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

The tides are not cooperating: I don't want to paddle at night

Demonstrating the Greenland paddle to the press
Plans change with the tides and the wind, and great people help me out.

I was sitting in my kayak, holding onto the dock to keep from being swept backwards by the rushing water.  The dockmaster suggested it would be better to disembark on the other side of the dock.  Okaaaay....  I tried to paddle against the current to get to the other side.  The current was way too strong, and I was just swept further backwards. No way I could paddle against the current.  Admittedly, it was the maximum ebb of a full moon tide.  The dockmaster said it was the highest tide he had ever seen at Saint Simons Island.   And the marina was located on the back side of an island, where the tidal currents are strongest.  And this is the location with the strongest tidal currents in the Southeast.  But it still unnerved me.

In looking over the route for the next two paddle days,  I want to paddle with the current as much as possible, and during slack when possible.  Unfortunately with long distances to paddle that often means there's just two times I could paddle during a 24 hour period.  The tide charts showed that both times would mean either paddling well before dawn, or well after dark.  Not something I want to do with strong currents in the marshes and crossing the sounds full of shoals.

Waiting a few days for better tides would be an option, but since I have to travel to NYC for the award at the UN, I have to get to Jacksonville by a certain date to catch my flight.  So once again I have to skip two sections.  Fortunately, there is an awesome outfitter here in Saint Simons Island, Southeast Adventure Outfitters, who will cart me, gear and kayak to St. Mary's so I can paddle from there.

In the meantime, I am working on press releases and navigation further down the coast, and catching up on blog posts.
Deb, Jennifer and Bob Broadus
Had a wonderful visit with the the president of the Saint Simons Rotary Club and her husband, Jennifer and Bob Broadus.  She hooked me up with the local newspaper.  The Brunswick News sent a team to interview me at the Morningstar Golden Isles Marina, and you can read the story here: Crusading Kayaker.  They told me about a kayak rescue story they recently wrote.  I was so impressed by both the double amputee kayaker and the rescuer.

Cindy and Deb
Next I stayed with Cindy Dennard, who is co-owner of both Southeast Adventure Outfitters and Captain Gaby.  Captain Gaby is a converted shrimp boat that works now as a "mothership" for kayak expeditions.  What a great idea for exploring these wonderful waterways where there are only a few places to camp.  Cindy organized two dinners with a wonderful variety of kayak guides, yoga healers, NOLS instructors and artists.

Gratitude List:
  1. So many people willing to help
  2. So many people willing to listen to the stories about the children at Safe Passage
  3. Being able to walk around the village on St. Simons Island
  4. Hearing the history of this area
  5. Warm, not hot, sunshine

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