August 24

When I got on the water this morning I was cruising. Well so I thought. When I realized the head wind and current were pushing me back, I realized I probably wasn’t going to make it to Fort Pickins before it closed today. I have had several people tell me it's a must stop so I want to make sure to give it plenty of time. Since I was taking my time today I stopped at a marina to get something to drink. As I sat there enjoying the shade and a Gatorade I got talking to the dock girls.  They looked confused because they couldn't find my boat.  I explained it was a kayak and it was tied up, you just couldn't see it because the dock was too tall. After answering all the standard questions about my trip I gave them my card and told them why I was doing it. One of the girls got visibly choked up. When we kept talking about it, She said I would say something and she would get goosebumps. She told me about how addiction has affected her family in so many different ways. It was one of those conversations that reminds me why I am out here. It will keep me going for a week at least. As I continued on I could see an observation tower. I remembered reading about it and stopped. The park is the official starting point (or ending point) for the Florida Circle-navigation Trail. It's a 1,515 mile water trail around the state. I found the starting point and it had a log book. I am familiar with log books as they are one of the main forms of communication on the Appalachian Trail. It started raining when I grabbed the book so I went under a pavilion to give it a read. I only found about 5 people since 2012 who had tried to complete the entire thing. It was mainly filled with little kids talking about seeing dolphins and alligators. I composed my entry and made it official. I was starting the trail. Not sure how far I will be going, but it is nice to be on an organized trail. The online guide book is probably the best part. I have been on my own since I got off the Mississippi and it has been difficult to say the least. I paddled on 6 more miles to the west end of the Pensacola Bay and found a nice sandy beach to set up camp. It's about a mile across tomorrow to get to the fort then about 15 miles to where I would like to camp.