Testing, training, and preparation have been the forefront of life at the Tennessee WaterTribe Adventure Challenge Consortium River: Core Sound Build Sector at the Captains Quarters on GoatHead Ranch.  

Ok, ok it’s simply the barn behind the house where the magic and the work both hard and easy, takes place when I feel inspired and the spirit moves me.  Its been moving me a lot this month as the drums beat louder and more insistent in my head.

Last year the newly constructed boat with fresh paint was pretty and bright like a newly minted coin to be treasured and loved.  This year the boat is rough–more like a commercial fishing boat without the smell of decaying fish.  This year it is a tool.  Groot has been drilled, screwed, punched, cut, adapted and rigged for more efficient use of–well, just about everything from a Code Zero headsail to an anchoring system tended to from the cockpit to the installation of a shielded mounted Samsung pad with Navtronics Charting System for a more visual navigation system.  I Am Groot is no longer just another pretty boat, but an aggressive, “mean motorscooter and a bad go-getter”.

Took the boat to the lake previous Saturday to test the Code Zero and the boat with no ballast water in air of 1 to 3 mph.
We went Sunday for the same testing, no ballast, in 8 to 12 mph.
I felt kinda disappointed when I received the sail.  I thought it was likely too heavy and too small for what I was hoping to accomplish.  My thoughts were as wrong as a fart in church.
On the light air Saturday we increased our speed from 0-.5 mph to 1 to 2 mph.  Basically we went from not feeling any air on our faces to feeling air. 
This Sunday in 8 to 12, no ballast water, we increased our speed with the Code Zero by 2 to 4 mph, though it was gusty so it was hard to measure.  We started reefing at eight mph, but before we did we found we could point considerably higher with the Code Zero.  Not sure how much since we did not have a steady compass.
We know the Code Zero will point higher, move us faster probably up to winds of 12 mph with ballast water, maybe higher.   
Oddly enough the Zero, unlike the main and mizzen, works sheeted closer then we anticipated.  So the rules:  mainsail do not pinch, keep it open but keep the Zero in tight.
These pics with the Zero furled are the only ones we have at the moment.



Our oars last year were pathetic but with some extension and a bit of weight judiciously place they work quite well for this year.

When it’s cold, like today, there are many other preps to tend to that take thought and time to sort out.  One of them is rations.  Here my eats for this year.

The life jacket( PFD), one of the most important elements to get right is also completed.  Because I am not on the Hobie and we have an actual cockpit in the Core Sound the gear is carried differently.  The basic rule is “Two is One and One is none.  So basically there are at least two of most everything.  For me, that means two headlights, flashlights, emergency beacons in the SPOT and the personal locator beacon,(PLB), knives, radio, energy bars and small Arial rockets and singles of VHF radio, (though Kyle has one also), bug head net, gloves, bug repellent, zipper lubricant, sunblock, chapstick, whistle, and a water-activated LED strobe attached to the back.

As we put things together we will record them here.