September 6

The locals call where I am camping Bird Island. The majority of the island is roped off for nesting birds but I found a small patch of sand just above the high water mark to camp. I woke up to the sound of rain drops splattering on my tent. I snoozed for a while since I was in no rush. I woke a while later to the sound of hundreds of birds singing. Well maybe not singing, but the sound of hundreds of sea gulls. Then I heard the sound of rain again tapping on my tent. Except I knew it wasn't rain, it was the results of being on an island with that many birds flying over. When they passed I climbed out and wiped off the presents they left on my tent. I packed up and headed for port. It was about a mile and a half back inland to the marina where I had arranged to store my boat while I was gone. The water flowing out to sea made it rather difficult. A lot of thoughts and emotions were running through my head knowing that this is the last time I will be paddling for 2 weeks. While it will be good to take a break, this is the life I am used to now. So getting off the water is like the equivalent of me going camping. Deep thinking, I know. I docked at the marina and went to find the lady I had talked to a few days earlier. She told me that when I was ready the dock guys would take care of me. I pulled my boat up to the ramp and unloaded everything. I think this is the first time I have had my boat completely empty since I started. I cleaned it up and put some stuff back in. When I was ready the dock guy came over with the giant forklift they used to move boats and we loaded my boat up. We probably could have carried it but it made for a way better experience. He drove it in the building that had about 150 boats stacked 3 high. I was hoping he would put it on the top level just so I could get a picture but he had a spot on the bottom row for it. I walked to town to find lodging for night. I walked to the hotel that was suggested as probably the cheapest. When I went in the ladies at the front desk were rude and I didn't get a good vibe. I told them I would think about it, knowing that I wasn't going to stay there and booked a room at the B&B that was a little farther away. I went back to the marina to get my gear and headed to check in. The guy who helped me with my boat gave me a ride which saved me from having to carry all my gear the mile through town. While checking in one of the ladies told me not to jump on the bed. She said that she had a lady who was jumping on the bed because she had never seen one like that. When I got in the room I understood. It was a four-poster bed with a canopy. So it made me feel at home since it's kind of like a tent. I took my normal extra long shower and then put on the complimentary robe. I felt so fancy. That lasted about an hour till I was starving and decided to find something to eat. I couldn't figure out which seafood restaurant to try now and ended up back where I ate yesterday. They welcomed me back with open arms. The owner said he was telling his wife about me last night and still couldn't believe I paddled from Ohio. I have found that it really takes people a while for it to set in how far that is when I tell them. The shrimp tacos were amazing. I left full and wandered around town for a bit then back to my mansion for the evening. I felt a little strange spreading my gear all over this nice room, but I wanted to make sure it was all dried out before I packed it away for 10 days. Now I just have to try and figure out what all I needed to take back with me to Ohio.