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Wet and cold

March 11, 2011

March 10, Cape Canaveral

At 2 am the spoil island got hit by a gale from the North West. Inside my tent I was holding the ceiling to prevent my tent poles from breaking. For about 20 minutes I held the tent thinking about how my friends in the sailboat were doing. I knew that their second anchor would not hold them away from shore in such a gale. Not much would have done it. I also worried about my kayak although it was tied to a tree. I hoped that the sail would remain wrapped otherwise the sail would be shredded to pieces. I could have gone out to check but that meant having to write off the tent poles and since there was not much I could do, I held on to the ceiling getting damper and damper by the minute as the rain passed right through the canvas of both layers of my tent.

After 20 minutes of gale, the wind slowed down to normal storm levels. I crawled out of my tent and ran to the kayak and sailboat. If my friends had looked out of their boat at that time they would have seen a mad man standing naked staring back at them. My kayak was unperturbed, the wind never taking hold of the sail since it was tightly wrapped. The sailboat was lying on its side close to the beach by otherwise unarmed.

The next morning the boys told me how the sailboat was pounding on the ground most of the night. They pushed it back to take advantage of the North West winds that the storm brought. They had been unable to leave the day before because of the South East winds that brought me there. I was quite an opportunity for them but left me with contrary winds.

I got on my boat at around 8 with contrary winds and heavy rain. I planned to make it 15 miles further to a commercial campsite in order to recharge my batteries and perhaps get online.

I got on the water. I made it to the middle of the intracoastal before a gale forced me to get to shelter again. I had barely crossed the intracoastal. I waited for the gale to pass, standing in the rain on a country road next to the water. It eventually abated a bit and I took off again.

The wind was from the North West and I was able to move at about 4 miles per hour. There were dolphins everywhere but they would hide as soon as I got the camera out. The rain was unrelenting.

I finally made it to the campsite. The rain was even stronger. I walked like a shipwreck survivor to the office to get a site. To my horror the office had the air conditioning at full blast. It was perhaps 60 F outside it was like a freezer inside. Fortunately they had a site. I made it back to my kayak to find that a new gale was starting.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the recreation room with retired people watching Bonanza and working on sewing machines. They had an internet connection and it was warm and toasty. I may never leave I told myself.

March 11, Cape Canaveral

I was cold all night. It dropped to 40F and my sleeping bag was still damp. I will need to get warmer stuff. I cannot imagine kayaking in such weather. I just don’t have winter gear. I may have to stop to wait for warmer weather well before North Carolina if this is the sort of weather we’ll be getting for the next few weeks.

Today, I’ll try to get a camp site again since the winds are bad for 3 days. I have a long crossing where there will be no possibility of camping for about 40 miles. I will need some sort of favorable wind to do it. Until then, I’m stuck.

5 Comments
  1. Arlen permalink

    Sick trip dude!

  2. steve permalink

    been enjoying your posts and your adventure. Really cool what you are doing. Jealous!!

    MHO… you are heading north WAY too early in the year, esp at the pace you are going. You will be into cold weather and strong winds all of march and april well south into the carolinas and May can be pretty cold still Maryland and north (also can be summer like). At your pace, you’ll be in Maryland by Late March. Way Too Early!!

    Without knowing your schedule, I thought you would not venture north until mid to late April or even May, riding the warm SW winds on a nice beam reach as they usher in summer.

    • Oh, I’m slowing down to a crawl for a while. I’m staying another day here for an air show. I saw a Delta 4 launch yesterday. When it warms up I’ll head about 10 miles north then I’ll have to get to Smyrna in one go since I cannot stop in the refuge. It’s all slow speed from here till april.

      • Natasha permalink

        The ocean in that photo reminds me of storms in Nova Scotia growing up, with wind that doesn’t let up. It just looks cold! I bet if you ditch the sail, you’ll warm up fast 😉

        In the meantime, be careful out there! As a wise man once said: “That’s not bad for a quadruped. You gotta check your mirrors… Side of your eye. Side of your eye. Don’t drive angry, don’t drive angry!” – Bill Murray, Groundhog Day 🙂

      • It’s now warm and it’s been like that for more than a week. I’m now in St-Augustine. I looked at google map and by god, I’m almost out of Florida!

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