November 15, 2009 by Bethany
I’m sitting here at Matt and Jodi’s apt in Coco Beach. The breeze from the open door is blowing in and I can see our three kayaks in the yard, resting after a short paddle, not more than a 10 second walk to their dock and wide open waterway. Its a pretty nice thing to be sitting here enjoying. Matt and Jodi are ALSO long distance expeditioners and we followed their trip around the entire shoreline of Florida and then hiking from the top of Florida to Key West they completed only recently. Check it out at http://sunshineexpedition.com/ You’ll be just as intrigued as we were, reading about it from our chilly cold freezing apartment in Portland, Maine last winter.
We have had a very nice, laid back past few days from New Smyrna to here in Coco Beach.
We left Chris and Guy’s house with a strong N wind, which was good, and a low morning temperature, which was bad. I was chilly but zipped up my raincoat and headed on. We were cold all day long. It was a bummer. I guess I had different expectations about Florida’s weather, but we can make it. We paddled alllll day long. We saw a lot of wildlife including all the common shore birds, dolphins and also some white pelicans and manatees. We were heading to the Haulover Canal. We made it to the entrance right as the sun was setting. I paddled up on a manatee and startled it and it made a crazy scary wave and my heart jumped all the way into my throat. Thank goodness they are nice animals and also… herbivores. We made it to the NW corner of the canal and met up with Mike of A Day Away kayak tours. He had waited for us for 2 hours! Sorry mike. We had no idea. He took us back to his house and his wife Elizabeth cooked us a really tasty dinner and we slept like babies.
The next morning Mike dropped us off again and we were off. The wind was again, blowing hard, but thankfully it was in the right direction. We battled through somewhat annoying chop to Titusville and an absolutely BEAUTIFUL little spoil island in the middle of the waterway. I called my mom since it was her birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! We ate some lunch and paddled on. We made it to the Manatee Hammock Campground and were able to really relax for the evening. We met some really nice people including THIS GUY and his wife. Check it out. We got up at 12:30am to see a rocket launch but it was canceled unfortunately. O well.
We were loading our boats to leave and we got a facebook message from Matt, inviting us to stay with them for a few nights and “slack pack,” (carry no gear) for a few days as we paddle. Of course we took him up on his offer. He met us on the water that afternoon and we left our boats at Jodi’s parents house. We made some stinkin GOOD pizza’s for dinner. They were just getting back from their Costa Rican honeymoon and had fun wedding presents scattered about. It was amazing being able to swap adventure stories AND advice for the rest of our Florida journey.
This morning we left from Jodi’s parents house, with Matt, and even Jodi’s dad for a few miles. Matt and Dan and I had a great time and swapped future adventure plans all the way to Matt and Jodi’s adorable apt on the Banana River.
Here’s to more adventures!