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, January 10, 2015

Paddle Day 87: Navigation Fail, Two Thirds Done and Maritime Ties Between Maine and South Carolina

Building Henrietta in Bucksville, SC
Passed the two thirds mark today, with over 1,500 miles completed!  Solved the mystery of the tides and currents in SC.  Learned about the close maritime connections between Georgetown and my coastal area in Maine.A few days ago I spent an entire morning trying to make sense of the currents in the ICW here in South Carolina.  Using the NOAA Tidal Current Tables and the Tide Charts, I made a big spreadsheet to try to figure out the relationship between high tide and slack water in Winyah Bay and the Wacamaw River.  In bays there is not a straightforward way to predict the currents from the tide charts alone.  To find the currents in areas where there are not tidal current tables, you need to know the local relationships.  But in this area I was flummoxed, and couldn't figure it out!  Now, days later, I finally figured  it out.  The problem was my computer skills.  I was using the January 2015 Tide Tables and the January 2014 Tidal Current Charts!  Duh!  No wonder I couldn't figure it out!

Paddling along to Winyah Bay
It was nice to be confident that the currents would be with me all day, as I passed the 1,500 mile mark on the expedition.  Two thirds of the way to Guatemala!  

I had a warm welcome from folks bundled in wool sweaters and jackets when I landed in Belle Isle.
Welcome to Georgetown group at Belle Isle
Dinner at Ned and Marsha's with their cousins had great conversations about the maritime history of Georgetown.  Our pre-dinner cocktails and after-dinner liqueurs in the drawing room were graced by bowls of fresh cut camellias from the garden.
Camellias floating in a bowl
Toast at dinner
When I had paddled past Bucksport, SC, I thad thought about Bucksport, ME, but didn't realize that the SC town was founded by Henry Buck from Bucksport, ME.   He had come across Carolina longleaf pine lumber that is good for ship building, and went to South Carolina in the 1820's to build saw mills to create lumber to be shipped to the Maine ship yards.  Many of the ships that hauled the lumber and other goods from Georgetown were captained by Maine sea captains from Penobscot Bay towns in my neck of Maine, and many of the ships were built in Maine as well.  There was one experiment of building the largest wooden sailing ship in South Carolina in Bucksville, using ship builders from Maine.  The Henrietta was the first and last ship built there.  The Mainers didn't much like the heat, humidity and insects of the south.  Also, it turned out that the Wacamaw River was too shallow to launch the completed ship. (It had to be floated out using hundreds of sealed empty turpentine barrels strapped to the hull.)  And the last straw was that the ship yards in Maine said they would stop buying lumber from the area unless they stopped building ships.

A morning at the South Carolina Maritime Museum revealed loads of photos from my local Penobscot Maritime Museum, further demonstrating the relationship between the two areas.   There was also a nice painting of the Linah C Kaminski which was partly owned and named by one of Nat's relatives.  What I would give for a set of sails like those on my kayak!
Linah C Kaminski
I'm glad to be getting off the water for five days.  There are record cold temps on the way.  I'm off to Chapel Hill, with eleven speaking and media engagements planned over three days.  Good way to wait out the cold.  I'll be back on the water on Tuesday, January 13th.

Paddle Day: 87
Date: Jan 7, 2015
Start: Pawley's Island, SC                                          
End: Georgetown, SC
Distance: 17.9 miles                                                   
Paddle, hike, bike distance: 1243.5miles
Motor portaged: 264 miles
Total distance: 1507.5 miles
Max speed:  5.9 mph                                               
Moving ave.: 4.1 mph
Kayak storage: Belle Isle Marina                    
Hosts: Nat and Marsha Kaminski

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