Sunday, July 5, 2015
High – 90
Low – 76
Skies – Scattered showers and thunderstorms
Winds – S 5-10
As I write this, we are in our tent during the worst storm of our entire trip. The wind is blowing the tent against me, as the rain pounds all around. The thunder seems to be a continuous roll, with lightning making the sky glow. I am a little (maybe a lot) scared. (See Instagram @separateboats)
Earlier today, while the sun was shining, I was singing, “I’m the kayak beyond the city of New Orleans. I’ll be gone 1500 miles when the day is done.” That’s exactly what we accomplished today – 1500 mile mark!
Today we had some interesting adventures as a result of the flooded banks. We honestly could not find any dry land today. We could get to the levee, but at a 35-degree angle, it is not safe to get out, causing a little stress in regards to breaks and camping. But God is good, and all was accomplished.
Not to say it was accomplished easily though. First, breaks, in particular potty breaks, were successfully completed. I really had to go and realized going on land was not an option. So I began to think…… Hmmm….. I had an idea and shared it with John. He was impressed with my idea and surprised that I was brave enough to try it. Here’s how my plan was perfectly executed….
First, get to the levee. John found a gap in the flooded trees and paddling hard to avoid the current pinning us against the willows, we shot through the small opening.
Second, I positioned my boat parallel to the steep and slick concrete levee wall. The trick here was to stay close enough so I could step over to the wall, but not too close, because that would allow the pulsing waves to slam my boat against it.
Thirdly, I unhooked my cockpit skirt from my boat and pulled down my pants.
Fourthly. I laid my paddle across the back of my cockpit perpendicular to my boat, with one of the blades laying against the wall of the levee. Kind of like an outrigger. Now, pushing myself up and out of my cockpit I sat on the rear deck of my boat, placing my left foot in the center of my seat and swinging my right foot out and on to the levee wall.
Finally, I lifted my butt and peed between the side of my boat and the levee.
Impressed? John was! He even tried to get a photo but the camera case got in the way (maybe tomorrow!)
Next, the task of finding a place to camp. John raised the captain of a passing tow on the radio boat and asked him if he knew of any exposed shoreline we could access downstream. He suggested we try the ferry landing, which we had already identified as a possibility from looking at the charts.
We approached the west bank side of the ferry landing and found a four-foot strip of shoreline covered, with shells, drift logs, trash, and weeds. Perfect!?! (Considering the circumstances, it was!)
We landed our boats, walked the steep
bank, and discovered a small area of shaded grass on the other side of the levee where we could place a tent. (See Instagram @separateboats)
With the wheels on the boat, we lumbered through the drift and trash, up the steep cement levee to the other side. Home. (See Instagram @separateboats)
After setting up camp, and starting dinner, John radioed the captain of the ferry-boat and asked if we could get some water. The captain said sure!
As we waited for the ferry to return from the east bank, we noticed the sky was becoming very ominous. We started to scurry. (We’ve done a lot of scurrying on this trip.)
We had just finished dinner, when we heard the horn indicating the ferry was making his way back to our side of the river. John walked to the ferry with the dromedary, while I finished storm preparations.
Once I had the campsite secure, I walked to the port-a-john. On my way, I met John. He said Caterry thought I should use the restroom on the ferry and seemed disappointed I hadn’t walked up with him. So, onto the ferry to meet Caterry and use the ferry boat’s restroom. We spoke awhile and realized the storm was approaching quickly. (See Instagram @separateboats)
We returned to the tent just in time. Which brings me back to the wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. We are safe and secure, and ready for a good night’s rest in preparation for a long paddle into Venice tomorrow. Mile 0 is getting closer!
Thanks for following our adventure. For photos and videos of the events mentioned in this daily journal, check us out on Instagram @ separateboats.
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