September 1

Woke up to a comfy bed and a home cooked breakfast. My host was voted the "Trail Angel of the Year" last year for the Florida Circumnavigation Trail and so far I can't argue it. He printed off a map of my day with possible extract points and we headed for the water. It was interesting paddling an empty boat and took me a while to get used to it. My first challenge was a large bay crossing. I got off course because I underestimated exactly how big the bay was. Once I was back on track it was rather easy paddling except it was overcast all day. A brief pause under a bridge gave me a good opportunity for some bird watching. I couldn't see under the water but there must have been hundreds of fish. The pelicans were dive bombing and didn't seem to care that I was there. I decided to stop for a break at a marina. The timing worked out perfectly as the afternoon storm hit while I was eating lunch. After the rain had passed, I passed a ship from Peru. It still amazes me how far some of these ships travel but then again I'm not on a short distance myself. The waves were picking up after the storm in the bay and I decided to pull into another marina for a break. While I was pulling up I saw a news truck interviewing some people fishing. I felt it was a perfect opportunity to get some media coverage. But by the time I docked they were pulling out and I didn't feel like chasing the truck down to offer them a great story. I called my host to let him know I was going to be heading to extract point #2 but the line was busy. I had a rough idea of where it was so I paddled for it. When I reached the area I decided to pull off early so I didn't pass the spot. When I called him we realized I was in the exact correct spot. I waited for him to arrive and sat on my boat enjoying the view. I saw a lady walking down the beach with her dog. The closer she got, she put him on a leash. I asked her when she got close if I was the reason she leashed her dog. I think I have scared a few dog owners along the way because I just want to pet their dogs. We got talking and had a really good conversation. My ride showed up and he helped carry the one bag of gear I had. I carried the boat across the street to the house of one of the ladies we had dinner with last night. Then it was back for another shower, laundry and a home cooked meal.

With the threat of one of the worst hurricanes ever and the opportunities for networking and fundraising I decided to book a flight out of Florida to wait for the storm to pass.