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Part 1 Dec. 27th - Day 7 - Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation

Updated: Jan 29

Around Florida by Kayak Map

One week has gone by but it feels like I started ages ago! I noticed this apparent time dilation on previous journeys I’ve been on. Five years ago, I cycled around Colorado for 3 weeks and by the end I could hardly remember what I did for work. When we get so used to the routines from one day to the next we lose sense of time, our thoughts become more occupied and present in the moment, noticing the novelty. I noticed this feeling when I switched jobs and worked on a new project. Eventuality as I settled into the new routine, and time sped up again; I think that is how things will be on the last day of this journey. One day of paddling will bleed into the other that it will be hard to tell them apart.

It rained all day. At times there was no way to see where I was going, and I had to trust the compass heading and hope I would not drift off course. The soaking water can be detrimental to the skin under the wetsuit. I pulled out my neoprene gloves and saw the water wrinkles looked like brain folds that stretched all the way to the back of my hand! They took a long time to fade, even after I was dry. East winds continued but conditions out in the ocean seem to have eased up a bit. The forecast was for the waves to top out at 6 feet. I stayed in the intracoastal as there isn’t really any place to camp along the coast unless I want to be in someone’s backyard, and I doubt any neighbors would appreciate me leaving them a present in the early morning on their beach doorstep.

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I clocked in my fastest average day run; 4.66mph over 32.62 miles. It doesn’t sound fast, a toddler can run faster than that, but with a loaded kayak that’s very fast for a very long distance! The sail, however, did much of the work.

The channels can sometimes be misleading. I nearly went the wrong way. After Melbourne the intracoastal forks in two with a very long but narrow passage on the East side of the Eau Gallie Causeway. It was very easy to miss, and I thought I wasn’t there when I arrived until I checked the GPS. On the right side I had marked a single lonely island which was just about reachable in daylight. Had I taken the left side there would have been no place to stop. The island wasn’t a great campsite. There was almost no beach. The Google Earth image must have been from low tide. When I arrived, the sand was almost all submerged and I had to bushwhack into the interior to a clearing under the trees. The night was pitch black under the tree cover and alive with the sounds of a thousand little critters talking to each other. There were also some creepy sounding birds that squawked like a person wailing in pain. More than once I looked behind me expecting to see someone wailing for help; it was easy to think I wasn’t alone here in the night.

Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation


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