Daily stats Start: 7:00 AM- Spring Creek FL Finish: 3:30 PM - on Rock Island Time: 9:30 Daily dist: 29 miles Total dist: x miles Companions: None Weather: NE wind 20 mph overcast until evening Notes: It’s my nephew Micah’s 2nd Birthday and 6th anniversary of my Dad surviving his heart attack!
I was very excited yesterday to finally be where I’ll have some protection by land from the east winds that have been blowing since I made it to Florida. It was that very protection that enabled me to go anywhere at all today in the 20 mph winds that were blowing out of the northeast. Of course the nature of the shore around here meant that I didn’t get quite as much shelter from the wind as I had hoped. The trees that block the wind are a mile inland from the salt grass marsh that borders the shore line. On top of that, sand bars and oyster beds pushed me even further of shore often up to two miles from what little protection the trees could give to begin with. Still the most I had to deal with today was an occasional run against two foot seas when I crossed open bays. Otherwise it was relatively smooth cruising on light chop. However, the constant sound of wind blowing in my ears and splashing water blowing in my face, was psychologically tiring. What I did to lift my spirits was sing Happy Birthday for my nephew Micah who turned 2 today. At first it made me home sick, but with thoughts of being with him when he turns 3 next year I felt better as I crawled my way through the wind.
dull grey day
highlight till island
For most of the day it was just a dull slog in the wind. The skies were overcast and gloomy, the shore was so far away it appeared as a featureless green mass. The only thing that marked my progress down the coast was the passage of time. A highlight was when I came upon a channel marker for the Econfina River. Finally I knew exactly where I was on the map. I was afraid the gloom and drudgery would be all I’d have to write about but things did change for the better. At about 2:00 the skies cleared and the sun finally shone on Rock Island my home away from home for the night.
I should tell you that rocks are a strangely rare thing in Florida most of my experience in this state in the past has shown me only sand, shells, and, mud. There is a spine of limestone (ancient coral reef) that runs down the center of the peninsula, but along the coast you just don’t see much rock unless it was put there by man. So when I saw the name “Rock Island” on the map I was curious as to exactly what kind of rock this island could be made of. As I approached I was happy to discover that the island was high enough to support trees and not just marsh grass. In addition my eyes could detect the shadow of a ridge along the shore. I assumed it was mud banks but sure enough, it was rock. In fact almost the whole island is rock the same type of ancient coral reef that is seen in the center of the state. It actually still looks like coral full of holes and tunnels much like a block of Swiss cheese. The receding tide left numerous pools still full of water which reflected the shimmering sun and now blue sky, a beautiful sight indeed.
Instead of set up camp in the same overused established campsite complete with a steel fire ring I opted to get out of the wind and in the sun a hundred yards down the beach to the west. It was a chilly day but once I had the tent set up and was completely out of the wind for the first time in the day it was a nice cozy spot and a great end to a tough day.
Because of the nature of the relatively featureless shore line (which is hard to get close to because of the shallows) paddling this section of coast runs the risk of being a dull slog. However, Rock Island is a jewel of an island that makes all the effort worth while.
To me tonight Spring Creek Florida is a little slice of heaven. After a full week of slogging against persistent head winds out of the east I’m finally at a point where the east winds can blow all they want and I’ll be protected by land. Tomorrow might be trouble, but if the weather does as is predicted I should have a break from the wind for the next few days. To add to the good feeling of finally being able to look ahead at a few days of good paddling is the fact that I a pair of RV campers (Tom and Patsy Junes) at the camp ground where I’m staying have graciously adopted me for the night. I struck up a conversation with Patsy at the boat landing when I arrived, later on when I mentioned that I was going to walk over to the restaurant for dinner she insisted that I help them eat up some of the leftovers that they had from yesterday’s dinner. Not being one to pass up food I was happy to oblige by making a heaping plate full of meat balls and mashed potatoes disappear. Patsy was an army cook for years and judging by the meal she fed me, those soldiers must have eaten well. Afterward Patsy invited me to stay and charge my batteries and work on today’s blog inside their cozy camper. Once again I’m wowed by the generosity and kindness people can be capable of.
Patsy and Tom are from Kansas and after their recent retirements they sold their home, bought this RV, and are setting out to explore the country. They settled on Florida first in order to be a bit closer to Tom’s family for a while. They had first set up in an RV park near Tallahassee and endured a summer in the heat, then got smart and relocated down here where the breeze keeps things a bit cooler and the open spaces and swaying marsh grass reminds Patsy of home in Kansas. When the weather warms this spring they plan on hitting the road with no overworked plan on where to go, rather they’re going to go wherever the road and adventure takes them.
It was a very lucky break in the weather that got me this far today. The winds were predicted to blow out of the southwest at 15-20 mph swinging to the north at 20 mph later on. I figured if I could make it out of the river where I was and to the coast before the winds swung to the north I’d have a chance to make it here. A thunderstorm and torrential rains kept me tent bound so I got a little later start than normal. I can’t say I felt bad when the storm was raging at 5:00 this morning and I had to stay in bed a bit longer. The sleep-in ended however, when I realized that the river that had had been 40 feet away last night had climbed it’s banks and was now only 30 feet away and gaining. Besides that I also managed to situate the back half of the tent in a low spot which was beginning to get wet. So I broke camp in a light rain and finally got on the water by 9:00 AM.
Flooding river getting close.
The river proved to be even more beautiful this morning than it was yesterday. Wispy clouds of fog hung along the banks and hardly a whisper of wind wrinkled the mirror smooth surface. The most remarkable thing was the sounds of all the birds, their songs carrying across the water so clearly that it seemed like they were right next to me. Again, I highly recommend paddling the Crooked River if you ever get a chance. One thing I’d like someone to explain is how on earth a river can flow downstream in two directions which is exactly what this river does. I had paddled up stream all day yesterday and this morning I paddled down stream all the way back out the other side. The fast moving current of the river was a blessing that got me to the open coast in short order. When I realized the predicted winds that had yet to arrive I didn’t even slow down, rather I turned north and made my way up the coast to Spring Creek. I made it here just in time, it was literally minutes after I arrived that the wind switched to the north and started to howl.
A calm start to the day.
The Florida Circumnavigation guide I’m using said I could find water and a restaurant (which means a chance to charge batteries) so it is a perfect place to stop before making my way across the top of Florida and down the other side. The only thing this camp is lacking is a laundry which I could have used. However, a few weeks into the trip somebody suggested doing my laundry by shaking it around inside a dry bag with water and soap. I gave it a try today and it worked like a charm and I now have fresh clothes to last another week. Thank you to whomever it was that made that suggestion.
It was a late night for me last night so it was very hard to get up this morning. It didn’t matter because with the intricate shallow water channels outside of Carrabelle I needed daylight to see where I was going anyway. Before I could do any paddling at all I had to drag my boat over a couple hundred yards of tidal mud flats due to the fact that the tide was out and I pulled out of very shallow water last night. The drag went well and thankfully the mud was firm enough that I didn’t sink in past the top of my boots.
Taking boat for a walk
From camp it was a short mile and a half paddle into town where I pulled out at a boat ramp and walked a block up to the IGA grocery store to replenish my supplies. By now I know when my food reserves are getting low when I start to notice surplus room in the Ikkuma‘s hatches. As long as I was at the store I indulged in a few donuts and a pint of milk. The donuts only came in packs of a half dozen which I feared would be too much but somehow they all disappeared in minutes. It’s remarkable to see just how much food I can eat and still be hungry. Once I was re-packed and ready to go I pointed my boat inland and continued on my way.
Anybody that was following along with the SPOT hits that didn’t know about the river route I took must have been baffled as to why my location was showing up five miles inland. Taking a cue from the Florida Circumnavigation Guide I used this route to get a day away from the winds which lately have been a constant hindrance to my progress. The irony is that I ended up working harder in a full day of paddling verses what I would have achieved in a few hours on the open coast even with the wind. However, if I had stayed on the open coast I would have missed one of the most beautiful paddling routes I’ve ever seen. If you ever end up in northwest corner of Florida, I strongly recommend paddling this section of water. It is amazing.
View on the river.
I spent the day on the Crooked River which I picked up in Carrabelle and followed roughly NE toward Ochlocknee Bay. True to it’s name the Crooked River is very crooked. Starting out near Carrabelle the river is mostly a salt water tidal stream surrounded by salt water tolerant grasses. As you move inland and upstream the water becomes less salty and the grasses give way to pines and cypress. At the same time the river narrows drawing the tree lined banks even closer. I was on a constant look out on all the sun warmed banks for a potential sighting of an alligator but all I saw was a few camera shy turtles. The river passes through state forest land and the state has set up a series of very nice camp sites for paddlers to use. With storms in the forecast tomorrow I don’t expect do much paddling on the open coast so I took my time on the river and decided to camp back here tonight. It is a very different experience camping amongst pines and cypress rather than sand dunes and grasses. The frogs are singing a constant chorus and the sound of the wind blowing through the pines is one of the most soothing sounds I’ve ever heard.
View from camp.
Storms are supposed to blow in tonight so I made sure everything was staked down tight and am now enjoying the calm before the storm.
Daily stats Start: 6:30 AM - South Apalachicola Bay Finish: 3:30 PM - Carrabelle, FL Time: 9:00 Daily dist: 31 miles Total dist: 1,556 miles Companions: None Notes: Clear, breezy and choppy, with SE current.
Before dinner I didn’t have much to report about today except that it was another long hard day spent paddling into a persistent head wind. I’m also convinced I was working against a long shore current as well. Both combined forces kept my average speed at just below three miles per hour which meant I had to work hard for nine hours to achieve the same distance I could normally do in seven. All day long I was headed toward a town called Carrabelle where just outside of town there is an undeveloped point of land where one can pitch a tent and not upset the locals. The Florida Circumnavigation Trail guide that I’ve been using the last few days has been a huge help by highlighting places just like this. It truly makes the logistics of handling the Florida coast much easier.
As I toiled against the wind I could see on the map that the town of Carrabelle is only about a two mile walk from camp, so a seed of hope was planted that perhaps I could fill my water bags and more importantly get a burger for dinner. It was with visions of a juicy burger that I found the resolve to grind out the last five miles of the day arriving on the beach exhausted and hungry. I set up camp and hung my things out to dry then fired up my computer to see if google earth could tell me where the nearest restaurant might be. It turned out that a place called “Wild Hogs BBQ” was about two miles down the road. I called the number shown to be sure it was open and an ornery voice on the other end said “Yea till eight.“ It didn’t sound welcoming but I wasn’t in a position to be fussy, so I stashed all my gear, grabbed my valuables and empty water bags and started off on a long walk to town. A half mile later I had just stepped off the sand trail I’d been following onto pavement when right before me stood the most beautiful sight I’d seen all day. “Two Al’s Cafe” and it was not only open but the parking lot was full, a very good sign. To find a perfect little restaurant like this so close to camp is like winning the lottery. I stepped inside and grabbed one of the few remaining tables.
A little corner of heaven
As I waited for the one very busy waitress to catch up with me I reviewed maps of the next few days route and watched the already busy restaurant fill up with even more people. It turns out that Thursday is trivia night at “Two Al’s” and as one person put it, “In this town, it’s the ONLY thing going.” As the last remaining tables were grabbed I invited a pair of people to join me at my table. Before my burger (and hot dog) arrived the game started so I figured I’d play along too and joined the pair seated at my table to make a team of three named “Fish”. The three of us proved to be an intellectual powerhouse and managed to maintain a fair lead throughout the night. I even won a mini puppet on a speed answer round by knowing that, after the White House, Graceland is the second most visited home in the US.
I named him Graceland… Not sure where he’s going to ride
Before the game was ended we lost our lead in a bonus round and missed our chances at $10 coupons for the café. It was no matter to me, after the last few days of hard paddling it was enough to be around people having a good time. I walked back to camp with a full belly, a fresh supply of water, and renewed desire to continue on down the coast. Who knew such a hard frustrating day could turn out so great.
Daily stats Start: 6:15 AM -South of Tyndall Airforce Base Finish: 2:30 PM -South Apalachicola Bay Time: 8:15 Daily dist: 38 miles Total dist: 1,525 miles Companions: None Notes:Clear, calm, and great paddling.
sunrise on the time zone line 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM I’m not sure
The sun rose at 7:00 AM on the bow of my boat and 6:00 AM on the stern as I crossed the line into the Eastern Time Zone this morning already an hour into my day. This was the first morning in the last several that my tent wasn’t already shaking in the wind when I woke up. So I wrapped up my gear cautiously not wanting to alert the wind gods to my presence and have them unleash their blustery wrath. The seas had calmed overnight and I launched easily into one foot surf. There was a puff of a northwest tail wind all morning as I paddled on the outside of the St. Joseph Peninsula then as I rounded the corner at Cape San Blas and grabbed a photo of the lighthouse there, the winds went flat. Figuring I better make hay while the sun shines I stayed on the water and extra hour and a half and made good time all the way to Little St. George Island on the west end of Apalachicola Bay.
lighthouse on Cape San Blas
I could have kept on paddling but after two long hard days me and my gear were beginning to show some signs of wear. I spent the afternoon rinsing gear, tuning up my cook stove, changing batteries in my headlamp, lantern, and SPOT device, and figuring out why my VHF radio suddenly couldn’t find the weather reports. After all of that I turned to doing a little repair work on my feet as well. After all the walking yesterday, (some in my paddling boots, some barefoot, and some in sand covered sandals) my feet were rubbed raw and blistered in several places. Thank goodness I’m sitting on my rear all day instead of walking.
The camp site I ended up at tonight is probably the best I’ve had on this trip so far. I’m set up amongst sand dunes on the end of a peninsula looking west across a half mile of shimmering blue water at the uninhabited and tree covered St. Vincent Island. For the first time since I was on the river there are no signs of human habitation or development anywhere in site. It‘s just me the sand, the water, and the dolphins hunting in the channel. It’s amazing.
Sunset from camp on day 53
Tomorrow promises to bring a bit of a head wind once again so I’m going to get as early a start as possible to try to get as far east as I can before it catches up with me. Bigger winds and rain are in the forecast Friday and Saturday but I think I have a plan to deal with that. It might get interesting but should be fun.
Daily stats Start: 6:40 AM-Panama City, FL Finish: 4:10 PM -South of Tyndall Airforce Base Time: 9:30 Daily dist: 20 miles Total dist: 1,487 miles Companions: None Notes: windy, portages
Today was one of those days that I probably shouldn't have broken camp. I did get twenty miles in but I earned every inch. I launched at 6:30 knowing that the seas on the open gulf were rough so I decided to stay behind Shell Island until I was warmed up. It was an hour and a half later when I should have reached the end of Shell Island I learned that the island is no longer an island but a peninsula connected to the main land.
The Ikkuma on my cart...pretty much sums up the day.
So began portage number one. I scouted a route over the sand dunes, assembled my kayak cart, lightened the load by putting some gear into duffel bags to carry, and made the portage to the other side. What I saw when I finally caught sight of the open coast was heartbreaking. Beyond a do-able 2'-3' surf zone was a blown out confused sea of rolling whitecaps. I could have gotten through the surf but I wasn't ready to subject myslef to what would have been 20 miles and 5 hours of the kayaking equivilant of being in a Maytag washer.
The weather is supposed to improve a bit by tomorrow so I was ready, even at 9:00 AM to call it a day and wait for better conditions. However, I happend to be sitting right on the very same military property I was trying to avoid by paddling so far yesterday. So setting up camp so early on a fairly frequently visited beach was not an option. I happened upon some folks out doing a bird survey and asked them what they thought would happen if I did set up camp, even after dark. They knew the beach was patrolled and said it probably wouldn't be a good idea. They did present an option of portaging down the beach a way to access the next lagoon to the East which would then allow me to continue on another ten miles and reach non-military land. I had nothing else to do for the rest of the day so why not.
So began portage number two. I once again put the boat on the cart and this time wheeled it, alternating with carrying bags of gear, over a mile and a half to the next lagoon. While I was scouting exactly where I could drop back in I met a couple military guys out on their lunch break seeing the sites. I explained what I was up to and they ended up helping me move my boat and gear the last quarter mile half way up the board walk then over the railing into the marsh grass bordering the water below. After bidding them farewell I re-packed the Ikkuma and pushed off into St. Andrew's sound. I followed this narrow body of water another six miles south until it dwindled into a narrow channel and came to a gravel road. After verifying with a passer by I knew I had found the road that would lead me back to the beach.
So began portage number three. Once again I went through the now familiar routine of assembling the cart and putting my gear into duffel bags to be carried on my back. A half mile portage later I was finally back on the beach and at my camp site for the night. Of course still on military land but hopefully far enough out of everyone's way that they won't notice or care.
Tomorrow I may get a small break in the wind so I'm going to try to make the best of it. My goal over the next two days is to make sure I end up someplace comfortable for Friday and Saturday when another weather system is supposed to pass through making things too rough to paddle. I literally got on my knees and prayed for less wind this afternoon.
Daily stats Start: 7:20 AM-Destin, FL Finish: 6:00 PM -Panama City, FL Time: 10:40 Daily dist: 51 miles Total dist: 1,467 miles Companions: None Weather: Sunny and cooler with a great tail wind from the west Notes: The longest day (by time) of paddling yet
When David showed up at 6:00 AM this morning to give me a ride back to the water I had no idea this would be the longest day of paddling I'd do so far. It was only after I made really good time with a strong tail wind across the first stretches of open water that I started considering my options. Because of the way the campable land is situated, in order to avoid camping illegally on military land it would mean three short days of paddling or at least one really long day of paddlling. I figured that I was well rested, got an early enought start, had a good tail wind, and would be finishing up inside sheltered waters so why not crank out a really long day today.
A sixteen mile section in the middle of today's route passed through a dredged out canal I"ve been told is nicknamed "The Big Ditch". It really isn't much more than that. It seems as though the original canal was doug and the spoils were piled along the sides creating 20-40 foot high sand and soil banks. On top of the banks pine trees have taken root and have grown into a dark green forest. One can almost imagine they're paddling through the Badlands of South Dakota capped with green pines. It was a rare opportunity to get close to the pine forests that cover much of Northern Florida. Beyond the wooded banks I could occasionally catch a glimpse of the newer dredged spoils that have been pumped in a sand and water slurry beyond the original earthen berm. If one choose to scale the steep banks they would discover acres of white sand beyond the row of trees that flank the ditch. It could make good camping but would be a lot of work.
Sharing the ICW canal with a couple of yachts
'The Big Ditch' note the dredged sand piles that compose the banks.
The 6:00 arrival into Shell Island (just outside Panama City) meant finding and setting up camp completely in the dark. I've taken down camp in the dark so many times that it really was no trouble. Super long days like today however do take it out of me, I am plenty tired and ate a double dinner trying to put the calories I burned back in. Tomorrow should see the first day back on the open coast I've had since entering Florida waters. It might be a bit bumpy considering the winds we've been having but I'm looking forward to paddling beside an endlass horizon again.
Still on the water at sunset. Still a bit choppy too.
The big winds that were predicted certainly held true but, as of yet, the thunderstorms that were promised never materialized. We did have a couple downpours and big gusts of wind but no thunder and lightning to really make things interesting. At any rate it was still a no go for paddling today. After a day spent fighting head winds yesterday I had no desire to do it again today in even bigger winds. Instead I took the chance to have a real rest day not doing much more than eat, catch up on e-mails, and putter around the RV park with my camera. It felt good to have some down time to myself but I’m itching to get back on the water and get back at it tomorrow. Dave (one of the standup board paddlers that helped me out yesterday) is going to stop by the campground office tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM to cart me and by gear back to the water. He’s planning on joining me for a while so it should be a great start to what I hope is a great day.
The red flag that I saw at the beach this morning confirmed my belief that it was a day better spent sleeping in.
My tent set up on the edge of a concrete slab. Anchored onto the grass and to my kayak loaded with gear to weight it down.
Daily stats Start: 6:09 AM- Fort Walton Beach, FL Finish: 12:00 PM - Destin, FL Time: 5:50 Daily dist: 18 miles Total dist: x miles Companions: None Weather: WINDY 15-20 mph head wind Notes:The wind took it out of me today so I pulled off the water early.
If you had asked me this morning "What is the worst wind you could see today?" I would have said, “East... please no east wind.” Of course that is exactly what I had…. All day. The wind is actually what woke me up at 3:00 AM. I had planned on paddling out of the Intracoastal to the open coast and down to Grayton Beach. However, when I woke to the wind already blowing so early I opted to stay on the inside to try to hide from the wind as much as possible. Going on the open coast to Grayton would have committed me to the outside (and potential big seas) for the next couple days, which could mean I‘d be going nowhere. With big winds in the forecast until Tuesday I figured staying inside would increase my chances of being able to move and put more miles on. I had set my sights on an island 32 miles away at the entrance of a very narrow dredged out portion of the waterway known as the “Big ditch.” In the end, however, the wind changed all my plans.
After six hours of slogging into harsh headwinds I finally threw in the towel and decided to go for plan B and find someplace to hunker down for the next couple nights. I originally had plans to meet up with a local paddle boarder named Cory, he had been the one to recommend Grayton State park as a great place to stay, and wanted to meet up and paddle a bit with me down there. The big winds took paddle boarding out of the picture, but thankfully not Cory. Cory is a truly great guy who is currently at ground zero of the local paddleboard community. He has started "Waterman Gulf Coast" on-line and with that organization he has put on several great events to promote this relatively new sport beyond surfing and racing to everyone else. When I found a place to land I gave Cory a call and he (and his friend another local SUP paddler, David) came down to the park where I was to pick me up and take me out for a bight to eat. When they found me I was engrossed in a conversation with a local Sherriff’s deputy in his squad car (nothing but good things this time) and yet another local SUP paddler just in after playing around in the very wind that was too much for me. The SUP community is certainly alive and well in northwest Florida.
This sherrif's deputy and I chatted while i waited for Cory to pick me up. It was nice to talk to a law enforcement officer and not require his services..
It’s interesting how, in my experience, almost all of the folks come in contact with who are involved in paddle-sports are great people. Cory and David showed me that stand up paddlers are no different. It seems as though if you are the type that enjoys putting paddle to water, in no matter what craft, you’re probably going to be OK in my book.
Me with Dave and Cory two of the big names in the local paddling community.
After lunch Cory drove me to Wal-Mart to replace the watch I had lost the day before (which of course I found later on) then on to a nearby RV park “Camping on the Gulf.” Cory turned on his charm and helped me explain my predicament to see if they could make room for me for a couple nights. The campground was very sympathetic to my cause and helped me get set up on one of their smaller sites. I was warned by the staff that when it rains (there are storms in the forecast) the grassy areas usually flood so I ended up setting my tent up on the concrete slab there for RV’s to park on. With my good sleeping mat I wasn’t worried about the hard ground, but anchoring my tent to deal with the blowing winds was interesting. I ended up using the Ikkuma itself to anchor one side of the tent and was able to pull my anchor lines over the edge of the slab to anchor the other three sides.
I'm not much for RV camping and have come to prefer my tent on a nice sand bar in the river to just about any other place to stay. However, “Camping on the Gulf” is amazing and the manager David and the rest of the staff have gone out of their way to make sure I'm comfortable during my stay. The campground has every amenity a person could want complete with two pools, a hot tub, rec. center, store, laundry, and (of course) campsites right on the beach. I’m looking forward to a nice shower and might just take a soak in the hot tub, despite my brother’s warnings that it can sap my energy. Somehow I don't think twenty minutes in a hot tub could be any worse than six hours of head wnds.
The plan now is to lay low for the day tomorrow (Sunday) to wait for the storms and wind that are still in the forecast to finally clear out. Then I’ll be back on the water Monday to put on some miles toward Panama City. David volunteered to give me a ride back to the park where I took out today and is planning on paddling along with me for part of the day. With the sunshine and a nice tail wind that’s predicted we should have a great time.
Start: 8:15 AM - Pensacola Kayak and Sail, Pensacola FL Finish: 4:09 PM - Fort Walton Beach, FL Time: 7:52:49 Daily dist: 37 miles Total dist: 1,396 miles
Plans had been made for me to stay at the kayak shop last night in order to get an early start today. However, after dinner I was just too sleepy and comfortable to re-locate all my gear and get settled into a whole other location for one night. So I stayed with the Blackingtons one more night and they gave me a ride over to the kayak shop bright and early this morning. Waiting for us at the marina was Tom whom I have been corresponding with ever since I put out the call to the Pensacola fishing forum looking for info on the local waters. I didn’t have the energy to visit with him last night so he made the trek down to the put in to see me off this morning.
Aside from providing me with some excellent information about the local waterways I believe this fortuitous connection with Tom may have come with it a higher meaning. You see… Tom’s on-line moniker is “Banana Tom.”
There was a thread of thought, from those who appreciate my observation of the superstition around bananas on boats, that it was bananas that may have caused the streak of bad luck that befell me on the first month of this trip. I had purged the dehydrated bananas from my food stores and thoroughly scrubbed the location where a prankster stashed a banana peel under my deck lines last fall. Yet I still felt a twinge of doubt that the banana curse had been completely exercised from my craft. This morning however, I think I finally removed all doubt that the bad luck of the banana has been neutralized by handling the curse on a more diplomatic level by inviting Banana Tom to sign my boat.
Making friends with 'Banana Tom' A diplomatic solution to the Banana curse.
Of course I asked him to sign it “Tom” not “Banana Tom”… there is no need to push my luck.
One noteable thing I saw today was another group of kayak campers. They were set up on the far west end of the series of islands where I am camped now. This was only the third group I've seen since the start of the trip. The first was on an island jsut above Lake Wisconsin on the first day, the second was below Natchez MS on the Mississippi River. I hope with the weather getting warmer this becomes a trend that continues for the rest of the trip.
I'm not the only one... Other campers on the water.