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, October 30, 2015

Paddle Day 15: Going with the flow is great. Against it not so much.

Spanish moss of dead tree
Moment of terror in Darien.  Moment of terror on the Hampton River.  Yikes!
Last spring when Chris and I drove along the Georgia coast, I had a moment of terror in Darien.  We went down to look at the town dock.  the water was rushing past at about seven knots.  There were rafts of debris being swept down stream.  I was afraid of slipping off the dock and being swept away, and the idea of kayaking on the water was terrifying.  That image stayed foremost in my mind as I started kayaking the Georgia coast.  I was extremely cautious about planning around the tides to minimize the swift tidal currents.

Now is the day I have to kayak into Darien.  I opted to paddle up the tiny Black Island Creek and dock there rather than use the Darien town dock.  But today I had to paddle upstream for a section of the Darien River.  I was so relieved to find that my estimate of the currents was correct and that the flow was going upstream with me at about 5 knots.  
Grey day
It was a grey day as I kayaked through several "cuts" to make it through the marshes and then out toward the coast.  The marshes near Darien had such different vegetation as they didn't have as much salt water as the ones closer to the coast.  But even here, the slowly encroaching increased salinity had killed the trees in areas that a few years ago were not so salty.

Sand bank and red plants
In Buttermilk Sound I checked out the island I had planned to camp on.  The high sand banks were a positive, suggesting the land might be high enough not to get flooded.  But the stories of being surrounded by wild hogs all night made me glad I'd be paddling ten extra miles, and even backtracking, to sleep in a bed.

It was tough work paddling against the current in Buttermilk Sound, but soon after I turned into the Hampton River, the current switched and sucked me down to the dock at the Hampton River Marina.  I was so happy to see my host Troy Hull there because the current was ripping!  Troy was the one who reduced my camping nights from five to one, by finding me places to stay.  Thank you Troy!!

Troy has to tie up my kayak before I can get out, or it would be swept away.
Gratitude List:
  1. Strong currents going with me, whisking me along
  2. Currents against me, building my strength
  3. Rain to rinse the salt water off my paddle jacket
  4. Utter peace in the marshes
  5. Southern hospitality on shore
Date: October 26, 2015                                                   Restart Paddle Day: 15
Start location: DarienGeorgia                                        Launch time: 7:30 am
End location:  Saint Simon N                                            Land time: 11:40 pm
Average speed: 3.3 mph                                                  Max Speed: 6.4 mph
Miles: 14
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1824                          Motor-portage miles: 363
Kayak Storage:  Hampton River Marina
Hosts: Troy Hull

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