This morning we had a grand sendoff by the local pelicans at the Good Times Motel in Steinhatchee, and then were escorted by motorboat wake out the river and onto the gulf.
Gone was the flat, clear water of two days ago. Instead, our 9 nautical mile paddle to Sink Creek was in a headwind and light chop. The tide was high so our only concern with getting grounded was as we made our way between grass mounds. And it was pretty deep around their edges as well.
For a pee break, I just paddled straight into some grasses, checked for alligators and snakes, and then stepped out onto the solid ground and peed.
With no underwater sights to look at, no shallows to avoid, and no desire to loose ground in our fight against the wind, today was just paddle paddle paddle.
Our greatest thrill for the day came as we approached Sink Creek. Out of the marshes and from above the trees came shimmering streams of white pelicans, hundreds in a flock, undulating and changing leaders like we’ve seen geese do, but never pelicans. At least we think they were pelicans. The sun would catch them and there’d be a brilliant line of white flying and then alighting on the sea. Flock after flock came over us. Where were they? And where are they going?
As you can see on this map, we’re working our way through Segment 6, which is all in the Big Bend area. We bypassed Rock Island and Dallus Creek. Anderson Landing, coming up in two days is at Suwanee. And Island Place is a hotel, I’m guessing, where whoever put this map set together must’ve stayed at Cedar Key.
We’ve really enjoyed this section of the trail; the wilderness, the quiet, the beautiful campsites, the kind people in the remote settlements (Econfina, Spring Warrior Fish Camp, Steinhatchee) we’ve visited along the way.
We got into camp early and had half the day still to nap and read.
We set up our tarp, with a forecast that it might rain. No rain so far but a lot of humidity and the mosquitoes are back and buzzing like crazy outside our tent. We haven’t had to wear our bug suits in weeks. And hope this trend lasts a bit longer.
We are alive.
We are healthy.
We are adventurers.