August 13

If I could have stayed another day I definitely would have, but I must move on. I packed up and grabbed an uber back to the marina. My fear of my boat being filled with water was half true. I climbed down the ladder and got as much water out as I could. I put my gear in the best I could from the ladder and planned on stopping to reorganize. It was clear skies and smooth sailing. I passed a group of wave runners anchored out in the water. The kid who was renting them was amazed with what I was doing. He told me there was a beach with a shower a few miles down. I decided to check it out. It was a 20 ft rain shower that felt amazing after being in the sun all day. While I was taking a break on the beach I got a message from a guy who is waiting to get the official results from the Guinness Book of world records for the longest solo canoe/kayak trip he did last year. He went from Montana to the Atlantic Ocean. Pretty much the route I had originally wanted to do, but definitely similar since I had left the Ohio River and got on the Mississippi. I had sent him some questions a while back and he gave me some good suggestions but was just checking to see how things were going. He said that this section of Mississippi to the Mobile Bay was the hardest part. I would definitely agree. I have been getting advice from people all along the way about what I should and shouldn't do. I take what I want and leave the rest. But when someone who has paddled this section says something I listen. Just like it's easier to listen to another alcoholic or addict, because they have been there and know what it's like. I finally got moving again and it felt good being back on the water making some miles. I should have known better than to think it would last. All the sudden a predictable, unpredictable afternoon shower popped up. It came in fast and hard with lightning a blazing. I pointed for and gave it hell. Since I was about a half mile off shore it was a race to get off the water. I saw a small metal roof on 2 poles on the beach and headed for it. By the time I was a quarter mile out the rain was out of control. It started to hurt it was coming down so hard. I hit the beach and ran for the shelter. It didn't do anything to stop the rain so I grabbed my tarp and threw it over me and sat there. I started thinking that being under the only metal structure on the entire beach might not have been the best idea but I wasn't dare moving. The storm was constant for an hour or so but I didn't even get a chance to look out from under the tarp to see. When it finally let up I pealed off the tarp and could see a small speck of blue skies starting to form. I emptied all the water out of my boat again and started paddling. Then I noticed one of the brightest rainbows I had ever seen appear out of the water. I looked in amazement since my phone was still wet so I couldn't get a picture. Then a second rainbow appeared.  I started shouting.  "NO, NO, it can't be, it is. it's a double rainbow!  Look folks, we got a double rainbow".  I was getting a kick out of commentating the whole thing. I think sitting in that rain might have made me crazy. But more, I was just enjoying the moment. I continued paddling as the second rainbow faded away. Then the main one started to erase. It was like a tape measurer recoiling back into the ocean. I passed the large casinos and made my way to Deer Island where I had planned on camping. It's about 5 miles long. The west side is only about 100 yards away from the casino and the East side is completely remote. I was headed for the east side when a storm was threatening so I stopped right when I hit the West Bank and threw my tent up before the storm hit. I will have to continue paddling the rest of the island tomorrow but it shouldn't be too bad, at least I got my tent up dry.