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, November 11, 2015

Paddle Day 18: Paddling Companions and Drones

Joey in his carbon Petrel Play
Great day paddling with Joey Schott (Turning Point Kayaks) and Sharon Sugden, including a drone encounter!  Lost my first piece of equipment in 1909 miles!
I was so excited that Joey could paddle with me.  He's the amazing kayak builder who took my 16 year old Chesapeake 18 and turned it into the perfect expedition kayak that fits me like a glove.  It was fun seeing Joey paddle his carbon Petrel Play.  Very wicked looking boat, but the flat water we were paddling didn't allow it to show off how it performs in the surf.  I've got to try it sometime.
Sharon Sugden powering along
Sharon Sugden came as well.  I guess I wasn't too obnoxious to paddle with, as she's thinking about joining me when I kayak the Florida Keys.  I'm so excited about that!

A high point of the day, was also a low point.  Joey spotted my host, Art, under our first bridge.  Art was manning the controls of his drone, making it fly out over the water with a payload of a camera, taking video of us kayaking along.  We had been zooming along with the current, but turned back to head over towards Art.
The drone shows up well under the bridge
I had the video cameras running on my kayak, but wanted to take a better picture of the drone, so I got out my third little rePlayXD camera to take some handheld video.  But before I could loop the strap on wrist....
Oh No!!
The camera slipped out of my hands and into the water.  Realizing it was a hopeless task, I spent a few minutes trying to feel along the sandy bottom for the camera.  Found a lot of oyster shells, but no camera.
Art and Deb searching for the camera
Managed to make it 1909 miles before I lost my first piece of gear.  Art said he'd go back at low tide to see if he can find it.  Maybe he'll have a metal detector.  Should be a good test of the waterproofness of the camera to lie in the salty water for a few days!  Should be fun to see the drone footage.

This will be the last paddling day for a while, as I head back north to receive the Rotary Global Women of Action award at the UN.  I'll stay north until Thanksgiving, to attend the memorial service for John Nicholson, my daughter-in-law's father, who just died.  John was a wonderful man.  I loved watching him with his grandchildren, and realized what an awesome father he must have been.  We were fortunate to spend many family occasions together, where we could always count on John providing interesting conversation.  He will be missed by so many.

Gratitude List:
  1. Having two superior kayakers to spend the miles with
  2. Stopping for a lunch break - a first for this trip
  3. Currents going with us much of the day
  4. The drone
  5. Pat Ellis lending me a suitcase to fly home

Date: November 2, 2015                                                  Restart Paddle Day: 18

Start location: Ferandina Beach, FL                                 Launch time: 9:00 am
End location:  Jacksonville                                              Land time: 3:33 pm
Average speed: 3.5 mph                                                  Max Speed: 5.4 mph
Miles: 22
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1909                          Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Joey Schott
Hosts: Pat Ellis

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