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, September 24, 2015

Paddle Day 1: Small Craft Advisory, Thunderstorms and Breaking Waves: Restart

Deb launching at Belle Isle Marina - Restart!
With trepidation, I launched and headed out to winds and breaking waves, welcomed by a cool rain.  What an inauspicious beginning to the restart of the Kayak for Safe Passage Kids expedition.
It took Chris and me five days to drive from Maine to South Carolina, because we stopped along the way to spend time with children, grandchildren, friends and my mother.  When I had packed in Maine, it was still hot summer weather.  After I had packed 15 pounds of clothing, I went back and took out 3 pounds of cold weather clothing.  I was heading south.  No need for a jacket and other warm clothes,  Wrong!  A sudden cold snap is leaving me chilly on land.  I'll need to head south more quickly!

A day spent boosting my granddaughter up into higher and higher trees did a number on my lower back.  I was wondering if I really should be restarting the expedition.  Maybe my body is too old for this abuse.  But then I went to a breakfast sponsored by a retirement community who was trying to recruit my 91 year old mother, who is still living happily on her own.  Dorothy, a spry 95 year old resident, got up and said that when your body hurts you have two options.  You can just sit down and relax and die.  Or you can keep moving and stay active and live a long and full life.  Dorothy inspired me to keep going, just like the mothers and children at Safe Passage inspire me to match their grit and determination.
Dorothy inspired me

Fortunately, today's paddle was a short one.  Being tossed around by the breaking waves, I listened to the thunder and hoped for boats taller than me to attract the lightening.  I was highly motivated to quickly knock off five miles with a strong following current.  I ended at an interesting swinging boat ferry that goes over to an island owned by the family of the previous owner of the Red Sox.
Chris welcomed me at the boat ramp
My goal for the day was to make tomorrow's paddle as short as possible.  The ferry was the last road to come out into the Intracoastal Waterway until I reach McClellanville, almost 19 miles away.  I'll be paddling through marshes all day, and crossing several swift rivers.  Should be fun, but tricky to figure out the tides.  We've been talking with locals to sort out the tricky currents in this area.  I almost tripped over a board with what looked like five inch wide mud balls.  "Bait balls"  I was told.  The guys go out and drive poles into the bottom, and drop a bait ball at each.  Then they go have a few beers, and come back with their nets to pull up the shrimp.  The shrimp here are delicious!  We found out my first guess about the direction of the currents would be right for the first half of the day, but ass backwards after that.  That was from the first two guys we asked.  The second guy said it's random because of all the little inlets.  "It will go with you, then against you, then with you..."  This is why I ask!  In areas with so many inlets and rivers, it takes local knowledge to know how the currents run in the ICW.  So tomorrow will be dawn start to optimize the currents.

Date: September 24, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 1
Start location: Belle Isle Marina, South Carolina            Launch time: 8:50 am
End location: South Island Boat Ramp                            Land time: 10:00 am
Average speed: 4.7 mph                                                   Max Speed: 6.5 mph
Miles: 5
Total expedition miles: 1513
Kayak Storage: top of our car
Hosts: the good folks in Georgetown who arranged Mary Torgorson's condo for us

1 comment:

  1. Wow, mega kudos to you on your RE-launch! We sure are looking forward to the book you publish on the full experience of people and planet, with the true highlights of such an amazing journey especially at your (ground/water) level. Bless you, Dr. Deb!