Today was a perfect day of paddling, and my favorite so far on this trip. It had all the perfect ingredients:
- Flat seas
- Blue skies
- 66 degrees
- Underwater views
- No pain
- Anticipated destination
- Sense of accomplishment
- New things to think about
We pulled into Steinhatchee after paddling 13.9 nautical miles today from Sponge Point, with only one quick jump out of the boat in the shallows to take a pee.
The sea was so incredibly calm and clear, you could see right through its surface to the grasses and sands below. We saw fish and a turtle. And mostly pristine sea grass beds until we got close to Steinhatchee and saw where boats had torn up the bottom with their motors.
We’ve adjusted our expectations for the remainder of this season’s paddle. We had targeted Key West. Now we’re scrolling that target back a couple of hundred miles, to Naples, which is just north of the Everglades.
Naples is the halfway mark for the entire Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Ending there will thus still mean we’ll have paddled half the trail this season (versus the original plan of more than half) and we should, knock on wood, be able to do the other half next season.
Ending in Naples also means that we are today, here in Steinhatchee, halfway through this season’s paddle! We’ve made it halfway (and a quarter of the entire way)! Woot! Woot!
The fun new thing to think about is that our 25-year old son, Cliff, is buying his first house. Having been a Realtor in Colorado pre-retirement, I helped him review the contract via emails while holed up at the Spring Warrior Fish Camp.
Then last night he called us on Facetime while we were in our tent, camped at Sponge Point, so we could witness his electronically signing the Seller’s second counter. John and I had to fiddle with our Luci light so that Cliff and his girlfriend Chayse could see our faces in the tent.
Yep, modern technology allows young man in Colorado to electronically sign a home purchase contract, while his vagabond parents serve as witnesses in the dark of a tent along Florida’s remote Big Bend Wilderness.
Thank God. Now we’ll have a place to store our collection of boats and tools since we have to be out of our Colorado barn this summer and we no longer own a home in the States (our home is in Nicaragua). You did good, kid!
And modern technology allows us to use our phone to check the tide before we take the short cut between some islands.
(You’ll note here, under John’s boat, what the sea bed looks like when the sea grasses have been torn up by motor boats running too shallow.)
Tide was almost at its lowest and soon was going to be heading up. In other words, the water wasn’t going to be dropping really any lower than it was, so we were safe to take the short cut.
Up the Steinhatchee River, we arrived at our destination: The Good Times Motel, where we’ve rented a simple cabin for two nights while we resupply.
Now, time to shower and eat!
We are alive.
We are healthy.
We are adventurers.