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.

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!
Cindy saw me off from Swan Point Marina
Barbara paddled with me the whole day.  Right outside of the marina we saw lots of dolphins.
Swan Point Marina
The rest of the day was ICW sights.    We saw the 21 houses on North Topsail that were condemned after that last nor'easter (that one I should not have been paddling in).  The sands are shifting here with the storms.  I found out the name for Topsail Island came from the merchants ships during the era of pirates along the coast.  The pirates would hide in the sounds behind the barrier islands and then rush out the inlets to attack the ships.  The merchant captains told each other to look out for the "tops of the pirate ship sails" behind the barrier islands.

A waterman passed us several times dredging for oysters.  I find it hard to believe that it's December and Christmas is right around the corner, since what was around the corner here was a pink house surrounded by palm trees, complete with a fake lighthouse and fake rock waterslide.
Pink sub tropical home with fake lighthouse and fake rock waterslide
As we neared Surf City, Cindy kayaked out to join us.  It was a 6.14 mile paddle for her, which was a new personal record!  Way to go, Cindy!

I know I'm still carrying too much stuff when Barbara forgot her sun hat, and I could lend her my brimmed sun hat (that I have used only one day).
Barbara, Deb and Cindy hamming it up
One of the easiest landings on this expedition was at Cindy's home, which is right on the ICW. Thank you, Cindy, for your hosting generosity!
Perfect landing spot at Cindy's home
On my rest day I had a wonderful visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital where the founder Jean Beasley showed me around and treated me to a wonderful surf side lunch as we talked turtles.  Recall the blog where I talked about the cold stunned turtles?  Jean's facility has 19 of those turtles from Cape Cod that overwhelmed the New England rehab facilities.  Some New England turtles have been shipped to facilities as far away as Texas.  Jean talks about the sea turtles as the "charismatic canaries of the ocean".

I didn't realize that the gender of a turtle is determined not genetically, but by the temperature of the sand in which they are born.  The colder sand yields males, and warmer sand generates females.  There are now more females than males due to the warmer sands along the coast.
Alpha, one of the rehabilitating sea turtles who will be released next June
The evening was topped off by a great Christmas party with the Coastal Pender Rotary Club.  Thank you, Rotarians, for your generous donation to Safe Passage!
Rotary Christmas party
Deb and Cindy as sisters.
The sea turtle sculpture made out of plastic collected from the beach, made me think about the Safe Passage parents that collect plastic in the garbage dump in Guatemala City.  They have a very difficult life, doing a very dangerous job.  They accomplish an amazing amount of recycling of plastic that keeps it out of the oceans through recycling.  I thank them for that, and strongly support their wish that their children not have to live such a life!  Thank you, Safe Passage, for helping the children have dreams, and the ability and skills to achieve their dreams of a better life.

Paddle Day: 78 
Date: Dec 15, 2014
Start: Sneads Ferry, NC                                          
End: Surf City, NC
Distance: 14.2 miles                                                   
Paddle, hike, bike distance: 1092.1miles
Motor portaged: 264 miles
Total distance: 1356.1 miles
Max speed:  4.7 mph                                               
Moving ave.: 3.0 mph
Kayak storage: Cindy Farbanish                            
Hosts: Cindy Farbanish

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