Day 1 Sunday September 9th – Day of Great Beginnings
My sweetheart Grace and I had just concluded a great retirement/ bonvoyage party in Chesapeake City, with a weekend of festivities ending with a breakfast on the patio of the Bayard House overlooking the C&D canal. The day was a 10+ with a beautiful September sky. Over 60 family, friends and work colleagues came to celebrate the begining of this kayak journey, to Jacksonville FL where Grace and I live. At 12:30 PM, I was in my kayak (Katie) with the help from some of my friends. I looked at all of these special people in my life, and gave them a wave. Within minutes, I was on my way heading west.
I passed the Canal National Wildlife Refuge on my left, and found my progress easier than initially expected, as I was paddling into the tidal currrent. I entered the Elk River as one of my colleagues, Steve, drove by in his motor boat, wishing me all the best and telling me that I was making good time. With a final wave, he was off. I started to notice all of the cigarette boats tearing across the water in every direction, sometimes racing each other at breakneck speed. I felt for the quiet sailors that had to put up with this racket. And they were having an effect me – the heavily laden kayak was not reacting well to the cross waves that were hitting me from all angles. I decided to keep closer to the southern short just in case I ran into any problems. During the most difficult crossings, I said the Rosary, as I will do each day on the water. By the time I reached the Bohemia River, I felt uncomfortable crossing the opening – too wide for me, so I paddled upriver a half mile to cross, where the wind and the waves were not so much a factor. My camping spot was a stretch of small stones and sand on the western edge of Veasey Cove, which had a 2 foot step up into a small stand of trees. Once the hammock tent was up, sleepnng pad and bag stretched out inside, I went to cook up the turkey chile on my tiny wood stove. After a decaf coffee mocha and a Fibre 1 bar, I turned in tired, but happy that finally this trip had begun. I fell asleep not knowing what a calamatous day was to follow.
I have decided to rate each day from 1 (very poor) to 5 (perfect). Today was a 4. A good way to start. Total miles for half a day came to 9.