I am a grandmother paddling alone over 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala. Along the way I will be:
- telling the story of the children who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump community
- honoring their entrepreneurial mothers
- talking about the success of the Safe Passage model school and
- raising funds for additional grades for the school.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Paddle Day 83: Contrary Currents, New State and Holiday Break

Deb stopped along the way for more Christmas "shopping"
Last day of paddling before a break for the holidays.  I hadn't bothered to check the currents as there were multiple inlets I would be passing, but that was a big mistake!  Made it much harder to finish up North Carolina and arrive in South Carolina.

Paddle Day 82: Dying Wooden Work Boats, Vultures, and Safe Passage

Wooden fishing boat gradually sinking into the ICW
The large number of vultures made it feel like the garbage dump in Guatemala City.  The large number of dying wooden workboats, fish houses and piers made me sad for an era slipping into the past.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Paddle Day 81: Rainy, Cold and Swift Currents of Cape Fear

Crossing the Cape Fear River
Lots of rain, wind and cool temperatures as I zipped down the Cape Fear River and crossed over to Southport to a warm welcome.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Paddle Day 80: Today's Moral: Don't Give Up!

Coasting along at 3 knots!
Nice day with the current with me, until... against me so strong!  I lost faith in my navigational skills and was about to bail.  I had thought this area would have very strong favorable currents at this hour!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Paddle Day 79: No major challenges, Time to relax on the water, Feeling tired

Pre-dawn departure
The tidal currents required another predawn start.  Lovely sunny day with no challenges from wind or waves.  Time to relax on the water!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paddle Day 78: Relaxed paddle with new friends, Turtle Hospital and Rotary Christmas Party

Jean Beasley with a sea turtle made from plastic garbage. 
Sunny day with two kayakers joining me, little help from the current, and relaxed paddling.  Then a rest day with a visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital and a Rotary Christmas Party!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Paddle Day 77: Dolphins, Bombs and Wild Things

Nice of them to warn me!
Another cold start on the ICW as I paddled through a booming range, a dolphin hangout and an area of wild things to a funky, very friendly marina!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Paddle Day 76: Cold, Tide, Wind, White Stuff and Drought in Guatemala

December ice in Swansboro?
Another predawn, cold start for a short day of paddling mostly against the current.  When the current finally changed, turned a corner and headed right into the increasing winds for an exhausting finish.  Was that ice in the water as I approached the marina?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paddle Day 75: Predawn Paddle, Dolphins, Fluid Plans, and Photo Shoot

Predawn start from N.C. Maritime Museum
On the water before dawn to deal with the currents.  Delighted by lots of dolphins and birds.  Headwinds caused an early stop so there would be time for the photographer from Canoe and Kayak to do a photo shoot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Paddle Day 74: Why did I paddle with gusts to 40 knots?

Why was I kayaking?
NOAA forecast for the Neuse River: Gale Warning, North winds 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 40 knots.  So why did I think I should still kayak? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Paddle Day 73: Half Way Point - Bear - Oriental Welcome

Bernie (who has crossed the US with a mule) welcomes me to Oriental
Eventful day! Passed the half way point of the expedition.  Saw a bear.  Paddled in the calm before the upcoming storm.  Wonderful welcome in Oriental.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Paddle Day 72: Rivers, Sounds and Canals

Crossing the Pamlico
Another long day of kayaking, seeing wildlife (dead - wilddead?) and reconnecting with hosts I met in NJ.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

63 year old Paddling the East Coast is Missing

Today I am sobered by the news story Jim brought back from Elizabeth City.  A 63 year old canoeist is missing.   He was paddling the East Coast along an inland route starting in Lake Champlain.   His gear and overturned canoe were found by duck hunters on Saturday, and the coast guard and others are still searching for him.  I wonder if he was out in those very high winds last week?  My thoughts are with him and his family.  And to my family and friends, know that I will paddle as safely as possible, not take undue risks, and continue to skip sections during high winds and waves.  I am so thankful for the wonderful support network of strangers I have met along the coast who are making it possible for me to remain safe.

Paddle Day 71: My Day of Open Ocean Paddling and Bellhaven Visit

What land?  I don't see any land.
Dense fog made the paddle to Bellhaven an interesting navigational challenge: finding my way and avoiding the other boat traffic.

Paddle Day 70: Along a LONG Canal

My perspective of perspective on the Alligator Pungo Canal
It was seven hours of constant paddling to cover 23.6 miles on a long, straight canal.  The physical challenge was tough.  The mental challenge was tougher.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Paddle Day 69: Hallucinations during 7 hours of paddling

Ralph and Deb at the start of the day
It was a lovely day for a long paddle: sun, moderate temperatures and a long wild area to kayak through.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful I did not Paddle on Wednesday and Tales of the Alligator River

It was the right decision not to paddle across Albermarle Sound in the high winds on Wednesday.

Thanksgiving Loop through North Carolina

We share what we are thankful for before the turkey
Friends drove long distances to share their Thanksgiving holidays with me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Paddle Day 68: Warm Rain, Horses, Sand Dunes and Giving Thanks

Spot of sun on a stormy day
Quick paddle in the morning in warm rain with lots of animals, so I can arrive for lunch at a Rotary Club.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Paddle Day 67: Flat Bay, Lots of Wildfowl, a Bar and a Party

Ralph joined me for part of the paddle
Great day on and off the water, with lots of laughter, including a joke on me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paddle Day 66: Duck Hunting, Rubber Duckie and Tundra Swan

A wonderful gift: a new sticker
A very calm day for the birds, with the constant sounds of the gun shots from the duck hunters, a touching gift of a rubber duck sticker, and a sighting of a tundra swan.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Paddle Day 65: Fast Ride to NC, Close to the 900 mile mark, and Pungo fun

Debbie helping Deb get started for the day
On another cold day, the wind and current pushed me quickly from Virginia to North Carolina and close to passing the 900 mile mark!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Paddle Day 62: Big Ships, Navy Police and the End of the Chesapeake Bay!

Navy Police herding kayakers out into the shipping channel.  Yikes!
Finished up Chesapeake Bay by crossing Hampton Roads, joined by four local kayaking experts, and herded by the Navy Police out into the path of large ships in the shipping lanes.

Sharing Safe Passage stories leads to amazing generosity

John and Andy donate their report card money
I've had three days of telling the Safe Passage story, and the response has been overwhelming.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paddle Day 61: Fighter Jets, Live Bombs and Kayak Sinking

George is blazing!
It was an exciting day with military activities, and then heading to shore with a sinking kayak!

Paddle Day 60: Crossing bay and river, and an amazing welcome in Yorktown

Getting into my amazing SnapDragon sprayskirt
James joined me at the start of the day, George joined me at the end, along with Peggy and friends on the historic boat, Yorktown.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Paddle Day 59: Pleasant paddle over land; Found the Va version of Troy, Me

Deb leaving Gwynn Island
First day of really enjoying the paddling in a long time.  And then arrived in a rural town so similar to my hometown in Maine!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Paddle Day 57: Weather Worsens Enroute, Rescued by Rotarians

Weather catches Deb
The 15 knot winds increased during the day to the edge of what I could handle, but I had a great evening with Rotarians and Kathy and Ted.

Paddle Day 56: Tough Crossing the Potomac, Arriving in Virginia to Meet High School Friends

Starting the long crossing
Anxiety about a long crossing and rounding a rough point, but I arrived in a new state and had a great time with high school friends.

Paddle Day 55: Oyster Farms, Migrating Owls and Navy Towers Blocking Communications

Paddling past some of the Navy towers 
Nice paddle, and then a fascinating evening: experiencing the Navy blocking of all RF communications and then catching migrating owls!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Adventures of Patito Amistoso: Chapter Five

Dear students at Safe Passage and children from around the world,

Playing in a puddle with a sun loving duckie.
It has been fun meeting lots of little duckies as Deb and I paddle along the coast.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Paddle Day 54: Wet, Windy, Wild Waves; and Almost Accidental Rescue

Wet waves leaving Flag Harbor
The plan was to start before dawn, with calmer winds and paddle two days of distance to get ahead of the storm.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Paddle Day 53: Moving ahead of the Storm

Chris helping Deb depart, as she fires up the Delorme inReach Explorer
A big blow is coming, so it's time to make time before it gets here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Paddle Day 52: Lovely Loons and Leaves

Deb landing at Breezy Point
Lovely grey day.  Hearing the occasional loon, reminded me of Maine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Paddle Day 51: Kayakers, Shallows and Lost Gloves

Leaving Annapolis with three photographers on the dock
It felt so good to finally get back on the water!

Friday, October 24, 2014


Deb and Joey Schott at the Eastport Yacht Club
Having a good time in Annapolis as I wait out the days and days of small craft advisories.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paddle Day 50: High Winds Lead to Change of Plans and Plenty of Paddling Women

Rock Hall women spring a surprise welcome!
Started out before dawn to paddle with the tide from Chesterton to Eastern Neck.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Paddle Day 49: Frost, New Paddling Friends and Maryland!

New friend, Laura, paddles out to meet me!
There was frost on the ground before sunrise, as Carlene drove me to my kayak at Beterton Beach.

Heath, Portage and Yet Another Small Craft Advisory!

Looks like summer still at Reboboth Beach
Busy day dealing with medical issues and portaging the kayak.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Paddle Day 48: Melancholy Day, River not Bay, and New State!

Leaving Money Island with help from Megan and the Money Island Marina
Paddling on a cool, overcast day - a melancholy day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Adventures of Patito Amistoso: Chapter Five

Dear Children at Safe Passage and everywhere around the world,
Me telling my new friends about my adventures as we play on the kayak.
It has been an exciting few weeks since New York City and then visiting Deb's grandchildren.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paddle Day 47: Warmer, Windy and Barren

Delaware Bay or The Arctic?  Hard to tell.
It's almost like paddling in the Arctic.

Paddle Day 46: Wet, Cold, Rainy Marsh

Margo and Jill making their outrigger canoes fly!
Easy paddling with the current and a following breeze, but cold and wet.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Paddle Day 45: Paddling to sweat out my cold

Cold day but warm in my NRS neoprene!
Stan and his son, Ethan, got me to the dock in time to catch a favorable tide 90 minutes before it turned.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Yet another Small Craft Advisory Day - Activity packed rest day.

Paddle repair!
Having paddled the last two days in Small Craft Advisories, I found the wind to be quite tough.  So Wednesday I didn't paddle.  Today is a "rest day",  and it's jam-packed with activities!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Paddle Day 44: Beaten to a pulp by the winds and currents and arrive to media and super long distance paddling host

There were many times this day I was ready to give up.

Paddle Day 43: Poor Decision Cuts Journey Short

Deb and Mary (and Donna) Leaving Shipbottom
 The winds were strong out of the west, so I made the poor decision of following the west shore of Little Egg Harbor, rather than staying on the east and battling the waves all day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paddle Day 42: A Long Slog with a Happy Ending

Two SUPs met me and guided me into to my landing at Ship Bottom.
A long day's paddle: seven hours and 24.5 miles.