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.

23 Responses to Journal

  1. Rockinwrangler says:

    I just read about your adventure in the Florida Times Union. I followed the link to this journal and I look forward to keeping up with your progress.. Hope you have a safe trip and you get a fresh breath for God in your journey..

    May God Bless you and keep you…



  2. Ralph kinser says:

    I hope you the best and GOD grant you all your wished. Ralph

  3. Kasey Boo says:

    Looking forward to following your journey!

  4. Rick says:

    I read about your trip in the Jacksonville Times-Union. Best wishes for a safe and inspirational trip.

  5. Steve Zapiec says:

    Best of luck Fal on your amazing adventure.

  6. farberfen says:

    I was excited to see the article about your trip in the Florida Times Union Sunday edition today (9/9/12). I have read a book recently titled Freighter Odyssey: Around the world in 130 days, by Dale Stenseth, which was his blog of his trip put in book form. Also, I have been reading The Happy Isles of Oceania – Paddling the Pacific, by Paul Theroux, which is a book about his kayaking around the South Pacific. I am also a Captain on the ferry at Mayport, Florida which appears to be your final destination on this journey. Therefore, I am excited to follow your adventure as it seems rather personalized to me. I wish you “fair winds and following seas” and all safety possible. God bless you. You will be in my prayers.

    • Marybeth Ray says:

      Hello Mayport Ferry Captain from Southport (NC) ferry captain. We just met Fal yesterday, as he wisely opted to cross the Cape Fear River by ferry on a blustery day. It’s fun and inspiring to learn about his voyage. He was ever so pleasant and seemed to be enjoying his adventure.
      Safe crossings to you….

  7. Zack says:

    Fal, all the luck in the world, great adventures to you! Safe travels. Zack, Jenny, Lil Zack(Coleen’s neighbors)

  8. Phallin says:

    Praying for you and blessings on your journey!!!

  9. Si campbell says:

    Sounds like trip i planned once. Did not get to take it. si

  10. Gerry says:

    You spelled your own name wrong! I hope nights 2 & 3 have gone well. Have a good time with Grace on Thursday .

  11. Roseann says:

    The weather here has been just beautiful, hope you are experiencing the same. Be safe. Joe & Roseann

  12. Greg Wallace says:

    Good luck enjoy

  13. Mary Farnin says:

    Fal-Best of luck on your travels….I will be following your adventure!!
    Mary Farnin (kansas city)

  14. Diane and Bohdn says:

    All our best wishes and prayers go to you. Please keep our friend, Sal Boccella, in your thoughts and prayers during this challenging trip. Keep us updated on your travels.

  15. Steve says:

    Fal, the boat traffic on the C&D Canal and Elk River was a bit unusual that day. Hope you enjoyed your first night in Veasey Cove. Great spot to stay. I suspect that once you made it past Turkey Point and the mouth of the Sassafras River on day 2 your journey became much more pleasant. Keep us posted…

  16. Rockinwrangler says:

    Thanks for the updates.. I look forward to keeping up with your journey as you make your way down south. Your journey sounds like a memory maker for sure.. Have you thought about maybe writing a book about your experience??? I can hardly wait for the next entry into your journal… I live in Brunswick, GA. about 6 miles from the ICW near Jekyll Island, GA. If you need any kind of assistance when you get near just give me a shout.. 912-617-7986…

    Good Luck and May Continue to Bless You…


  17. Joe P says:

    Fal, this is awesome, so proud of you buddy. Enjoying your daily recaps, feels like I am with you the whole way.

    Be well, be safe

  18. Sophie K. says:

    Hi Fal! Hope your trip is going well. I look foward to seeing you and hearing about your amazing journey when you back. Be safe:)

  19. farberfen says:

    Marybeth M/V SOUTHPORT
    Good to hear from you. This is Captain Wayne of the St. John’s River Ferry Service in Mayport, FL. I have been following Fal’s travels religiously through his blogs and appreciate you contacting me after having had him cross the Cape Fear River on the SOUTHPORT. I operate the M/V JEAN RIBAULT on a short run (600 yards) across the St. John’s River between Mayport and Ft. George Island, FL. The Jean is 147 LOA and 497 grt and hauls @ 40 vehicles + 200 passengers. We’re looking for a full-time captain with at least a 500 ton license. POC is me at Looking forward to meeting Fal at the end of his trip. Blessings to you and the SOUTHPORT.

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