Last night we had a special treat. Fifteen days ago, a twenty-three year old Marine named Esteban Blyar began solo paddling the Florida CT at the Florida Alabama border. He has a facebook page called Kayaking Around Florida, which we started following. He is blitzing his way away Florida, with the goal of beating the current record of completing the trip in 60 days.
We’ve been looking over our shoulders for days, expecting him to pass us with a huge rooster tail blasting off his stern. We wanted to make sure we weren’t blocking his way.
Last night he caught up with us here in Steinhatchee and we got to meet him and his ground support team; his wife and parents who find and join him each weekend.
Esteban is averaging 20 nautical miles per day, with a couple of 30+ mile days so far. He camps wherever he lands at the end of the day and is living off of MREs (military Meals Ready to Eat), and the weekend meals at restaurants with his family.
This morning, when Esteban paddled off, it was his Day 15. And my and John’s Day 40.
We have made an adjustment. For the first month we were eating a delicious but time-consuming egg veggie & cheese burrito breakfast. Now we’re doing the quicker, and thus easier to get on the water early before the winds, breakfast of oatmeal and granola bars.
We are also accepting and embracing our slower pace. How is it that we’re so tired today when we only paddled two days since our last layover days, and those in fact were even three days of layover because of the storm? I’m guessing it’s our age, 62 for me and 63 for John.
Sara and my 90-year-old Dad mailed our second resupply box to us c/o General Delivery, Steinhatchee. The Good Times’ Motel’s owner, Dawn, picked up the box and had it waiting for us in our cabin.
This morning we opened it up. Then walked down the road, across the bridge and into the tiny town past people scooting around on their golf carts, to the small grocery store attached to a gas station.
There we bought a few perishables to augment the food in our resupply box, and returned to the cabin for a nap and a meal. Our hike to the store took an hour round trip.
We are alive.
We are healthy.
We are adventurers.