17 March, 2011

My 2011 Everglades Challenge

I have had a few questions about why I dropped out of the EC. The first day went great considering the head winds. At one time I was considering camping overnight at Manasota Beach. I considered against it since the next day was forecasting more high headwinds in the morning. I ducked into Stump Pass to take advantage of the incoming tide and continued on to CP#1 arriving at 2AM. CP#1 looked too noisy as a good rest place. The islands all looked battered by the winds blowing across Gasparilla Sound. I continued on to my original destination, Cayo Costa. Through the night I started to cough from the sea water that I took on over the bow.
I woke up in the morning with a fever and a cough. The wind was blowing from the south. I tried sailing against it but decided to turn around after poor progress. My fever continued to rise.  I pitched my hammock on Cayo Costa to get some more rest.  I slept until 3:30PM and felt even worse. My urine started to turn red. I have a Kidney Disease called IGA  Nephritis. Usually not a problem but stay away from Strep and other pulmonary infections. Without antibiotics I can get into a problem very quickly. I called my daughter to arrange a pickup at the Punta Rasa public boat ramp at the Sannibel Island Bridge. My EC Race was over. My real Challenge just started.
I went to the Ft Myers Lee Memorial Hospital where I spent 2.5 days taking Antibiotics and IV. My temperature was running 102-104 Deg F for almost two days. Diagnosis was Aspiratory Pneumonia compounded by my IGA.
The boat worked great and nothing broke. I did not feel tired. I had all the supplies to last the whole week. It was the fever and kidney that did me in. A silent enemy from within…