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 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?
Like my pre-dawn halo?
It was a chilly 34 degrees when Jeff and I started paddling. I had done too much packing of wet items without gloves so had cold fingers.  Once I put on my cashmere gloves inside my neoprene gloves, I still could not feel all of my fingers for over an hour.  The hand in the wind remained chilly most of the day.  Now why didn't I put on my thicker NRS neoprene gloves?  They talk around here about "cold stunned" sea turtles that they rescue from the beaches, when they wash up comatose in November and December.  These are the turtles that didn't go south fast enough as the waters became colder.  Perhaps my lack of clear thinking was my first symptom of "cold stunning".
Jeff leads the way!
I was pleased to have Jeff Michaels along again to lead the way through the islands and channels where he kayaks, sails, spear fishes and lunches on the oyster bars that peak up out of the water.
Pelican coasting by
I saw a whole host of pelicans sitting up on the beach.  More came gliding by to join the group.

By leaving before dawn we made the best of a bad tidal current day, and had slack water for the first few miles before we started working against the current.  We were so looking forward to passing Bouge Inlet, as we would then be going with the current for the last 2 miles into Swansboro.  But we forgot that right after passing the inlet, we would be turning right into the NW winds.  So it was an intense finish to the chilly day.  As I paddled towards Casper's Marina I saw what looked like ice bergy bits (a technical term in the arctic) ahead.  But, despite the cold, it was just foam.  Wonder what caused the foam?

Enjoying staying with Tess and Keith on Emerald Isle.  Tess will be interviewing me for Coastal Review Online for a Christmas story.  They are also feeding my ravenous appetite with great, healthy food.
With Tess and Keith after a fun dinner!
It is sobering being fed so well by all of my hosts and seeing people prepare for their big Christmas family feasts.  Meanwhile the UN reports that in Guatemala 75% of the corn and beans crops have failed due to drought this year, pushing much of the population into food insecurity.  I am so thankful that at Safe Passage the nutrition program plays a central role for the children.  In a country where 50% of the children under five are malnourished, at Safe Passage none of the students are malnourished!  Thank you everyone, who has contributed to Safe Passage to help make this possible.  Hit the "Give Now" button on the right if you want to help as well.

Paddle Day: 76 
Date: Dec 12, 2014
Start: Broad Creek, NC                                          
End: Swansboro, NC
Distance: 12.4 miles                                                   
Paddle, hike, bike distance: 1059.8 miles
Motor portaged: 264 miles
Total distance: 1323.8 miles
Max speed:  5.9 mph                                               
Moving ave.: 3.1 mph
Kayak storage:  Caspers Marina                               
Hosts: Tess Malijenovsky and Keith Meyers

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