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.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Paddle Day 32: Heading North and the Tale of the Fish and the Osprey

Approaching Cocoa
Not too exciting day along developed shores.  Interesting wildlife sightings none the less.  Large breaking waves from behind sound like freight trains.
Another day of paddling north to Maine.  Or just covering the route in whatever direction is easiest given wind and currents.
Good-bye kiss at the start.
Paddling in a narrow section of the ICW, with development along both shores.  Not my most exciting environment.  I resorted to listening to an audiobook, something I haven't done since the "ditch" portion back in Myrtle Beach last January.

When kayaking, one of the terrifying sounds is a large breaking wave approaching from your stern.  You know you are in for trouble when you hear that characteristic noise.  It sounds like a freight train bearing down on you at great speed.  Today was now very rough, so when I heard that sound behind me I reflexively jerked into high alert.  But looking at the small waves around me I was confused.  Then I realized what had startled me.  The audio book is about a Christmas train journey, and each chapter ended with the sound of the train - or in my kayaking context - the sound of the breaking wave.

Not having to be constantly aware of the waves and wind allowed me to watch more of the wildlife.  Today's fascination was with an osprey and a fish.  The osprey flew by with the squirming fish in it's claws.  As usual, the fish was position head first in the direction the osprey flew.  I assume that makes it more aerodynamic and easier for the osprey to fly.  I thought about the experience from the fish's point of view.  Terror, for sure.   But maybe a little awe at flying above the water?  A bit of a wonderful last gift before being eaten?  The osprey landed on a tall dock piling.  Not comes the end I thought.  But the osprey first looked around appearing to check out his surroundings.  Smart, I thought, to make sure there was no one around to snatch the fish from him.  But then the osprey took off again, hauling his dinner with him.  A bonus flight for the fish?  But thinking of the claws in the flesh and the gills gasping for water, maybe better to just be done with it.  The osprey tucked in by ripping off the head of the fish.  The end.

The nice part of the fully supported expedition is that we have our bikes with us.  One problem with long distance kayaking is that your legs don't get enough exercise.  My legs actually generate about 30% of my power in the kayak, but that's nothing like walking around all day.  So it's really nice now to hope on the bike for an hour or two after kayaking and get those leg muscles going again.

Thanks to an article in the New York Times about evidence that yoga can increase bone mass in the elderly, I purchased a yoga mat today and rolled it out in the picnic pavilion of our campground.   I started the yoga routine used in the medical studies, checking the photos from the medical journal on my phone to follow the positions.  Everything seemed doable except for the "Rainbow".  How can I possible do a back bend?   I'm hoping the osteopenia in my neck can be reversed.  Let's see if I can keep up the routine.

Gratitude List:
  1. Train not wave
  2. Seeing the story of the osprey and the fish
  3. Biking along the historic district in Cocoa
  4. Medical research about yoga
  5. Summer weather for Christmas
Date: December 22, 2015                                             Restart Paddle Day: 32
Start location: Palm Shores, FL                                     Launch time: 8:40 am
End location: Cocoa                                                      Land time: 11:30 am
Average speed: 3.9 mph                                               Max Speed: 5.6 mph
Miles: 11
Total expedition miles with kayak: 2075                      Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Manatee Hammock Campground
Host: Chris Percival

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