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 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.

The place I originally planned to stop was not accessible at low water, so I changed the route.  Getting local knowledge along the way is invaluable - especially since I didn't bring all of the larger scale charts.  Yesterday I asked my husband to mail me the larger scale Maptech charts.  That is extra weight worth carrying.

I had a wonderful time in Wells with the Rotarians.  They know how to have fun and to get things done to help others!

An advantage of doing the longer paddle today is that it makes tomorrow's paddle shorter.  And I am a little anxious about the route from York to Portsmouth.  The only other time I've paddled this section was in 2006 during the Garrish Island boat race.  It was so rough that day that I saw two boats break.  One was a lovely handmade wooden rowing and sailing craft on it's maiden voyage, which was broken on the rocks in Brave Boat Harbor as we paddled out through the rough surf.  The race organizer told us that it was rough out there that day, and told folks there was no shame in taking a more sheltered route to the picnic at the finish line.  My paddling friend and I heard folks describe the conditions as "sporty", so we opted to carry on.   After seeing the wooden boat break, we encountered a capsized kayak.  My friend was in a stable recreational kayak and she stayed and helped the person get back into their kayak.  In my tippy racing kayak I was more of a liability than a help, so opted to carry one.  I could see huge waves breaking over the different reefs  along the course.  I watched a rowing shell get broken, not on the rocks, but just from a wave.  The race organizers had lots of support boats out there and quickly rescued both people and boat parts.  It was so rough that I had a little conversation with myself, promising that if I made it safely to shore, I would never kayak again.  And here I am now on an even bigger and longer kayak expedition than I've done before.

Despite my worries about tomorrow, it was a lovely paddle, passing Cape Neddick and the Nubble light.  Perfect weather and calm seas.  There was a fog bank behind me that rolled in about an hour after I landed in York.  Great timing!

My husband surprised me by meeting me at the dock in York - with my large scale Maptech charts!  A real benefit of having the Delorme inReach Explorer displaying my track every 10 minutes, is that people then know where to meet me, and even can estimate the time when I will arrive.  The "Where's Deb" button on the website and blog are getting a lot of use!

Maine "cottage"
Often when I am kayaking around the many bays of Maine, I enjoy watching the life on shore.  I love to see small cottages with whole families and lots of children enjoying the water and the rocky shore.  My favorite vacation was the one time I managed to get all four of my grandchildren to a cottage on the coast of Maine shore.  What fun.

But as I paddle along this southern coast of Maine, I'm not envious.  There are long stretches of crowded sandy beaches, and I've never been a beach person.  Then there are huge "cottages" along the shore.  That makes me think of the need for servants to keep the places running, and I prefer the simpler, servant free home life.  But looking at the huge "cottage" mansions makes me think of the families living in Guatemala in their simple shelters built out of sheet metal, or even tarps and cardboard, until they save up enough to improve them with cinderblocks.  The contrast is so enormous.
Since my goal is to share the stories of the children and the families in the dump, then I'm glad to be able to give the people in the "cottage" mansions the chance to help the children in Guatemala.

Paddle Day: 8                                                    Date: July 21, 2014
Start: Wells                                                         End: York
Distance: 16.77 miles                                         Total distance: 79.74
Max speed: 5.3 mph                                           Moving ave.: 3.5 mph
Kayak storage: Agamenticus Yacht Club           Hosts: York Rotary Club

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