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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Paddle Day 54: Wet, Windy, Wild Waves; and Almost Accidental Rescue

Wet waves leaving Flag Harbor
The plan was to start before dawn, with calmer winds and paddle two days of distance to get ahead of the storm.It was a good plan, and started well.
Predawn start at Flag Harbor
On the water before dawn.  But the calm winds concept was missing.  It had been blowing all night and building up waves, which were waiting for me right at the harbor entrance.

It only built over the morning, and kept pushing me into the Nuclear Power plant...

Nuclear Power Plant - see me glow
and into the LNG import/export facility.  But I managed to stay out of the security zones.

It was less wave action near the cliffs.

Smaller waves, but still wet.
By the time I was approaching the Cove Point Light House, it was clear I wasn't making enough progress to proceed out into the white cap filled Bay.  I found a protected beach to land near the light house, as I figured there had to be a road near there.  
I walked up to the light house, saw cars in the parking lot, but there was a barbed wire fence I couldn't cross.  I used the vhf radio to try to contact the folks in the light house.  But of course, it was the coast guard who immediately answered when I mentioned a kayaker needing help.  It took several very clear sentences saying that I was on land and no-one was in the water for the coast guard to stand down.  I waved over two guys coming out of the light house.  They were just tourists renting it for the weekend.  (They should have a wonderful view of the storm this weekend!)  The guys agreed to help me haul my kayak, but to get to their parking lot would have involved going right around the point on rip-rap with the kayak.  Just asking for someone to turn their ankle.  But by the time the three of us got to the kayak, Shane had arrived down a path through the marsh.  He had figured exactly where I was from the Delorme inReach Explorer signal and found the closest road, and a path through the LNG property.  So not long after Shane arrived, an LNG security guy arrived, thanks to the coast guard letting him know a kayaker needed help getting through their fence.  
Helpful Dominion LNG security guard
After checking our identities and seeing that we were not actually in the security zone, he kindly open the gate so the four of us could carry the kayak to Shane's truck.  Using the technique that Russel Bertrand had devised, we got the kayak secured to the the pick-up.
Kayak attached and ready for Halloween.
Now I have to figure out how to proceed.   Clearly no kayaking until Monday as there are three days of small craft advisories and gale warnings.  Here's where having a fixed schedule with hosts waiting and talks arranged gets in the way of paddling.  But that's the breaks.  Stay tuned for the solution!

Having a wonderful time getting my communications done at Shane and Amy's.  I'm warm and cozy in the camper in their driveway, and being fed royally by their fantastic cooking.  I was so glad to hear they are thinking of writing a cookbook.  I'd definitely buy one!  I'm also enjoying their son Nicholas who showed me the lego stage he built for his hermit crabs to perform!  I see a budding scientist here!

Tonight is a get together with Rotarians and others at the Ruddy Duck.  Should be great fun!

Paddle Day: 54                                                        Date: October 31, 2014
Start: Breezy Point                                                  End: Cove Point
Distance: 8.5 miles                                                  Total distance: 713.6 miles
Max speed:  4.7 mph                                                Moving ave.: 3.2 mph
Kayak storage:  Shane Boswell                                  Host: Amy and Shane Bowell


  1. Whew! When you were in Belmar NJ you were joking that things would get boring; you've had more than your share of adventures! You're amazing --- here's to smooth paddling!

  2. I'm so looking forward to our mini-high school reunion this week in Reedville! Deb, Francine, Linda & Kathy...though we still don't know if the marine forecast will dictate a Tuesday or Wednesday meeting! Anyway, a couple of nights off accompanied by a little seafood & wine will be lots of fun. Can't wait to see you, Deb! Kathy :o)