Layover #2 Butler Island: Day 45, Florida CT Paddle 3.29.18

Dear Reader,

Last night the winds stayed down, as if they had better things to do than flap at our tent fly, but by 2 a.m. they’d returned. And by 6 a.m., when it is still pitch black in Florida and you’d think it was still the dead of night but for the clock on your phone and the hunger in your belly, the winds were at full force and John scrambled out of the tents with the stakes, guying out the rain fly’s corners to prevent damage to our tent.

We weren’t going anywhere today. That we knew from the forecast. We’d missed our only window yesterday afternoon for imminent escape.

Watch the tide, instead, we did.

So close to the full moon, the tide was very low this morning when we finally scrambled out of our tent to stretch and look at the day. I put my wetsuit booties on and walked out to see what I could find.

Raccoon tracks. And a long bar of oyster shells. And rows of wind-churned foam along its edge.

In the distance, beyond John, a raft of white pelicans sits so tightly packed that I wondered if it wasn’t a boat.

A small raccoon came by, oblivious to us it seemed.

But no dolphins and no manatee and no flocks of choreographed birds dancing across the sky.

But we might of had our noses buried in our books, sitting tucked behind our tent where we could read in the lee, or with our back to a tree for a windscreen.

Our water supply is now uncomfortably low and our electric juice is now dependent solely on the sun’s uninterrupted rays hitting our two small panels to power up our battery packs. It feels like an awfully slow process though, when you find you start to lean towards urgent. So I relaxed on a tree limb and watched two crab boats work their way along the oyster bars.

Tomorrow we need to move on. The weather forecast, which by now you know we live by, says high winds the rest of today and tonight and tomorrow until around noon. That’s when we’ll be packed and ready to leave, routine or no routine of leaving only in the morning. We’ll be paddling south towards the mouth of the Suwanee River and then on to Cedar Key. But for now we rest. And drink. And read.

The tide is very high now, practically lapping at Miss Pink’s stern. The oyster bars are totally covered. And the wind has not let up. I’ve seen no bumblebees today. No butterflies. No mosquitoes either and no gnats.

Let’s see what tomorrow will bring, shall we? I know the gods are laughing.

We are alive.

We are happy.

We are adventurers.


Cheers, Susana


  1. Sara McCoy says:

    Such a lovely place. I am sitting with my black coffee (yuk). I have to go in for fasting blood work this morning. Since, I haven’t been to a doc in two years, I decided to bite the bullet and make an appt. That is next month, but in the mean time, I fly to Santa Cruz tomorrow. Weather forecast is in high sixties and sunny! Whoo hoo! My cousin Maura lives in a small mountain town a half hour from the ocean. We were fast friends as children, up until our early teens, when her family visited every summer and stayed in the little house across the street from my Seattle home. Her mother had breast cancer, and my father oversaw her treatments in Seattle. I hadn’t seen her in about 50 years, when we reconnected at my mom’s memorial celebration.
    Memories of play acting Nancy Drew and bring back Vincent Van Gogh in a seance came flooding back. Long story, short….. we will get to spend some real time together. She is an attorney now, but going to take some time off to spend with me. I’m excited! I will also get to see a couple I met last summer who stayed with me during the Zimbabwean music festival at my house. Angela and Larry play in a marimba band, and are fun and interesting old hippies like us. I long to hike in the warm mountains and walk on the beach! This school year has had its challenges. Will be happy for the break.

    Drew is on day 10 of his raft trip down the Grand Canyon. Last night I looked up details on line. Was glad to have read the Emerald mile, to understand some of the logistics. The plan is to be out 21 days. There are 16 of them in the party. He is not the trip leader, but oaring one of the rafts. Most in the party are friends, (guides with experience) although it is not a commercial trip. I’m sure you all know more than me about his adventure. I am grateful for his experience!

    Liam will be 32 next week! Hard to believe. My new grand baby is expected July 13, which happens to be a Friday! So far Juli is well and looking great as usual, but much more tired this time. I can’t imagine why. Ryker is a love, smart, congenial, handsome and charming, but very busy! What can I say, but being a grandma creates so much happiness!

    Well, you and John look good, hearty and healthy! I hope you make it to that water supply today, and catch some calm seas. Hugs to both of you!
    Love, Sara

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