke, but when Dave and I decided it was time to sink our teeth into the WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge event there was no turning back. 100 miles of paddling in 2.5 days or less.

We’ve paddled much of the area covered in the race in the past. In fact, in 2008 we set a course to paddle the entire length of the Core Banks in 4 days. We did it in 3. What did we learn? We learned that we could have walked over 75% of our trip as charted due to the ridiculously shallow depth on the sound side. What we took away from that trip will most certainly be applied to our next.

Dave paddling Falls Lake during hurricane Irene.

Let the training begin
Paddle paddle paddle. Paddling the lakes. Paddling at the coast. If we could put our boat in it, we paddled it. I mean, how else do you train for something like this? Collectively we have paddled this race many times over. We have paddled Falls Lake so many times the local bass fisherman may actually know us by name. We’ve hit the waters around Harker’s Island at the peak of the tide change, paddling with everything we have against a 15 mph wind and tide and barely making forward movement. We even paddled Falls Lake during hurricane Irene’s visit and practiced our assisted rescue skills. And still we paddle. But, to some there should be more. Well, Dave (WaterTribe name: R4) stepped it up even moreso with trail races individually and with his daughter. He is a machine. He is a trail running machine that runs on dedication. Me, well, I stuck with the paddling. And less exciting exercise means such as carpentry, landscaping, and writing a dissertation. As it turns out, my wife and I have decided to put our years of hard work earning our doctorates to use and take a new job, sell our house, and move to New Orleans. In 6 months or less. In a way, the NCC is my last NC paddling hurrah for a while. But, the show must go on! We are now in the final stages of readying ourselves for this race. And it’s going to be an adventure.

Gearing up
Of course, with any organized event there is a list of required items. We’ve got it. But, it’s been a while since either of us have been on a self-supported adventure. So we needed to get some new gear and update our existing stuff. And for that, Great Outdoor Provision Company has been our source for almost everything we needed. Now, the trick is fitting it all into the kayaks. Let the practice packing begin. It begins with a huge pile of gear. You turn it into manageable bundles. You then add it to the numerous, different colored dry bags. Then you figure out where everything fits best, and where it makes sense to stuff or keep things accessible. Then you try to remember where you put everything in your boat and in which bag.

What’s next?
As of right now, we have just over a week to go until the race begins. There is little to do at this point other than paddle to maintain the calluses on our hands and get our last minute items in order. I have a solar panel I am thinking about using to recharge my GPS. Dave and I both are fretting about where and how to attach our self-rescue gear to our boats in an accessible place. We still need to set up our SPOTs for tracking purposes (required by the race organizers). And there is still the question of weather, where (and *if*) to stop and camp, and determining the best routes. The planning never ends. This is an adventure.

Follow their adventure using SPOT GPS links below


Todd Guerdat (aka fishpoo)
I’ve been paddling for 15+ years. I’ve been sea kayaking ever since I realized that it was too much effort to bring two cars to a river. I have a wonderfully supportive wife, Kate, and a 2 year old daughter, Cadence, that tells me how it is every chance she gets. I work at the Raleigh Great Outdoor Provision Co. to feed “the habit”. I am soon to have a PhD in fish poop courtesy of NC State. >> Find Me on SPOT

David Woodard (aka R4)
Compared to Todd, I’m a relative newcomer to the kayaking world, having been sea kayaking for about 7 years. I grew up on the coast and have been boating most of my life. It just took me a while to figure out that it’s a lot more fun and rewarding in a human powered craft. I’m an employment attorney in Raleigh, currently living my second childhood with my two kids of 7 and 9, both of whom are obsessed backpackers and campers and make sure I never forget how much fun it is to sleep on the ground and get really dirty. I have an extremely indulgent wife who is amused by the whole thing, but sometimes wonders how she ended up with three kids. >> Find Me on SPOT