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.

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.

This morning Bob asked if I would mind him paddling along for another day.  Let's see, paddling with an expert paddler who is familiar with the area, knows the history and is great company?  Tough decision, especially since I hadn't been looking forward to paddling in the dense fog.

If you look at my planned route versus our track, you'll see we opted to shorten the trip by portaging across a sand spit, rather than going out around Richmond Island.  That was easy with two people to carry each boat.
Bob and Deb portaging sandbar at Richmond Island
I love navigating by just compass and chart, so got out my protractor and string and we plotted a 5 mile crossing straight across to some rocks just off Prout's Neck.  It's hard when you want to head straight across into the dense fog, and yet this self preservation instinct keeps over-riding your conscious mind, and you find yourself drifting off course heading closer to shore and deeper into the bay.   After over an hour of paddling over swells and some lumpy seas, we finally heard the surf, but it was not the rocks we had aimed for, but the surf on the beach deeper in the bay.  I finally resorted to using my GPS to pinpoint our location and keep us on track as we rounded Prout's Neck.  Today felt more like a virtual paddle, seeing only the chart and fog.  We could have been anywhere!

The final paddle was running with the tide into the Scarborough River, and there the fog finally began to lift enough to see a little of the land.  I was also startled to see a four foot sturgeon leap almost straight out of the water!  But the final fun was running though a section of fast water running furiously over a shallow bottom, as the sea appeared to be jumping up and down everywhere in little patches.  A green can marking the channel was partially submerged by the force of the current, as we flew up the river.

By taking our shortcuts we managed to land well before the intense thunderstorms began.  In early evening, a mircoburst took down large trees a few miles away.  I'm glad I'm not paddling tomorrow during the rest of the thunderstorms!

The storms and rain tonight makes me think of the families living in the garbage dump community.  During the rainy season the water runs calf deep through the narrow pathways between their tightly packed houses.  It pours right through the houses built on the sides of the ravine, washing away possessions and washing in garbage.  Please join me in helping the children living in these homes by using the Give Now button to make a donation.

After dinner with the Scarborough Rotarians and families

Paddle Day: 4                                                             Date: July 15, 2014
Start: Kettle Cove                                                       End: Scarborough
Distance: 8.68 miles                                                   Total distance: 32.91
Max speed: 7.6 mph                                                   Moving ave.: 3.4 mph
Kayak storage:  Scarborough Town Landing             Hosts: Scarborough Rotary Club

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