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.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

At the dock with Rob Caldwell and Innova Kayak

Rob Caldwell and Dennis Doyle setting up for the interview
Fun afternoon with WCSH6 207 crew, Rob Caldwell and Dennis Doyle, testing out my new Innova kayak.
Today I tried out my new kayak, donated by Innova.  Why do I need a new kayak?  My original plan for the 2,500 miles Maine to Guatemala expedition was to get a ride from Florida to Belize for me and my kayak on Bernie Horn's SV Polaris.  Then I would have paddled the remaining 200 miles to Guatemala.  But since I couldn't paddle back in April, the SV Polaris took me all the way to Guatemala.  Now I'd like to paddle the remaining 800 miles from South Carolina to Key West, and those 200 Caribbean miles.  But how to get the kayak there?

My newest sponsor, Innova Kayak, provided the solution.  They gave me a high performance inflatable kayak, that is small enough to fit in the overhead bin on an airplane!  Now I can fly with my kayak and all my gear from Florida to Belize, within the normal baggage allowance.  Amazing!
Here's a picture of the Helios II that I paddled today, but in a more tropical clime than Maine.
Stock photo of Helios II kayak
One challenge in flying is dealing with paddles, which are too long to carry on and too fragile to put in your luggage.  AquaBound came up with the solution by donating a Manta Ray Carbon paddle that breaks down into 4 sections, so easy to pack in your carry-on.  It even has an adjustable ferrule. Amazing!

The Helios II kayak is a double, and I'll use the bow seat for my waterproof dry bag with all of my gear.  Tried it out fully loaded today, complete with a 5 gallon bag of water.  I found I'll have to raise the seat even higher to be able to paddle efficiently.  My short torso doesn't get me high enough in most kayaks without adding a really high seat.

Had a great interview with Rob Caldwell.  He asked great questions about the children at Safe Passage and why I am doing this crazy expedition.  Watch out for the interview on "207", which was another of the Best of Maine Down East selections.  Rob will be adding video from Safe Passage, so it will be a great way for people to see the children there in action.

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