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 25, 2015

Paddle Day 33: Christmas at 82 Degrees is Too Hot!

Under a bridge on Christmas Eve
Christmas in the subtropics is strange for folks from Maine.  Children say it best.  And a student from Guatemala expresses what Safe Passage has meant for him.

On Christmas Eve, as I changed out of my kayaking in a restroom at a boat ramp, I overheard  a cute conversation between a toddler and his mother.  "It's Christmas!", said the toddler.  "Not yet,"  said the mother.  "But I see snow flakes!"  The toddler was looking at the walls of the stalls that were black with little white paint splotches on them.  He was right, they did look like snow flakes.  Poor kid, if this was the closest he could come to snow.

According to the folks at ActiveCaptain (the website used for boats traveling the ICW), this is the slowest week of the year for use of their site.  That means this is the best time on the ICW for kayakers, as there are not so many wakes to dodge.   I'm not looking forward to the increase in traffic next week, as I will have to dodge more boat wakes.
best time for kayakers to be on the ICW with little traffic.

As Chris was waiting for me to reach my take-out the other day, he talked with a couple who were cruising down the ICW in their power boat.  When Chris explained what I'm doing they said: "That's crazy!  She must not drink enough!"  So maybe alcohol would be the cure for this kayaking nonsense.  To test that out, Chris and I went to a package store and checked out the options.  We were excited to see one of our favorites beers from Quebec was there!  But we didn't buy that.  We bought four bottles of another one "La Fin du Monde" made by the same brewer.   I'll see how this "cure" works.

After kayaking yesterday, Chris and I walked on Cocoa Beach.   We saw hoards of shore birds.  Also lots of surfers, and waders and kids building sand castles.  Too bad our grandchildren were not able to make it down as they would have loved it.
Children playing on the beach
We used the money we would have spent to rent a house on the beach to buy two folding bikes that easily fit in the back of our truck.  Great fun using them!.

Had a wonderful holiday dinner with Lorren and Kent, our neighbors from Troy.  Fruitcake, fudge, cookies, strawberries and craft beer rounded out our celebration.  Enjoyed our shady campsite with our Aliner hard sided pop-up and screen house.
Our Christmas camp
Happy holidays to all you supporters of Safe Passage.  Your donations make such a difference in the lives of the children.  Here's a video of one student expressing what Safe Passage has meant for him:

Date: December 24, 2015                                             Restart Paddle Day: 33
Start location: Palm Shores, FL                                     Launch time: 8:00 am
End location: Palm Bay                                                 Land time: 11:21 am
Average speed: 4.0 mph                                               Max Speed: 6.3 mph
Miles: 13.6
Total expedition miles with kayak: 2088                      Motor-portage miles: 397
Kayak Storage:  Manatee Hammock Campground
Host: Chris Percival

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