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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Paddle Day 21: High Winds in St Augustine

Training in the surf at St. Augustine Inlet
Really fast day of paddling with following currents and following winds.  Then watching the ACA L4 training in the inlet, since the conditions were too wild on the Atlantic beaches.
So happy that Sharon joined me for another paddling leg.  She had seen the bad conditions at St. Augustine the day before, and kept emailing me to ask if I was still going to paddle.  Yes, there were high winds in the forecast that included the text "Hazardous winds and seas".  Yes, Sharon said she had never met anyone who could figure out the tides in the section we would be doing.  But I figured if we left before dawn, we could ride the tidal current, with the wind at our backs.  Fortunately Sharon never suggested we bail.
Deb and Sharon flying down to St. Augustine
It was very fast paddling - the fastest speed of my expedition so far!  Only a few short sprinkle showers until we landed in St. Augustine, and then the heavens let loose!
Paddling over to a sailboat wreck in the marshes
Oddest sight was an abandoned sailboat in the marshes.  We think they abandoned it because both the hull and the deck were painted an ugly flesh color.

After lunch, my hosts Guy and Renee, drove me over to the inlet, where I saw Joey Schott and his class working on their American Canoe Association (ACA) L4 training.  The conditions have to be at least 2 to 4 foot surf to prove their abilities.  No problem today, as the surf were eight to twelve feet in the ocean.  Well, it actually was a problem as the seas were too high, but there were nice three foot waves on the more protected inlet.

BCU 4 star leader training

Great wildlife spotting seeing Joey Schott there in his native habitat!

Joey at the beach
Exciting watching the paddlers, and so glad I wasn't in the group.  Made my shoulders ache just to watch!
Gratitude List:

  1. Sharon's company
  2. Fast paddling
  3. Paddling in the dark
  4. Watching the BCU paddlers
  5. Looking across the water at the christmas lights of St. Augustine

Date: December 5, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 21
Start location: Palm Valley,  FL                                      Launch time: 6:30 am
End location: St. Augustine                                            Land time: 9:54 am
Average speed: 4.9 mph                                                Max Speed: 6.7 mph
Miles: 16.9
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1946                        Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Inlet Marina
Hosts: Guy and Renee Tomasino

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