"You can't get in the water from here" she repeated over and over. I was sick. Literally, I had to squat to avoid getting nauseated. Looked like we are not leaving from here. I thought to myself, “Today we will not be able to paddle the miles necessary for us to reach Venice by Friday.” Saturday, August 15th, we MUST paddle into the Gulf for that is the only day that AnnA can be here. Sensing my angst, the police lady soon called her supervisor.
We loaded our supplies and departed AJ's house later than normal. Dominique, who was joining us from Canada, could not pick his rental canoe up until 1000. We had enjoyed our stay, so conveniently located in the French Quarters of downtown New Orleans.
Looked like it was going to be yet another hot day.
Several vehicle trips later, all of the logistics for launching two canoes and one kayak were in place. To continue the journey downstream, we needed to launch each day from the same location. We had taken out at these steps upon arrival.
The officer’s supervisor arrived. He confirmed her orders. It looked as though there was no way we would be launching from here.
After much debate on alternate locations where we could put in our paddle craft, I kindly asked if there was any way possible he could contact yet another supervisor level and see if they could make a one-time launch exception. He had no problems with doing so and thank God the approval was granted. A HUGE "Thank You" to New Orleans Port Authority and New Orleans Police Department for their cooperation and assistance!
Photos by A.J. Foret
It was after 1pm when we paddled out of New Orleans. Some 20 Miles down river, a horrendous storm forced us into the shoreline trees. The lightening was fierce. One and two seconds between flashes, and thunder everywhere. Tried to make a movie during the worst of the storm but my iPhone Six Plus and fingers were too wet for swiping.
Winds were still too strong for paddling when the storm passed. But, short on miles, we had to get moving. The winds were now blowing from directly downstream. I found myself floating sideways down a long stretch of parked barges and literally could not find a way to get the canoe headed back into the wind. Just too strong. It took what seemed like forever to float through the whitecap waves to a point where I could paddle yet another time into the eastern tree lined shore.
After several miles of hugging the east bank, we still had not found a place to camp. Now getting dark, we reached a large driftwood pile and even considered pitching tents on there. The community on the land side of the levee was also an option. I asked one of the home owners if we could camp in their backyard. We ended up camping nearby. After pitching tents, we were welcomed by one of the residents. Food was ready. They had Googled "man paddling Mississippi for Juvenile Diabetes". If I have learned anything, I must always take calling cards along when asking someone if I can camp on their back yard.
Photos from the family of Romona Treadway
Such a delightful evening with these fine folks. Was even able to dry my phone out for it had somehow leaked through the waterproof case during the storm. Problem now is it won't charge. With only 10% battery life, will now try and get this blog to Shannon Williamson for posting. Sorry folks, my photos and videos will have to come later.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.