Day 126

Daily stats
  • Start: 7:00 AM – Spoil Island in ICW near Palm Coast, FL
  • Finish: 6:00 PM – Spoil Island in ICW in middle of St. Augustine, FL
  • Time: 11:00 (4:00 spent re-supplying in town)
  • Daily dist: 24 miles
  • Total dist: x miles
  • Companions: Michael Shugg – a friend from Orlando
  • Weather: Partly cloudy with 10-12mph, NE winds, temps in the 70’s
  • Notes: Michael drove over an hour and a half from Orlando and worked a bicycle shuttle so that he could do a one way run with me today. A lot of effort to be a part of the trip and I appreciated it.
Today I had the pleasure of being joined by Michael Shugg who is a paddling friend from Orlando. The two of us met on a BCU Level 2 coach training last spring and touched base again at the Sweetwater Symposium in late February and again two weeks ago out in San Diego at the Southwest Symposium (It is a small world after all). I can’t think of anybody who has gone through such great lengths to be a part of this trip. To make today work Michael got up at 4:00 AM drove an hour and a half to Fort Matanzas (our rendezvous point) where he dropped off his paddling gear. From there he drove up to Saint Augustine and parked his vehicle at a boat ramp. He then hopped on his bicycle and rode the 13 miles back down the coast to lock up his bike and get in his boat to catch up with me. Meanwhile I was comparatively sloth by sleeping in until 5:30 and paddling only 7 miles to meet up with Michael at the state park.
After meeting up with Michael we paddled into a bit of a head wind for 16 miles back to the St. Augustine lighthouse where his vehicle was waiting. I wanted to stay at the Anastasia State Park campground just a mile further on but, being a busy spring break weekend, the campground was filled beyond capacity. Thankfully there is a spoil island (a bit exposed but passable) just inside the inlet where I am camped tonight. I was able to make reservations to stay in the campground for a rest day tomorrow. A hot shower, clean laundry, and rest for my body will be greatly appreciated after these first six days back on the water after the long break. To save me the effort and trouble of running re-supply errands on foot tomorrow Michael offered to chauffeur me around town in his truck to get groceries and charts for the next leg of the journey.
Having some of my chores out of the way is a relief and will make my stay in St. Augustine tomorrow much more restful. It’s especially nice to have proper charts for the next month or so I’ll be traveling up the coast. As I paddled around Florida over the last two months I had been navigating via the DeLorme Florida State atlas. The maps are not designed to be used on the water but they provided plenty of detail for what I needed (ie. Keep Florida on your left). What made it work was the on-line “Florida Circumnavigation Trail” guide that provided info about camp sites and other details that made travel around the state much easier. Within a couple days I’ll be passing out of Florida waters into Georgia and I won’t have the trail guide to help steer me in the right direction. North of here the route gets much more dynamic and will require much better maps, actual navigation charts in fact, to allow me to paddle safely and efficiently through the tidal rivers and channels that lie ahead. I had a month off where I could have acquired the necessary charts but, true to form, I procrastinated to the point where I was back on the water two days away from the state line without any maps showing what lie ahead. It’s a relief to have that info now.

My food bags are stuffed, my water bags are full, and my gear is in good repair and ready, mentally I’m ready to push on but my body is asking for a day of rest, so that’s what tomorrow will be.


How did your trip turn out? Questions or comments? Feel free to leave your feedback.

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