Our campsite last night was perfect. Got a much needed good night’s rest.
After breakfast, Austin and I discussed paddle strategies over a cup of New Orleans style coffee given to me by John Ruskey. Delicious, but we had to figure out how to paddle these waters and share them with the big ships.
As we paddled out, we almost immediately had to maneuver around several large vessels that were selecting their routes based on efficiency and without regard to the channel markers. Barges and tugs are all over the place. Fortunately, the seagoing vessels tend to predictable stay in the channels, otherwise paddling the Mississippi in these flood state waters would virtually be impossible.
The big ones don't scare me. It's the massive waves left behind from the upcoming vessels that cause me the greatest concern. This is especially true with the large freighters. Austin and I would like to video them, but truthfully, we must keep both hands on the paddle to safely pass through. Maybe we can rig something with tape so I can mount a camera on my head.
Sat outside the tent, letting it cool down long as I could, until the mosquitoes were so bad that I had to go inside…no matter how hot. Figured I could deal with the heat better by stripping down to my shorts. I had earlier left the screens unzipped to get the air flowing. That was another mistake.
Tomorrow, we will attempt to reach New Orleans a day earlier than expected. If Austin and I can paddle that fast through these waters, I can take my 11th, "0" miles paddled, day of rest. If I can take one more "0" day, reaching the "Gulf of Mexico in 80 days" could become a reality.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.