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.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Paddle Day 83: Contrary Currents, New State and Holiday Break

Deb stopped along the way for more Christmas "shopping"
Last day of paddling before a break for the holidays.  I hadn't bothered to check the currents as there were multiple inlets I would be passing, but that was a big mistake!  Made it much harder to finish up North Carolina and arrive in South Carolina.

Paddle Day 82: Dying Wooden Work Boats, Vultures, and Safe Passage

Wooden fishing boat gradually sinking into the ICW
The large number of vultures made it feel like the garbage dump in Guatemala City.  The large number of dying wooden workboats, fish houses and piers made me sad for an era slipping into the past.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Paddle Day 81: Rainy, Cold and Swift Currents of Cape Fear

Crossing the Cape Fear River
Lots of rain, wind and cool temperatures as I zipped down the Cape Fear River and crossed over to Southport to a warm welcome.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Paddle Day 80: Today's Moral: Don't Give Up!

Coasting along at 3 knots!
Nice day with the current with me, until... against me so strong!  I lost faith in my navigational skills and was about to bail.  I had thought this area would have very strong favorable currents at this hour!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Paddle Day 79: No major challenges, Time to relax on the water, Feeling tired

Pre-dawn departure
The tidal currents required another predawn start.  Lovely sunny day with no challenges from wind or waves.  Time to relax on the water!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paddle Day 78: Relaxed paddle with new friends, Turtle Hospital and Rotary Christmas Party

Jean Beasley with a sea turtle made from plastic garbage. 
Sunny day with two kayakers joining me, little help from the current, and relaxed paddling.  Then a rest day with a visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital and a Rotary Christmas Party!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Paddle Day 77: Dolphins, Bombs and Wild Things

Nice of them to warn me!
Another cold start on the ICW as I paddled through a booming range, a dolphin hangout and an area of wild things to a funky, very friendly marina!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Paddle Day 76: Cold, Tide, Wind, White Stuff and Drought in Guatemala

December ice in Swansboro?
Another predawn, cold start for a short day of paddling mostly against the current.  When the current finally changed, turned a corner and headed right into the increasing winds for an exhausting finish.  Was that ice in the water as I approached the marina?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paddle Day 75: Predawn Paddle, Dolphins, Fluid Plans, and Photo Shoot

Predawn start from N.C. Maritime Museum
On the water before dawn to deal with the currents.  Delighted by lots of dolphins and birds.  Headwinds caused an early stop so there would be time for the photographer from Canoe and Kayak to do a photo shoot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Paddle Day 74: Why did I paddle with gusts to 40 knots?

Why was I kayaking?
NOAA forecast for the Neuse River: Gale Warning, North winds 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 40 knots.  So why did I think I should still kayak? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Paddle Day 73: Half Way Point - Bear - Oriental Welcome

Bernie (who has crossed the US with a mule) welcomes me to Oriental
Eventful day! Passed the half way point of the expedition.  Saw a bear.  Paddled in the calm before the upcoming storm.  Wonderful welcome in Oriental.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Paddle Day 72: Rivers, Sounds and Canals

Crossing the Pamlico
Another long day of kayaking, seeing wildlife (dead - wilddead?) and reconnecting with hosts I met in NJ.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

63 year old Paddling the East Coast is Missing

Today I am sobered by the news story Jim brought back from Elizabeth City.  A 63 year old canoeist is missing.   He was paddling the East Coast along an inland route starting in Lake Champlain.   His gear and overturned canoe were found by duck hunters on Saturday, and the coast guard and others are still searching for him.  I wonder if he was out in those very high winds last week?  My thoughts are with him and his family.  And to my family and friends, know that I will paddle as safely as possible, not take undue risks, and continue to skip sections during high winds and waves.  I am so thankful for the wonderful support network of strangers I have met along the coast who are making it possible for me to remain safe.

Paddle Day 71: My Day of Open Ocean Paddling and Bellhaven Visit

What land?  I don't see any land.
Dense fog made the paddle to Bellhaven an interesting navigational challenge: finding my way and avoiding the other boat traffic.

Paddle Day 70: Along a LONG Canal

My perspective of perspective on the Alligator Pungo Canal
It was seven hours of constant paddling to cover 23.6 miles on a long, straight canal.  The physical challenge was tough.  The mental challenge was tougher.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Paddle Day 69: Hallucinations during 7 hours of paddling

Ralph and Deb at the start of the day
It was a lovely day for a long paddle: sun, moderate temperatures and a long wild area to kayak through.