Updated: May 15
The longest day yet. I covered 40 miles. The last ten were grueling; predictably, the rising tide pushed against the Suwannee current, the wonderful friend that propelled me 220 miles evaporated and distances which at first did not seem far, were far indeed. I’m surprised that even when close to the Gulf of Mexico, the water is still fresh, and there were no mangroves; only the same cypresses, oaks, and willows. There were new plants too; the river course was carpeted with floating lettuces. I clung to the center of the channel or I could have been stuck.
When I arrived in Suwannee, I could not find the boat ramp I marked on Google Earth; the concrete I saw on the aerial was a seawall with no way of getting out. I went on a paddle tour around the canals through town to find where I could put-out. I located a small ramp not far from Bill’s Fish camp where I had planned to stay but once again my arrival was joyfully anticipated by a cloud of mosquitoes waking up in the dusk light. At least I wasn’t planning on staying in a tent tonight.
When I reached the camp reception, I was distraught. It was closed. There was a phone number to call, but I had no reception, and once the night set in there were no other lights around except for one faint bulb around which the flies congregated, and the odd car driving down the main road three blocks away. I was wondering what to do, but luck struck at the right time; a car pulled into the camp. It was a family from Ohio on vacation looking for a place to crash for the night, and they had a Verizon cell phone with one faint service bar that flickered in and out, but enough to call the number on the window. Bill from Bill’s Fish Camp soon appeared. He seemed happy to have customers.
Suwannee town (if you can call it that) is the true end of the road of place. A single road dead ends in the ocean, with hardly enough room for a truck with a boat in tow to turn around. There are no streetlights; once night sets in it is dark like a village in the middle ages. There was one lonely pale sodium lamp burning in the distance. I walked towards it and saw it was a fish restaurant, which from the look inside was quite busy. Food must be good, I thought.
The inflatable mattress I ordered never arrived. Amazon sent a message saying they could not deliver and had canceled the order. That’s bummer, I’ll have to figure out where the next possible drop off point might be.
Sea Kayak Florida Circumnavigation