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, November 24, 2014

Paddle Day 67: Flat Bay, Lots of Wildfowl, a Bar and a Party

Ralph joined me for part of the paddle
Great day on and off the water, with lots of laughter, including a joke on me.
 Ralph is spending so much time driving me between his house and the put ins and take outs.  This means I get to learn a lot about the history and culture of the area, which is fascinating.  Waterfowl hunting has been the prime mover for many decades on the inner shores of the bays here.  I passed so many duck blinds today and was really glad it was a Sunday so no hunting occurs.

Deb on the gray bay
I'm trying a new approach to dealing with my wrist, arm, shoulder pain.  I changed the feather angle on my paddle from my usual 75 degrees to 45 degrees.  It made it much less painful on the water.  Let's see if it is paddling or blogging that is the major culprit.

Ralph drove down to my take out spot at Grandy and started paddling from there to meet me.  We had the best part of the day together as we paddled through Rattlesnake Creek and other creeks through the marshes.  I didn't see any rattlesnakes or even any cotton mouths, the other poisonous snakes I recall from my childhood near here.  I could hear the birds from within the marsh, and saw three snow geese flying over.

We were able to paddle really close to tundra swans.  We were so stealthy in our paddling that we didn't frighten them into flight.  Maybe they too realize it is Sunday and no hunting.

Two swans off Deb's bow
Or maybe there is another explanation.  One that could also explain my sighting of a tundra swan the day before.
Blind, Ralph and birds
Deb and swans

The fact that there was a variety of birds right around a duck blind should have been my first clue!
Patito riding on the back of his latest friend
The clincher was seeing Patito playing with his new friends and getting rides on their backs.  As Patito says, "What do you mean they are not real?  They are as real as I am!"  These were just plastic decoys, but there is a tradition here of wonderful hand carved and painted wooden decoys as well.

We took out at Barry's Walnut Island, which is a great restaurant, bar,  boat ramp,  motel and campground.  The reception was overwhelming as I walked into the bar to find a place to change into dry clothing.  Everyone wanted to shake my hand, talk, have a picture taken, and donate to the cause!
Barry and Donna Nelms and the friendly crowd at the bar.
In the evening, Ralph and Donna had a group of friends at their home for a few hours to meet me and hear about Safe Passage.  What great questions they asked!

Ralph and I looked over the weather forecasts for the coming days.  The winds of 20 to 25 knots from the north with gusts to 35 k predicted for Wednesday means I will not be able to paddle across Albermarle Sound as scheduled for that day.  I could do it on Tuesday, but I have a lunch time presentation at the North Banks Rotary Club.  So once again fundraising is taking precedence over paddling, and I'll be getting a ride over to the Alligator River.

Paddle Day: 67                                                        Date: Nov 23, 2014
Start: Coinjock                                                        End: Grandy
Distance: 13.7 miles                                                Total distance: 905.9 miles
Max speed:  4.9 mph                                               Moving ave.: 3.2 mph
Kayak storage:  Barry's Walnut Island                       Hosts: Ralph and Donna Buxton

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