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, December 11, 2015

Paddle Day 24: Relaxed paddle and sail fail.

Color photo of the drama in the sky
Nice day of paddling.  Sail fail.  Another fun loving Rotary Club.  Sharing the Safe Passage stories and philosophy.
Thanks to the good advice from the Palm Coast Marina, I was able to time the day's paddle to go with the tidal current, weak though it was.  But even a 1 mph current means the difference between 2.7 mph and 4.7 mph.  I'm so slow that this is a big difference.

The winds were behind me, but too light for sailing.  For the past six paddle days I've had a tail wind, and have been kicking myself for not bringing along my sail.  I tried using my big blu IKEA bag as a sail, but the wind was too weak.
IKEA bag sail fail
Since I was drifting with the weak current I took the time to take a photo of my kayak deck (or as Joey called it - my expedition office).
Deb's office
At the bow are one RePlayXD video camera, a compass, and the end of my spare Epic paddle.  Closer to me are the second video camera, Maptech waterproof chart, and nutritional shake.  On my spray skirt are my NOAA chartlets (printed from the internet) in an NRS waterproof case, my Garmin GPS inside a Sealline water proof case and the tube of my Platypus hydration bag.  These cases and bags are all great.  Almost 2000 miles of being on the deck, in the sun and water, and still unblemished and water-tight!

Rotarians Tom Gillin and Ellen Dostal
I was met at a boat ramp by two Rotarians from the Flagler Beach Rotary Club.  Tom had a truck full of donated bikes for their amazing Project Share.  They interview all of the students on free and reduced lunches at the schools in the county, and get a list of what each wants for Christmas.  They put a star on Christmas trees in gyms and other locations, and the public take a star that lists what the child needs, and purchase the gifts.  Every family also gets at least one bicycle, all donated by locals and businesses.

The Rotarians also hooked me up with Mike Tirpak, an amazing young college student who is raising money to build a school in Guatemala out of plastic bottles.  I was happy to spend time with him sharing my observations about Guatemala.  He was asking all of the right questions, such as "Is education alone enough?"  I shared the philosophy of Safe Passage about there being a whole array of problems that keep people trapped in the cycle of chronic poverty: lack of education, violence, poor health, malnutrition, lack of entrepreneurial opportunities and family issues.  To achieve the kind of success seen at Safe Passage, requires addressing all of the problems.

Gratitude List:
  1. Butterflies over the kayak
  2. The drama of the sky of clouds
  3. Local knowledge about the tides
  4. Inspiring Rotarians and Rotaractors
  5. Great hospitality
Date: December 9, 2015                                                Restart Paddle Day: 24
Start location: Palm Coast,  FL                                       Launch time: 9:30 am
End location: Flagler Beach                                            Land time: 1:19 pm
Average speed: 3.7 mph                                                Max Speed: 5.6 mph
Miles: 13.6
Total expedition miles with kayak: 1986                        Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Tom Gillin
Hosts: Ellen Dostal

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