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.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paddle Day 41: Good-bye Atlantic Ocean. Hello Inland Waterway.

Leaving the Shark River Inlet
The surf was too high to launch on the New Jersey shore.
Chris helped me portage to the closest inlet where I could launch.   (Thank goodness for my Yakima roof racks!)  Because of the breakwalls, it's possible to get out through the surf more safely at the inlets.  Once out in the Atlantic Ocean again it was a dull and dreary day.  Fall had arrived.  There were no bathers on the beaches.  No pleasure boats on the water.  The only sign of life was a few surfers.

Pensive last look at the Atlantic Ocean
Right before I headed into the Manasquan Inlet, I said "good-bye" to the Atlantic Ocean.  This would be the last day I'd paddle the Atlantic before I get to Guatemala, as the rest of my route will probably be on the inland waterway.  I was glad to be making progress and to have gotten to this point.  It meant the toughest paddling of the trip was hopefully behind me.  But I was also a little sad.  It's the end of summer.  The end of the ocean paddling, so the rest will probably be less exciting.
Entering the Manasquan - past the breakwall as sculpture
The current was swift as I went in the Manasquan Inlet.  I was once again on the inside, but the excitement returned when I saw that the bascule bridge was lowering in front of me and  I wouldn't be able to pass under it.
Bascule bridge being lowered across my path.
The current was rushing me towards the bridge.  I couldn't back paddle fast enough to stand still.  I had to turn and paddle up a little side creek to wait until the bridge lifted again and I could pass.

At the marina at the planned end of the day's paddle, it was verified in no uncertain terms that I would not be allowed to kayak through the Point Pleasant canal.  Darn!  I was hoping to just sneak through.

To catch the favorable currents, I had left the Snake River early in the morning, and it was only 10 in the morning when I had finished my expected route for the day.   The forecast for the next day included gusts of 30 knots.  After portaging the canal, I decided to take advantage of the calmer weather and do the next day's paddle as well.
Inside: gray and calm
It was definitely hard to stay motivated on the calmer inside waters.  I could stop paddling at any time without fear of being blown backwards.  But all it took was thinking about the children at Safe Passage, and I'd get the motivation to continue!
Deb and Merry
Chris and I had a wonderful time with our hosts Merry and Tom, and some friends of theirs.  It is so much fun spending time with people that you wish you'd known all your life!

Paddle Day: 41                                                          Date: Sept. 30, 2014
Start: Shark River                                                      End: Seaside
Distance: 17.8 miles                                                 Total distance: 519.83 miles
Max speed:  7.0 mph                                                 Moving ave.: 3.5 mph
Kayak storage:  Yakima roof racks                             Host: Merry and Tom Brennan
                 then Hobby Lobby Marine 

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