We did it! Cathy & Randy pushed me through the hardest event I've ever done (even harder than childbirth, well at least it was for me) and I finished in France just south of Cap Blanc after 11:45 of swimming. It all started at 3:30 from Shakespeare beach just as the wind picked up (all the other smart swimmers went at 2:30 from down the coast). I swallowed some salt water early, rode 4hrs of nasty waves and puked for the next 4 hours. Cathy was so supportive that she puked too for that period just so I wouldn't feel lonely :D.
Randy, Allison (pilot) and Jim (observer) came up with the miracle cure of a 4oz. drink of 8x strength Maxim (carb drink) that broke the cycle about 1:30 into a severe bonk that had me unbelievably close to touching the boat and quiting. I got up to nearly 50% mental capacity and only yaked one more time before arriving in France.
Cathy and Randy were outstanding and I would be writing a difference story (with my tail between my legs) without them.
My parents were even able to hook up with me at the beach in France using GPS from the boat! How cool is that!
Sounds like the AIS tracking was not working today. Adam and Jeff's pilots use a different system (not run by volunteers) and it has been extremely reliable.
That's abridged version because I have had to rest my arms 4 times while writing this and eat a box of nutrigrain bars to keep the lightheadedness away. Time for some sleep.
Actually, one other thing, tomorrow looks like a good day for Jeff and possibly Adam if 2 spots are open with their pilots so check back tonight for more news. Cheers!