We Made It!!

By Johna Till Johnson and Vladimir Brezina
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

Down the outside on the first day

We completed the 2014 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in 7 days and about 14½ hours. We set no records—in fact, we were among the last to finish. But in a race in which many worthy competitors don’t finish, simply completing the course within the 8-day time limit felt like a “win”. (Plus, we got snazzy sharktooth necklaces to commemorate the event!)

As expected, it was quite an adventure: Bright sunshine, dark nights, wind, rain, laughter, tears, friendly and scary creatures, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, hallucinations… and water, 300 miles of it. We made friends and discovered many things that worked, and quite a few that didn’t.

Our writeup is forthcoming, but meanwhile, here are some of the photographic highlights (click on any photo to start slideshow):

Update March 17, 2014: Our writeup begins here.

140 responses to “We Made It!!

  1. Vlad and Johna, congratulations many times over! 300 x 2, I like that! I followed your progress and it was hard to type with my fingers crossed for you that last day as it got closer and closer to 8 days. What an epic achievement. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, like so many others I am really looking forward to your posts when you have time to share the best of times and worst of times.


  2. I love how you get away from it all


  3. So glad you survived! Beautiful pics. Couldn’t help but contrast this with our Winter Park boat tour – that’s more my speed :)


  4. You’ve chosen such a lovely way to see the world. But that tent has claustrophobia written all over it for me. ;-) Thanks for sharing … Dorothy


  5. Wow, congrats! I admire your courage, fortitude, stamina, bravery, and adventuresome spirits! Just wow!


  6. Wow! Congratulations to you & Johna! What an accomplishment. You must be proud of yourselves. Did you go and get massages afterwards?
    I’m glad that you took the time to take pictures along the way. They’re beautiful! I’m looking forward to your writeup.


  7. Pingback: Everglades Challenge, Overview | Wind Against Current

  8. My apologies for being late with this. What a great achievement! Congratulations! :-)


  9. Thank you again Vlad and Johna. Crossing your paths during the race was a blessing for me! Cheers!
    Mike (Rawhide)


    • You are most welcome, Mike! I am glad we were able to help in a small way at least. That’s what the WaterTribe is about, we, like you, are learning. It would be a very different race if one had to do it alone—and you weren’t alone.

      I hope our paths will cross again soon. Maybe at EC2015? ;-) Or we may get crazy and do a downriver paddle, who knows? :-)


  10. Krásné fotky, úžasný výkon. Blahopřeju! :-)


  11. Some great shots as usual. I especially liked to two dawn shots. Simply marvelous. Sounds pretty grueling. I’ll be looking forward to reading about it. And thanks for dropping by my blog. I’m glad you dropped by so this time I could remember to follow you. :) I’m not a kayaker myself, but you spin a great tale and take wonderful photos.


  12. Such a beautiful adventure, thanks for sharing the photos, it was like being there:)


  13. Blogging has been sidelined by other ventures, so I am very belated with heartfelt congratulations on a real achievement. Planned for by both, longed for by both, accomplished by both. Bravi! Now I can catch up with the rest of your posts —


  14. always love seeing your pictures- they are so colourful ;)


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