Start: 7:28 AM- French Quarter, New Orleans
Finish: 2:14 PM - Between Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain
Daily dist: 28 miles
Total dist: 1,191 miles
Weather: Started in the low 30s, reaching upper 40s by mid-afternoon. Partly cloudy, with a breeze out of the north.
Notes: Warmer weather ahead
Saltwater at last!
I stopped a bit early today at 22 miles because beyond here there is very little dry ground to be had for another 20 miles. I’m set up on a ridge of land that was deposited here by the dredging operation that created the canal I was paddling. It’s a nice spot all things considered, not much more than a rough grassy bank but way better than the mucky salt marsh that is the norm in this region. Finding today’s camp site was a crux move and something I’ve been stressing over since last week. I spotted the lighter colored ground of this bank on Google Earth and assumed it was something other (and hopefully dryer) than the black soil and marsh that surrounds it. I really didn’t know what was here, and if this spot would work out until I arrived at 2:00 this afternoon. I had back up plan but it would have meant hours more paddling and a lot of stress. It made my day when I saw how nice this spot is today.
Being on less intense water brought with it something else that has been missing with this trip so far… people. For nearly the first time I saw boats other than barges and ships out using the water for recreation be it fishing, hunting, or just boating. They were a welcome site and made me fell much less alone on the water. Even the tow operators (which there still are many) seemed less annoyed by my presence than they did on the river. I got more than a few waves and a few hearty hellos from tow captains and crew as they passed by. Two young men I encountered near a huge Billion dollar Army Corps project even slowed and approached me in their personnel transport boats to say hello and to find out just what on earth I was doing. They seemed hard pressed to get their head around the magnitude of my trip, I believe, mostly because they are not familiar with what sea kayaks can do.