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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Can I do it?

Paddling towards the Windsor Bridge on the Connecticut River in Vermont
It's less than three weeks before I need to head to South Carolina to restart the Kayak for Safe Passage Kids Expedition, and finish the remaining 1,000 plus miles of paddling.  But am I ready for this?The first section I need to paddle is the longest undeveloped stretch on the east coast - 45 miles of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.  I'm really looking forward to paddling through these marshes!  The first day would have been a 25 mile paddle.  I haven't paddled more than a few hours a day post surgery, so I'm not sure that will be possible.  I did a little rerouting and have the long stretch down to 18 miles.  I've rerouted south of Savannah as well, where my only option will be to camp.   I'll need new charts, since my packed charts only cover the narrow ICW in some spots.  Last night I researched, downloaded and printed off lots of NOAA charts.

Another challenge is the strong tidal currents in the South Carolina, and especially the Georgia.  I had my route planned with dates.  When I looked at the tide charts for those dates, I realized I needed to readjust the dates so that I wouldn't have to paddle in the dark.

But my real worry is if my body is ready for this.  On Tuesday I canoed with Chris and Kathy and Joe Ginette for 14 miles on the Connecticut River in Vermont.  It was a lovely trip and I was paddling with Chris, so only had to apply part of the propulsion force.  The strong current most of the way meant it was only three hours of easy paddling.  But after just this little exertion, my neck was painful.  

Today I'm heading out for a three hour kayak on Unity Pond.  It's a 15 mile circuit if I hug the shores.  If I can do that in my little Tempest kayak, I'll try out the expedition kayak with a camping loop out along the Maine Island Trail Association islands near me.  If that works out, I'll try my new Innova inflatable Helios II kayak in the surf, as I hope to use it for the Caribbean leg.  If that's good, I'll do a MITA camping circuit with the Helios II.  Yikes!  Lots ot do.  I better get going.  Wish me luck!

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