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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Paddle Day 5: Snowy Egrets, Flooded docks and Joaquin

Happy Chris Crolley
A tired day as I paddled against the current more than I thought I would.  Fun interactions with paddle boarders, kayakers and the media.

Gratitude List:

  1. Snowy egrets
  2. Swift water to ferry across
  3. Chris kayaking out to meet me
  4. Photographers and reporters at dock
  5. Lovely evening with my hosts
I was a little slow today.  Maybe I didn't drink enough.  Or maybe I drank too much last night.  I switched to water this evening so that I can be fit and ready for the paddle on Friday across Charleston Harbor and beyond.

Not much traffic today, but yesterday I large power boat passed me at high speed with a huge wake.  They looked at me and waved.  I was glad they thought I was such a competent paddler that the wake would be problem.  I heard the wake behind me and realized from the crashing sound that it was breaking and could be a problem, so I swirled around to quarter it.  Just after passing me the power boat saw a pontoon boat and immediately slowed down to reduce their wake.  Why slow for them and not me?  As the pontoon boat came closer I saw it was flying the skull and crossbones.  Maybe that's what gains respect around here.

I must be in South Carolina
As I entered Charleston Harbor today, right across from Fort Sumter, I saw a boat with another flag.

Snowy Egrets
Loved seeing all the snowy egrets along the shore today.  They use their bright gold-green feet to attract prey.
Dock under water
As high tide approached I saw lots of docks under water, and front lawns with palm trees that were flooded.  I wonder what the palm trees will think of that.

When I arrived at my landing at Coastal Expeditions in Shem Creek,  they had arranged for Bo Peterson from the Pulitzer Prize winning Post and Courier to be there with a photographer.  You can read their story at: kayak story.  The video folks from the Southeastern Spine Institute were also there, as they are doing a documentary about me a a success patient, as that was where I had my spine surgery in January.

I stopped to chat with a paddle boarder.  She asked if I was afraid of "wakeen".  I wondered if that was some sort of tropical disease you get from these waters.  But, it was "Joaquin" she was saying, so now I am tracking the hurricane with great interest.  The 5 pm update from NOAA said: "The range of possible outcomes is still large, and includes the possibility of a major hurricane landfall in the Carolinas."  Yikes!

Southeastern Spine Institute and Coastal Expeditions became my newest sponsors today with donations to Safe Passage and lots of handy gear.  One great item was a canteen with a concave side to ride nicely on the curved deck of a kayak.  I guess they think I should upgrade from my plastic Smirnoff flask shaped bottle.

The expedition had one more success today.  I had blogged about camping on Cross Island with my kayaking buddies the weekend before I left for South Carolina.  Someone had camped there afterwards, found a GPS and posted a comment on my blog to see it if belonged to one of us.  A quick email conversation with my friends showed that Tom had left his behind, and thought he would never be able to recover it.  But now the GPS and Tom are happily reunited.  Another great story about the honesty, helpfulness and resourcefulness of kayakers.  Reminds me of the families in the Guatemala garbage dump community, and how they go out of their way for others.

My hosts daughter is doing research in Guatemala and developing a methodology for assessing non-profit organizations using qualitative data.  I can't wait to talk with her about this.  She already knows and respects Safe Passage, and I am interested to see what we can learn from her work.

Date: September 30, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 5
Start location: Isle of Palms, South Carolina                      Launch time: 8:15 am
End location:  Mount Pleasant                                          Land time: 11:15 am
Average speed: 3.2 mph                                                   Max Speed: 6.4 mph
Miles: 10
Total expedition miles: 1569
Kayak Storage: Coastal Expeditions
Hosts: Chris and Peter Richardson

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