September 23


The barges aren’t the biggest problem.  The personal boat wakes are what you have to look out for.  And being a Saturday they are most likely going to be quite a few today.  Some of the captains are respectful and some simply feel that I shouldn’t even be on their river.  I felt one of the boats coming up behind me today.  He was going probably as slow as possible for his boat would go so not to throw a wake my way.  It was a nice gesture.  When he was right next to me we locked eyes.  I decided to give him a the hand signals that I was good and he could go ahead and open it up.  I gave him a Thumbs up (im good) forward chop (go ahead)  salute (thank you).  He waved and threw it into gear and was gone out of eye sight in a matter of minutes.  I hoped that all of the pleasure boaters were as nice as that guy.  They weren’t.  About an hour later I had a large boat come flying up from behind me.  He was only about 30 ft away and didn’t slow down at all.  I gave him hand signals as well but a different one.  It was only one finger (thanks buddy, your number 1)  I positioned my boat to take the hit and minimalism the water I was going to take in my boat.  I managed to only get a little bit but was still baffled that the guy didn’t even give me the courtesy of giving me more space.  Towards the end of the day I decided to set up camp on an island and instead of paddling into the night.  And it was still early enough that I could try and repair my hammock.  I pulled up to the shore and pulled my boat up on the bank and climbed up to the flat part.  Besides the ground cover there were plenty of trees to hang from.  I grabbed my paddle to use as a machete to clear a spot under the hammock.  All of the sudden I got a weird feeling like something was off.  I turned around and saw my boat slide off the shore into the water and start floating away.  There was only one way I was going to get it back and that was go for a swim.  I luckily thought to empty my pockets and take off my shirt before I got in.  I climbed down the bank and into the water.  About 5 feet in the bank gave out and I went in over my head.  It was definitely shocking but quite refreshing.  I grabbed the boat and pulled it to shore.  I secured it this time and had no other option but to laugh realizing that could have turned out really bad.  I did my best to fix the hammock and called it a night.