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Part 1 Dec. 15th - 6 Days to Departure - Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation

Updated: May 15

Having an abundance of office work has been a good fortune of sorts. I worked every Saturday and Sunday for the past 3 weeks in anticipation of the journey, but not until this weekend when work is at last wrapping up, has my mind dwelled on the enormity of the challenge I set myself.

A friend recommended I read a book called “Without a Paddle” by Warren Richey. It’s a memoir of a man’s race around Florida called the Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC). The race happens once a year in February and the competitors go through the same route I will be doing, more or less, but they have a time crunch to complete the entire circuit in 30 days or less. That's 40 miles per day, every day.... I, thankfully, have the luxury of taking a little under 50 days.

Coincidentally, UFC is also the acronym for Ultimate Fighting Championship. Going around Florida might be the tougher of the two; the book was not the fairest bedtime story.

After reading it I felt relieved I did not have it with me with me three years ago when I paddled from Miami to Marco Island through the Everglades or I would have spent sleepless nights living the author’s fears about man-eating alligators, Burmese Pythons thick like tree trunks, and rabid raccoons chewing through my boat. Surely that must all have been a product of his sleep deprived imagination, I hope.

Today I received the latest of a long procession of expedition items delivered to my door; a complete rudder repair kit from smart track.

I never thought that Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping would be such a blessing. Last time I planned for an expedition, I had to know precisely what I needed weeks in advance as lead times were long, exchanges were a headache, and last-minute afterthoughts were hard to find.

Now, however, it’s all laughably easy; the first kayak dolly I bought was too bulky, so I sent it back and got a new one. The wetsuit I purchased needed to be a large rather than medium, so I sent it back and got another; and when the price on Black Friday dropped by $45, I sent it back a second time and rebought the same wetsuit.

Inflatable pillows are an essential item to sleep well when you camp, but a few need to be tried out before finding one that is as comfortable as a glove, so a lot more buying, trying and returning. Amazon pickers at warehouses throughout the country must have come to know my address by now.

Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation

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