‘I’ve been hallucinating, talking to a tiny spirit baby hanging onto the boat.’ Our editor paddled through glory and despair in the 300-mile Everglades Challenge.
TWELVE HOURS INTO THE RACE we encounter our first manatee. Our kayak stops with an abrupt thud, the ocean exploding all around. Water boils, we brace, adjusting, hoping to avoid capsizing on top of a 1,000-pound sea cow under the hull.
Welcome to the Everglades Challenge, a long-running “expedition-style adventure race for kayaks, canoes, and small boats.” Your goal is to complete a loosely outlined choose-your-adventure course across Florida’s wildest expanse.