August 10

It was nice to wake up to a level area but having to take my kayak back across the street made sure I was drenched in sweat from the start. My goal is to get close to Gulfport, MS today to camp, then go into town early tomorrow to maximize getting a hotel for a night. It wasn't a bad paddle.  About half way I came to a marina. I decided to stop and use a seated facility. Getting into the harbor was no easy task. When the waves are stopped by a sea wall, there is no consistent flow to them. They were coming from all directions. They would literally lift my boat up then fall out from underneath me, dropping my boat a foot or two. I powered through it and made it safely into the harbor. Tied up and went searching for a bathroom. After walking all around I found a gas station at the entrance of the marina and got some snacks. When I returned to my boat I could tell a big storm was coming and I shouldn't risk it. I hung out under the harbor master’s tower as the storm rolled in. When I asked the harbor master if it was cool that I waited underneath there they said yeah but told me I would get wet and to wait in the laundry room till it passed. As I sat in the laundry room, a small room with no windows, I heard the storm just dumping down. It felt like I was in a locker room waiting for a rain delay to pass. There was nothing to do but sit there and bounce my leg. When it finally passed I pumped all the water out of my boat and made a go.  Once I got past the sea wall it was smooth paddling. There was another marina 6 miles away and I figured if I made it there I could hopefully talk them into letting me camp for the night. The sun fell fast as I got closer to the marina and was all but down when I finally arrived. I wasn't sure if I would find anyone to get permission from. I beached my boat and walked up to the yacht club to ask. When I walked in soaking wet, with my life jacket still on, I saw hundreds of pictures of members in suit jackets on the walls. To say I felt out of place was an understatement. I asked the bartender where someone in charge was and she pointed me across the marina to the harbor master’s tower. When I climbed to the top it was pitch dark. As I started giving up hope I saw 2 guys sitting in the dark in the office. I told them what I was doing and if they minded if I camped. I said I didn't care if it was in the parking lot or by a dumpster. They told me I could sleep on a picnic table underneath the tower. The only problem is that the lights would be on all night. That was fine with me. It was a flat dry space, basically a Marriott. I unloaded and even got a shower. Since I knew I wasn't gonna get a lot of sleep that night I decided to walk down he street to Waffle House around 11:30. I always thought you had to be drunk or hungover to eat Waffle House but I have found I actually enjoy it no matter when. When I returned I had thought I would just sleep under the picnic table to try and block the light but I had seen several large roach looking bugs running around. So with the combination of the bugs and the light I knew my sleep wouldn't be the best. I zipped up in my sleeping bag and put my shemagh (a scarf that is worn in the Middle East) over my face. No solid sleep was going to be had but at least I am dry and only have about 3 miles to town and a hotel.