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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Getting my Kayaking Fix by Watching Other Expeditions

Now that I'm not kayaking, I have to get my kicks by following some other kayaking events: circumnavigating South America, kayaking UP the Mississippi, and the Everglades Challenge.
It's nice to have the time to follow some of my fellow adventurers.  I am awed by their stamina and determination.   I sympathize with their challenges, especially about decisions to give up when conditions are too tough.  Having had to continue only the speaking tour of my expedition, without the kayaking is so tough.  But knowing that others are making similar decisions helps to make it a little easier for me.

Freya Hoffmeister has already kayaked around Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia.  Now she is finishing her circumnavigation of South America!  I like to follow the blog of this younster (she just turned 50).  She is an amazing strong and experienced kayker with incredible determination.  There is a reason the book written about her is called Fearless!  So I was surprised, and reassured, when even she decided to skip a 100 mile section of the coast that was just too daunting with continual headwinds and waves.

Steve Posselt is kayaking for a cause:  to bring awareness about climate change.  He is currently kayaking alone, UP the Mississippi River.  I have met a few people who have paddled down the Mississippi, but none who have gone against the current.  You can see his progress on his Kayak4Earth website.

I was really looking forward to following the Watertribe Everglades Challenge last week.  This is an annual expedition style 300 mile race that I participated in nine years ago.  I placed first in my class! YEAH!  and, I placed last in my class.  BOO!  But I did cut a day and a half off the record time for my class, and my record stood for 8 years until DeadCat came along a bested me!  Back in November in Virginia, I was honored to have DeadCat kayak with me for a day!  She trains really hard so how would she do in the race this year?
DeadCat paddling with me in Virginia
The video above shows the 200 boats at the start line of the week long race this year.  The forecast conditions didn't look that bad, and there was no small craft advisory at the start of the race.  I was really surprised when I followed to online coverage and saw the Coast Guard had rescued 11 people on the first day of the race!  While some of my old friends did get flipped by the conditions, they managed to get back in their kayaks and pumped out the water with the help of passing racers.  But it turned out to be too much for some other boaters, and the Coast Guard was called.  Unfortunately the race ended up being cancelled by the Coast Guard with concern for safety.  A good account of what happened is on MicroTom's blog.

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