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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paddle Day 13: Almost made a big mistake, then great fun in Marblehead

Early morning departure from Gloucester, trying to get to Marblehead in time to speak at the Boston Yacht Club with the Marblehead Rotarians.  In approaching House Island, I thought it would be fun to weave between the islands, and then head over to Marblehead.  There were swells rolling right towards the islands.  Now you could see House Island...

House Island ahead

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Paddle Day 10: Zen talk, Cheering boats, and Caught like a fish

Selfie with Rob, who joined me for a few hours
Great sendoff from New Castle Island, with Jewish and Muslim Israeli youth singing for me on the beach!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five hours with the NHPTV film crew and Willem Lange

With the great guys from NHPTV
Over two days I spent 5 hours with the great guys from New Hampshire Public TV, filming for the award winning Windows to the Wild show with Willem Lange.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Storms, Rashes and Blisters

Glad to be sitting this storm out in comfort
Glad I arrived a day early to New Castle.  Means I didn't have to paddle through this storm.   Inclement weather is so much more enjoyable when sitting on a lovely deck on shore!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paddle Day 9: Leaving Maine!

Leaving York Harbor
After all of my anticipation of a tough paddle into Portsmouth...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Paddle Day 8: Anticipation of Rough Paddle and Envy

Nubble Light off Cape Neddick (and my Epic paddle)
Today was a longer paddle than originally planned, because of the tides.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paddle Day 7: Solving Navigation Problems

Hilleberg tent is a comfy home on Trott Island
This day provided some nice learning opportunities with navigation.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Adventures of Patito Amistoso: Chapter 1

Dear children at Safe Passage and children around the world,

Patito Amistoso and his "Fairy Next"
Boy am I having an adventure!

Paddle Day 6: First fully loaded solo, First camp

Kayak resting at Trott Island
Lovely campsite on Trott Island.  Hard work getting here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Paddle Day 4: Fog, Fog, Fish and Furious

What does Deb see?
Dense fog for the entire paddle.  More confused seas.  Getting my navigational legs back under me.  And then a little excitement at the end of the paddle.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Paddle Day 3: Confused Seas and Fog

If it's Maine it has to have a light house!
Set out from South Portland with clear skies, but knew there was fog down at the end of Cape Elizabeth.  Paddled with two new friends, Bob and Marian.  Great company as they pointed out the sights along the way like the War of 1812 forts, the location where the shipyards that built the Liberty ships during WWII and House Island that was used as a quarantine location, but has now been sold to a developer.
War of 1812 fort on House Island

As we went past Portland Head Bob said he had never seen the seas so confused there.  Bumpy ride.

By the time we rounded Cape Elizabeth, we were fogged in, and navigated by compass and listening to the surf crash on the cliffs of the southern edge of the cape.

Landed in Kettle Cove and tried to unpack the kayak and have some lunch, but kept getting interrupted by people coming over and asking if I was the woman they say on the news.  It's great that folks are hearing about this expedition and are interested enough to come over and talk with me and have their pictures taken with me.  I am going to run out of the cards I am handing out before I get to Boston, but that's a good problem.

If it remains foggy tomorrow I may reconsider paddling to Scarborough.  I want to be safe, and I haven't had a lot of hours in the new kayak, so am still not fully at ease with how it handles in waves.  Waves when visibility is reduced by fog are more problematic when you are in an unfamiliar area.  Stay tuned!

Scott, Bill, Deb, Bob and Evie - Paddlers on Day 1, then Bob on Days 3 and 4

Paddle Day: 3                                                     Date: July 14, 2014
Start: South Portland                                           End: Kettle Cove
Distance: 11.1 miles                                           Total distance: 24.23
Max speed: 5.4 mph                                           Moving ave.: 3.4 mph
Kayak storage:  Evie and Bob                            Hosts: Evie and Bob

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Paddle Day 2: High Winds Launch

Paddle Arch by friends and supporters as I launched from Portland  (Photo by Doreen Berry) 
I was a little sad this morning as I prepared to launch.

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY in effect for today's send-off launch

Deb sailing in a light breeze.  No sail going up today!
The flat calm seas on Friday's launch from Yarmouth to Portland were a "too good to be true" start to the expedition.  Today we go from the sublime to the ridiculous.  In planning for today's launch, being forced to launch in the afternoon due to permitting,  and wanting to be as safe as possible in all weather conditions, I opted for a very short paddle today.  Here's why this caution is always the best option:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Paddle Day 1: Launch Day!

Finally!  Today I set off paddling from Maine to Guatemala.
Deb and her four new kayaking friends!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

One day until I launch!

Gifts from the Bangor Breakfast Rotary Club
My calendar sent me a message this morning saying "Begin kayaking! tomorrow".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kayak as Wheelbarrow

Chris demonstrating the use of the kayak as a wheelbarrow.
When we spent the weekend showing off the kayak at the Wooden Boat Show, we used the kayak to haul in the materials for the display.  It was fun when some one called out to us: "Great wheelbarrow!"
Note the final version of the cart we created: rugged, sturdy, but not light weight!  I have great confidence in the wheels, as they have been on several Arctic expeditions with me and successfully hauled a heavy kayak over rocks and tundra!

The kindness of strangers!

New friend I meet in Boothbay, Maine.
One of the things I am looking forward to on the Kayak For Safe Passage Kids expedition is making new friends along the way.  I am so humbled by the kindness of strangers when I talk with them about why I am kayaking from Maine to Guatemala.  One woman in Boothbay was kayaking while I was training.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to get the heavy kayak on and off the car

Expedition kayak on the Yakima rack on my car.
Now that I am about to start my kayak expedition, I'll be leaving behind my car and the challenge of getting the 75# kayak onto and off of the car by myself.  Fortunately, that task was made possible by this great system from Yakima.  I just undo the straps...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fear of starting... What if...?

Whenever I start on an adventure I experience fear.   My monkey mind runs wild.  

What if I get hit by a hurricane?  Yes, yes, I know I have already survived two hurricanes when paddling, but what if this one is bigger and not forecast?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mystic fun and media coverage

Al Jazeera news crew (from NYC) films Deb in Mystic Harbor.  How idyllic is this?
Had a great weekend at the Wooden Boat Show.  Shared the Safe Passage story with lots of folks, and had a fun on the water interview with Al Jazeera.  Their story will broadcast July 12th and 13th.  Can't wait to see how it came out.

Here a couple of links to stories already published.

Portland Press Herald Video

WSCH6 NBC News, Portland, Maine

There were 118 media outlets across the US that picked up the WSCH story on July 2nd - so far!

You can see many more on the Kayak For Safe Passage Kids website.

Will it all fit in the kayak?

Seven bags of gear fill our car.
Fold down the seats in the Jetta Sportswagon.  Fill car with seven bags of gear.  Since it fills the car, wonder how it will ever fit in the kayak.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Self Rescue

Practicing the heel hook
Getting close to launch date!  Spent two hours yesterday practicing self rescues.