Finish 2:40 PM - Manasota, FL
Daily dist: 23 miles
Total dist: x miles
Weather: NE winds at 15 mph switching to SE headwinds at 20mph
Notes: I had planned on pulling off the water by noon but the weather looked like it was going to hold off for a bit longer so I cranked out another 8 miles. I did get caught by the weather and ended up paddling against a very strong head wind with big rain for the last three or four miles.
Meeting Doug is an example of just how intimate the paddling community is. His son Taylor is going to school in San Diego and had stopped by Aqua Adventures several times to join us for our weekly Thursday night paddle. Taylor brought his own boat and Greenland paddle and watching him on the water it was obvious that he’d been doing this for a while. It turned out that he and his dad had done a lot of paddling out in Florida with his dad, everything from touring to surfing. I tried to find time to get out in the waves with him but his class schedule and my work schedule never seemed to allow it. Just the same he is a cool guy and a great paddler. When he heard about this trip he let his dad know and Doug, very early on, offered up a place to stay when I got to the area.
These connections that came into focus very early in the trip are very fun for me. When I started out in Wisconsin the thought of catching up with somebody so far away in Florida was hard to grasp. But two months later here I am… it’s a neat feeling. As is so often the case in the kayaking world, Doug knows a lot of the same people I do. He invited one of his paddling friends, Dave, over for dinner and as we talked last night about our past paddling adventures and paddling friends we were often mentioning the same people. The paddling world is truly a small and tight knit community made up of exceptionally good people.