November 26, 2009 by Bethany
Hey! This is Dan reporting… Bethany is painting with Jacqueline, the lady of the house here where we are staying for Thanksgiving. Sorry it has been so long since an update! We have been working hard to get south… And let me tell you, Florida has blown us away with its hopitality. Thanks EVERYONE!
Picking up were we left off at Matt and Jodi’s, we got on the water that afternoon right in the nick of time to catch a shuttle launch… We paddled out, chatted, looked at our watch, and BAM a blinding light shot up into the sky. Wow, I cannot even imagine going into outerspace! We turned south, paddled ten miles, putting us close to where Matt worked and got picked up to spend one last night at their house. After enjoying a great mexican dinner we hit the sack.
The next morning Matt took us by his shop Indian River Outfitters and got us geared up for the days paddle. More north winds pushed us along towards Sebastian. Around 6:00 we finally made our destination and pulled up to a small sandy beach in the dark where Kristen from Kayaks Etc met us along with some reporters from the local news. Fun! After negotiating the embankment we headed back to the Becks, got interviewed by the Vero Beach News and enjoyed reading the article later. We also did a little interviewing of our own. Mike is into Kayak Racing so we got a glimpse into a part of the kayaking world we do not know to much about. He helped us scheme up new plans for our next adventure…
The next morning we got dropped off by the water and paddled away again with MORE north winds pushing us along. Once again we paddled until night fall and made camp on an awesome island complete with fire rings, grills, tables and plenty of fire ants (my feet are still hurting!). We enjoyed a fire and a nice evening then slept well.
The alarm went off at 5:00 and we were paddling before the sun was up. We had 8 miles to go to meet Jack, Kevin and Ted, all local paddlers who were going paddling with us! We told them we would meet them at 9:00 so we had to make it. After meeting those guys we were off again for another nearly 30 mile day. It was great to have the company because we were dragging… Tired… Hot… Sore… After we finished Jack took us back to his house were we had a party! Kayakers, Food, Drinks, good times!
Once again we woke up and got on the water… Paddling through the Saint Lucie Inlet was amazing. Our first taste of the clear water paddling Florida has to offer. Awesome. We paddled down past Jupiter island and got picked up by Ted and Karen local kayakers who have been following our journey since we left in 2008! Thanks for the encouragment Ted and Karen! We finally got to take a rest day and catch up on our rest and resupply.
Leaving Jupiter we paddled into feirce south winds and chop and barely made it the 13 miles to Peanut island. Let me tell you this island was one non-stop party. By nightfall we were the only ones left… Or so we thought. Ted (we had met three Teds in three days – wild!), who is the trail keeper for this section, came to the island and brought us a great mcdonalds dinner. That was a first – Island delivery – Royal Florida treatment! We talked and planned the next few days then headed off to bed.
Ugg… Another long, hot day, but once again the Floridians came through and Ted came to the rescue and had everything set up at a hotel when we arrived and took us out for Dinner again! Thanks so much! We finally entered the “walled in” section of Florida. There is nothing but stone walls and crazy boaters. It can get really rough on this part of the waterway. Huge boats, big wakes and rebounding waves. There is no where to camp either, so it is tricky for the distance paddler like ourselves.
The night went to fast and Ted came the next morning to paddle with us to Ft Lauderdale. Another long day but again the company made it enjoyable. As we paddled along Ted introduced us to some fellow North Carolinians who just started an around the world sailing adventure – check these NCSU grads out! Leaving their mooring we headed to the Hyatt Peir 66 where Glenn is a Yacht Captain and offered to let us stay on one of his boats. We rounded the corner and there was an awesome yacht (80+) foot with a huge banner that read “WOW! Welcome Dan and Bethany, kayaking from Maine to Key West.” That was so exciting and the boat was amazing as well! We did an awkward scramble out of our boats said goodbye to our savior of the last 50 miles, Ted, and got acclamated to the boat. After showering Gleen and Louise took us out to eat at a great little raw bar. After getting back to the Marina, we took a look at some of the other boats in the place, one was over 250 feet long with a crew of 30 and a helicopter on board! Chatted with Glen and Lousia then went to bed.
The next morning we awoke to pouring rain and thunder… Bad because we wanted to get to Miami for thanksgiving, but also good because we were in such a splended location. We spent the day relaxing and doing absouloutly nothing! We had not had a day like that in weeks. It was much needed.
Thanksgiving day was much nicer and we headed towards Blue Moon Outfitters where we were leaving our boats for the night. We took one wrong turn but finally found our way up the correct “creek” and got picked up by Nina. She is the sister of Jamie, a Miami local who offered to let us stay with him for thanksgiving. Everyone at Blue Moon was extremely enthusasitic and as soon as we got to Jamies we enjoyed a great meal. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, bethany did some painting and we watchd a movie. Not a bad thanksgiving! And to top it all off we are in MIAMI!!!!
So without further delay, we would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. We are sure you have a lot to be thankful for. We do!