December 3


All great things must come to an end. But not right away. We loaded my boat in my buddy’s truck and threw his paddle board in on top along with beach day gear. We headed to Saint Pete Beach and set up the tent and claimed our spot. Then headed back to where he picked me up and got dropped off. His wife and kids went back to the beach and we started paddling towards them. Our other friends met us there. It’s always nice having someone to paddle with. We had a few miles before we cut out into the ocean. We did our best to find the crew on the beach. Finally we saw his son running towards us on the beach. He hopped in the front of my boat for the last 50 yards. It was my first passenger!  We pulled our boats up on the beach and enjoyed a lazy Sunday at the beach. It was just like old times. But eventually everyone started leaving one by one and it was time for me to continue my journey. We said our final goodbyes and I paddled off south and they went back to there lives. I only had a few miles to the north end of the Tampa Bay crossing. I found a nice spot and set up camp as the sun was setting. I laid in my tent reflecting on the whole weekend. Getting to go out Friday night, have a lazy Saturday morning and a Sunday beach day. All the things I used to do with my good friends. But this time I didn’t have to drink and I could still enjoy it, if not more. It’s always hard leaving friends after an amazing weekend together. It made me realize how lonely it can really get out here. It probably didn’t help that I watched as the large cruise ships took off out to sea. They were lit up and even though I couldn’t hear a thing other than the waves crashing on the shore, the sound of the passengers laughing and having a good time rang out.  I know in the end I will appreciate it but it doesn’t mean it makes it any easier in the moment.