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.

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.Wasn't sure about this leg of the expedition, as I had heard such horror stories of the strong currents, confused seas and large standing waves.  I was so glad that Bruce had offered to take me and my kayak across on the ferry.  When I saw the marine forecast for gusty winds today I almost bailed and accepted a ride on the ferry.
The ferry I could have taken!
Instead I gritted my teeth and persevered.  As I started across the Cape Fear River, I knew I was heading into waters were the waves would just get higher and higher as I crossed over.  The wind was coming over my shoulder and causing the seas to build.  I'm always a little tense in these situations and had to constantly remind myself to unclench my hands, and to calm down.  In the end it wasn't too bad.  The current was faster than I could paddle against, so I had to be careful not to overshoot the turn into Southport.  I didn't feel like I was going very fast until I passed a long pier and saw the large, strong eddies behind the pilings.  I was surprised when I looked at my gps and found I was doing 8.6 mph.

I reached Southport early, and the guy who was to meet me, and the newspaper reporter were not there on the beach.  I found the first floating dock to stop and wait for them.  
Yacht Basin Eatery dock
Fortunately I picked the Yacht Basin Eatery.  The staff there were so kind, offering me a warm place to wait, and giving me free hot cocoa!  Thanks you!  They told me of another kayaker who had actually slept on their enclosed deck.  What kind folks.
Warm and happy on the covered deck!
Turns out my Delorme tracker was not posting the tracks to the website, so folks couldn't see that I had arrived early.  I have come to be so dependent upon this great tracking system.  Sure do miss it the few times it blips out.

I carried on to Oak Island.  Saw a boat called the "Saguenay River".  It must be a long way from home up in Quebec!
Saguenay River boat
Had a warm welcome in Oak Island, with Bruce Foster, my host Melva Okun, and Mayor Betty Wallace. 
Bruce, Mayor Betty and Melva in the rain
Then a great dinner at The Flying Fish Cafe where the owner comped my great meal of corm crab cakes with a jalapeƱo basil sauce.  Yum!  
Great place to eat in Oak Island!
Melva has been a supporter of Safe Passage for years.  Enjoyed talking with her so much!  Now to get her to join me in Guatemala soon!  Found it fascinating that Melva and 11 others jointly purchased their house on the water.  What a great idea, as the house is then used almost every night.  Thanks, Melva!

Paddle Day: 81
Date: Dec 20, 2014
Start: Carolina Beach, NC                                          
End: Oak Island, NC
Distance: 17.3miles                                                   
Paddle, hike, bike distance: 1148.1 miles
Motor portaged: 264 miles
Total distance: 1412.1 miles
Max speed:  8.6 mph                                               
Moving ave.: 4.3 mph
Kayak storage: Bruce Foster                      
Hosts: Melva Okun

1 comment:

  1. Deb, I'm happy to see you are continuing to find nice hospitality in our area.
    - Jeff, Swansboro, NC area.