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, January 6, 2015

Paddle Day 85: VHF, VGA and VSB, I Love Bogs and Power Squadren Generosity

Long Bay Power Squadron inspects my kayak
Pleasant paddle with the current to Socastee.  Staying in a little bit of paradise on the water 75 degrees.  Great company with my first Power Squadron visit, where the discussion ranged from VHF to VGA and VSB.
I finally got the currents right for this leg and had an easy paddle.  Turns out it was the inland rains flooding the rivers that forced them into the ICW and altered the currents from the NOAA predictions.  

Quintessential South Carolina now with lots of cypress trees, spanish moss and the beginning of the palmettos.
Up close and personal with the spanish moss draped over a cypress.
Arrived early at my hosts.  Woody was described to me as the barber from Mayberry.  What a great guy who knows everyone, from his time on the police force to his current barber shop across from the courthouse, where everybody who is anybody goes for a trim and local gossip.  Renee met me at the dock with clean towels and homemade soup, amid the balloons and "Welcome Deb Walters" sign.  Their waterfront home, complete with rocking chairs on the docks, hammocks, swings and sea saws, swimming pool and gardens was a little bit of paradise.  Perfect for enjoying the weather in the 70's on my rest day.
Just a small part of the Woody compound.

Chicken bog dinner with power squadron leadership
Had dinner at the home of the Commander of the Long Bay Power Squadron.  Chicken Bog!  I'm loving this Low Country dish of chicken, rice and sausage with some herbs and spices.  Had it three nights in a row and I'm still loving it.  The laughter was ever present as we talked about differences in VHF etiquette, who could find me a VGA cable to give a presentation to the club the next day, and whether VSB would repair my camera mount that fell off yet again!

A northerner and a southerner discuss history
The people here are a combination of people born in the area and others who have come here to retire.  Everyone is welcome, and the teasing about different accents and views of history is such fun.

Long Bay Power Squardon checking out the kayak
Gave a presentation about Safe Passage and the kayak expedition to the Power Squadron on Sunday.  It was wonderful how the conversation changed after hearing the stories of the Safe Passage children and parents.  Before hand the comments were: "We only support local causes" and "How can giving money to the people in Guatemala do any good, since it will just be spent and then what?."  I told the stories about the parents working so hard scavenging in the dump and wanting a better life for their children.  About the children working so hard at school, graduating from high school and earning five times the average family income.  About Myrna overcoming her drug addiction, being part of a start-up jewelry business, and being an inspiration for me.  I watched the women wiping tears from their eyes.  Afterwards, I was was surprised by a generous donation from the group.  Even better, they are challenging the other Power Squadron clubs up and down the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to donate!  What great hosts and what wonderful friends!

Woody, Deb and Renee

Paddle Day: 85
Date: Jan 3, 2015
Start: Myrtle Beach, SC                                          
End: Socastee, SC
Distance: 13 miles                                                   
Paddle, hike, bike distance: 1207.3 miles
Motor portaged: 264 miles
Total distance: 1471.3 miles
Max speed:  5.6 mph                                               
Moving ave.: 3.8 mph
Kayak storage: Woody's dock                    
Hosts: Woody and Renee Elvis

1 comment:

  1. Hello Deb… greetings from Costa Rica. First of all: happy new year! I’ve been following up with your paddling since you started and it looks just amazing as you get closer to the southern states. I just got back from Guatemala last weekend and every time I go there I just fall in love with the country a little more! I did some boat riding in Atitlan and tour the Copan Ruins (Honduras). Wish I could get all the way down to the Caribbean coast but maybe next trip I’ll be able to visit the lowlands and Tikal.
    Best regards and keep up the great job you’ve been doing so far.

    Esteban Ericksen.
    Instagram: kayakingcostarica