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.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Paddle Day 3: More wildlife, lots of tidal nodes and lunar eclispe

Pelican lifting off
After a rest day, headed out to paddle two days at one go.  Saw alligators, pelicans, jumping fish and a swimming deer.  Glad to arrive before the thunderstorms let loose with torrential downpours!  Have to stay up to see the supermoon lunar eclipse.

On my rest day, Chris and I went on a nature tour to Bull's Island Ferry with Coastal Expeditions.  This is part of the largest protected stretch along the Atlantic coast, which makes for great paddling.  By going on the tour, we learned so much about the area I'm kayaking through, and also got a change to walk along the beach of Bull's Island.  Seeing the surf-able surf roll in made me happy that I'm kayaking in the marshes.  If you are in the area and want a great tour or kayak rental check out Coastal Expeditions!

 Was late leaving the dock this morning, as it was the first time packing my boat to paddle loaded.  Also underestimated the distance when I arranged a time to meet my host, so was under the gun all day long to paddle as quickly as possible.  But, actually, that is what I do every day.

Foggy start to the day
My strangest wildlife sighting of the day was an alligator swimming along with a bird on it's head.  Or at least that's what I thought I was seeing.  When I was closer I realized the bird wings were large ears.  The body was that of a deer.  Unfortunately I had frightened it and it turned back to shore and scrambled up the muddy bank.  Only then did I hear the two hunting dogs that had been pursuing the deer, and thanks to me, had their odds of catching it greatly increased.

See the tiny deer?
When I stopped on a bank of old oyster shells, I gained hundreds of stowaways in my cockpit.  Sand flees!  Now I have red rings of welts around the tops of my socks.  It's always something....

I had asked about the best tide level to make the days long paddle.  Two folks told me it didn't matter, because there are so many tidal nodes along this route.  I hadn't heard the term before, but I knew exactly what they meant.  With so many inlets along the ICW, there are lots of tidal nodes, where the tidal currents change direction.  The wikipedia definition is a bit more complex.

Amazingly I arrived right on time at the Moore's Landing boat ramp, at least that's the name on the charts.   Now it is the Garris Landing.  Garris was one of the longest working wildlife leaders in South Carolina.  Right before he retired, as his last official act, he renamed the landing after himself.  I just call it the Bull's Island Ferry Landing, as it's where you catch the ferry.

On collision course!
Chris, my host and owner of Coastal Expeditions,  was right there at the landing, and opened the chain link enclosure with the two fuel tanks.  My kayak just fit in between the tanks.  The best security it has had in the last 1548 miles!

Olivia, Kari, Chris and Deb

Kari and Olivia picked me up, Olivia bonded with my rubber duck and they took me to their lovely waterfront home.
Olivia exploring the kayak.
Now we are waiting for the super-moon lunar eclipse, and enjoying conversation ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous as we watch the moon, shooting stars and distant lightning.  Perfect evening!
Super-moon rising over the ICW

Date: September 27, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 3
Start location: McClellandville, South Carolina                  Launch time: 8:50 am
End location:  Morre's Landing                                          Land time: 1:30 pm
Average speed: 3.6 mph                                                   Max Speed: 5.4 mph
Miles: 16
Total expedition miles: 1548
Kayak Storage: Coastal Expeditions
Hosts: Kari and Chris Crolley (and Olivia)

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