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, October 29, 2015

Paddle Day 14: Long day in the marshes, followed by southern hospitality

Sunrise on the marsh (credit Bill Watson)
After an amazing sunrise, I spent a long day on the water, zigzagging along little creeks.  Then exceptional southern hospitality at church and home.

Saying good bye to Lou and Bill at Valona
The tidal currents held sway on the water.  At times I was hardly paddling, just cruising along.  But when the current was against me, I had to work hard.  My kayak is resting on Black Island at David Koelliker's dock.  David says he is a refuge from Saint Simones Island, because it just got too crowded over there for him.  Now he owns enough acres of lovely marsh to have the tranquility he seeks.
Dave and Deb
Then came a welcome rest day for me as well.  I was made very welcome at the Morgan's Chapel Sunday service.  They turned over the Sunday school program for me to talk about Safe Passage, and asked great questions about the children and their parents and the Safe Passage programs.  I was so moved by the many donations that resulted.

Lou gave me a tour of their community of Pine Bluff.  It's set on the grounds of the Mallow Plantation, and has a colorful history.  Check out the book, "Praying for Sheetrock" about Sheriff Poppel.  I saw the "house of ill repute" that he set up in Pine Bluff.  The story is that he would stop truckers for slight traffic offenses, confiscate their loads, and then distribute the loads to folks in the community.  Since so many people were poor and lived in tar paper shacks, they were always hoping for a load of sheetrock to come their way.

It was fun watching the shrimpers fishing, as well as the more casual fishing off of bridges for mullet.

Tossing for mullet
Bill produced amazing smoked and BBQ'd baby back ribs.  I'm afraid I am gaining weight again.

Deb, Lou and Bill Watson in front of their tabby house.
Date: October 24, 2015                                                   Restart Paddle Day: 14
Start location: ValonaGeorgia                                        Launch time: 10:30 am
End location:  Darien                                                       Land time: 3:45 pm
Average speed: 3.2 mph                                                  Max Speed: 5.7 mph
Miles: 17
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1810                           Motor-portage miles: 363
Kayak Storage: David Koelliker
Hosts: Bill and Lou Watson

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