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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Paddle Day 25: Fork lift the kayak out of the water??!!

Nice December paddling near Daytona Beach
Joined by Tom on his surf ski for the first hour.  Relaxed paddle to Daytona Beach.  Near panic when the dockmaster decided to use a forklift to lift my loaded kayak out of the water!

Rotarian Tom Gillin joined me for the first hour of paddling... on his surf ski!  It's a longer and narrower one than he usually uses, so it was entertaining watching him at the put-in.  First he fell off the right side.
Ellen watches as Tom falls off his surf ski
Then he fell off the left side.  Third time was the charm and he stayed on.  We had a great time talking as we paddled down the ICW.  Of course he had to paddle slowly to stay with me, which makes it much harder to stay balanced on the ski.  I was really impressed when he managed to stay upright with some big boat wakes, and even surf!  Well it is a "surf" ski.

Tom surfing a boat wake on his surf ski
The water temperature has increased significantly here versus just a few days ago.  This was verified in seeing the manatee signs on the water.  Previously they had said "Manatee Zone, May to November".  Now they have dropped the dates.

Manatee Zone
Near Daytona, there was an anchorage in the ICW for the boats who don't want to pay the fees at the marinas.  I saw a dilapidated boat anchoring there that I had seen a few days earlier up at Palm Coast.  Hardly looks seaworthy and I wouldn't want to be aboard in a tropical rainstorm.  I guess these are the nomads of the boating class.

A little maintenance needed?
When I coasted into Loggerhead marina Mark, the dockmaster, was ready for me.  When I described how to get the loaded kayak out of the water and onto the floating dock, he said he had a better idea.  Next thing I know there is huge fork lift coming down into the water beside my kayak!

Here comes the forklift!
I had my hands on my head as I tried to still my panic.  I couldn't imagine this working, but the two workers seemed so confident.  Now with some people, I quickly override their ideas, as I generally know more about kayaks than they do.  But this time I stilled my panic and watched as the forks went underwater, and then the kayak was floated over then on a diagonal.  Up came the forks and the kayak gently canted over onto it's flat bottom panels, and securely rode into the storage barn.  Now I want a fork lift!

Easy way to transport a kayak!
Molly and Charlie Baskin were there at the marina to pick me up to stay with them for four nights in Ponce Inlet.  Last spring Chris and I stayed with them for a couple of weeks as I was doing physical therapy.  It felt like coming home!

Date: December 11, 2015                                              Restart Paddle Day: 25
Start location: Flagler Beach  FL                                    Launch time: 10:00 am
End location: Daytona Beach                                         Land time: 2:06 pm
Average speed: 3.4 mph                                                Max Speed: 4.9 mph
Miles: 13.9
Total expedition miles with kayak: 2000                       Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Loggerhead Marina, Daytona
Hosts: Molly and Charlie Baskin

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