You only have to spend a short time talking with Randy Mims to know that he has the soul of a true sailor. Randy not only built his 27ft gaff-rigged cutter, Ideath, but each year he single-hands the cutter from North Carolina to the Northern Gulf Coast and back again. “Ideath” is pronounced Idea-th and loosely translates as “house of ideas”. Randy stops along the way to visit maritime museums and, indulging his passion for music, he volunteers to sing in church choirs along the way. He also takes time to share his travels with his friends and has agreed to allow SSECN to post his emails. For more photos and more on Randy, go to http://towndock.net/shippingnews/ideath?pg=1 from TownDock.net in Oriental. See previous installment: http://cruisersnet.net/156986.
I am sending this update from LaBelle, Florida. It is located on the Caloosahatchee river in the Okeechobee waterway. I have crossed Lake Okeechobee numerous times both under sail and power depending on the wind. The first time, the wind quit completely and I anchored for the night. The next morning it was so absolutely calm that I spent half a day marveling at how quiet it was. When you are in the middle of a vast body of water and it is so still there is nothing to reflect sound , you can yell as loud as you can and as soon as it leaves your mouth it is like it is just absorbed by the universe. There are two possible routes to the a other side. There is the directly across way which I have always taken and what is called the rim route. Because of disastrous floods in the 1920’s, a channel was dug around the lake and the rock and dirt was used to build the “Herbert Hoover Dike”. This channel has always been too shallow to allow Ideath to try. This year I was pleased to learn that the lake is over two feet above the normal full pool. I have always wanted to experience this route even though it is eleven mile further. Many marsh islands and habitats dot the length of this channel. Near Belle Glade there is a park on Torry Island which is reached by an antique “hand operated” swing bridge. After calling the bridge tender and requesting an opening, a young man walked to the center of the bridge and inserted what looked like about an eight foot long metal tube into the deck of the bridge at about a 45 degree angle and began pushing it around in a circle. Obviously pretty hard to get moving, once he got it going it seemed pretty easy to get it all the way open. One added bonus was that during the entire operation no cars were waiting behind the swing arm barricades. I spent a wonderful day watching clouds of birds and aquatic flowering plants of all descriptions glide past. One of the best things about voyaging on Ideath is that no matter how long I have been doing it, there are always the opportunities to go somewhere or do something that I have always wanted to do but was prevented by some circumstance. Always be ready to take advantage of of an opportunity to do something or be someone when the universe makes it possible. I am starting to get close enough to the end of the voyage that I find myself longing to be there and wishing that it would never end. I hope your adventure is just as fantastic.
Love and Peace to you all,