When passing by large crafts, the worst is their followed waves, waves generated far behind the vessel. I find it difficult to paddle close to the shorelines because once the big swells reach the shallows they broke, sometimes exceptionally high and over a small crafts forward bow.
I have come to the conclusion the safest place to paddle, at least through the busy industrial waters of the south Mississippi, is right down the charted channel. The tug boat Skippers tend to criticize that decision and have asked, more than once, for me to paddle close to the shore line. We have a marine radio and monitor the tug boat skippers chatter. I cannot comply in most cases, for fear of not being un-seen and consequently the larger craft not slowing down as they tend to do when I paddle in the charted channels. Also, there is no way we would be in New Orleans today, a day earlier than planned, had Austin and I stuck to paddling the shoreline through slow waters where the big eddies swirl.
Some more personal notes from today’s paddle are on my heart and need to be said. Trixie Pocket, although not home herself, the neighbors were there awaiting, shouting and shooting bottle rockets and welcomed us with open arms with food, ice cold water, and all. Thank you also goes to Robyn Bordelon who was planning to paddle with us tomorrow. With the unfortunate issues associated with fast waters, her plans changed, so she met us at the wooden steps in New Orleans, with sandwiches, cold drinks, a truck and a big hug. River Angels like Robyn are a paddler's dream.
A group of people awaited my arrival at the steps downtown New Orleans. There were two individuals I noticed specifically on the bottom step next to the water’s edge. It was Robyn and AJ Foret. I have not met either in person, but AJ and I have been Facebook friends for years. His presence made the emotional adrenalin flow. We are now staying at his home. Two nights without heat and mosquitoes, what a relief! Before dinner, went for a short walk through the nearby French Quarter and now, I must now sleep.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.