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, December 10, 2015

Paddle Day 23: Tinkling Shells and Palm Coast

Kayaking along a tinkling shell beach

Challenges of first day I've carried my full load of gear since I entered Georgia.  Seeing neighbors from home, and a warm Palm Coast welcome from a Rotary Club that knows how to have fun.
I finally thought to look at the schedule for our neighbors back in Troy who are camping this winter in Florida.  Turned out we were both in St. Augustine, so they came to see me off as I launched!  We'll get together later down the coast as well.  Old home week!
Kent checks out my Inuit paddle while Lorren, Gut and Grant look on.
This was the first time I've paddled fully loaded since the leg from Dufuski to Savannah.  Well, not quite fully loaded, as I left my camping gear and food back in Jacksonville for Chris to pick up on his way done to be my support person. 
Pulled over to repack the gear
After just a few minutes of an unruly kayak, I had to trespass on a little beach to take gear of of the bow and put it into the stern to balance the boat properly for this wind/current combination.  That made it easier, but the going was still hard for most of the day, as the currents were not cooperating.

As a sailboat passed that was going slowly and towing their dingy behind, I was tempted to throw a line see if they would tow me as well.  But of course it's virtually impossible to tow a kayak from a boat without the right harness for the kayak.

At the Matanzas Inlet, I passed the sailboat.  I guessed they weren't going that fast if I could catch up to them.  Then I realized they were stuck on a sandbar.  Glad I didn't get a tow.
Sailboat grounded near the inlet
The paddling was slow, but fun.  I enjoyed passing steep beaches of loose shells, because even little wakes would cause the shells to tumble and tinkle in a merry sound.

As a SeaTow boat passed me heading for the inlet, I guessed they had been called by the grounded sailboat.

It's starting to look more tropical now, and the water is starting to get a little warmer as well.  Finally!

More palms on shore
A little later the sailboat that had grounded passed me once again.  After a very slow day I arrived in Palm Coast.

Palm Coast homes and docks
Palm Coast is a planned community that they told me is filled with New Yorkers, as that was were the lots were advertised to the fireman's unions and police unions and others.  While families moved down from New York, and the place grew rapidly.  I stayed with Mary Stetler in the "R" section, where all roads begin with the letter "R".

The Palm Coast Rotary Club invited me to dinner.  I spoke to their club last spring and it was good to see them again as they are such a friendly, fun-loving and hard working Rotary Club.

Marry and Palm Coast Rotary Club
Gratitude List:

  1. Tinkling music of rolling shells
  2. Seeing neighbors from home
  3. Seeing how prolific mangroves are
  4. Paddling in the sun past undeveloped coastal areas
  5. Laughter with the Rotarians

Date: December 8, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 23
Start location: Crescent Beach,  FL                                Launch time: 11:00 am
End location: Palm Coast                                               Land time: 3:52 pm
Average speed: 3.2 mph                                                Max Speed: 4.8 mph
Miles: 14.6
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1973                        Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Palm Coast Marina
Hosts: Marry Stetler and Otto

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