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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Paddle Day 24: Fast Paddle to Newport - Why am I so tired?

Here comes the sun!
Got up very early start to get into Newport at slack current.
It should have been a rest day, but it was so calm I wanted to make the exposed paddle into Newport.

First saw the rising sun reflected off of the huge windows of the huge Newport mansions about six miles across the bay in front of me.

Tiny mansions of Newport in the distance

Feeding frenzy on the water
Fun seeing terns and gulls feeding on a group of fish near the surface.

It was a bit dicey along the southern edge of Newport, as the swells were rolling in and breaking over the ledges.  I had to decide whether to go way out around the ledges, or head in and weave between the ledges and the shore.  Fortunately I saw a sailboat on the inner route and decided to head in.  Once I was committed to heading through the swells, I looked again for the sailboat.  What sailboat?  There was none to be seen.  Had I been hallucinating?   

I managed to paddle fast enough to come into Newport on the slack current, but I still had to cross the shipping lane.  As usual, I crossed at right angles to minimize the time I was in the channel, and I waited until there was a large gap in the traffic.  But that distant ship was a little faster than I had calculated, and it looked like it was on a collision course with me.  Now, of course, the kayak technically has the right of way.  But in actual practice, that means nothing.  It is my job to get out of the way of the ship.  I upped my paddling cadence and sprinted with all of my might.  I made it out of the channel in time, and hit over 7 miles an hour, without the help of wind or current - a personal best for this kayak.

Coming into land at Jamestown.
Chris and I played tourist, including walking the grounds of The Breakers,  the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, and looked over to the lighthouse where I had started the day. 
Deb at The Breakers, with the Sakonnet light house in the background.
It's tough to be seeing the opulence of Newport, and to be thinking of the Safe Passage children and families living around the dump in Guatemala City.   Exhausted today.  Lots of hard paddling.  Glad tomorrow is a rest day.  And then I think of the exhaustion of the families in Guatemala.  Mine is nothing in comparison.

Paddle Day: 24                                                      Date: August 25, 2014
Start: Sakonnet                                                     End: Newport/Jamestown
Distance: 13.4 miles                                             Total distance: 278.81 miles
Max speed: 7.1 mph                                               Moving ave.: 3.7 mph
Kayak storage: town beach                                    Host: Harley and Lisa Lee

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