Friday, April 29, 2011

Hogtown Bayou

Jim is camped for the night just down the inside of the west point of Hogtown Bayou.  He got underway at about 9:30 AM.  We did a bit of truck portage and took him down to a National Wildlife refuge just east of Fort Walton Beach.  That avoided his having to worry about the restricted space near Eglin AFB at Ft. Walton.  While he was on a couple of days off he managed to get a minor repair done to IBI where a small fiberglass upright for a stowage space had given way.  It was no big matter, but the space is a matter of convenience when underway.  The repair with epoxy took all of about 5 minutes and was completely set up in 4 hours.  Jim has apparently not eaten enough when underway, burning about 3000-5000 calories per day, especially while battling headwinds during the past week.  As a consequence, he got kind of run down.  A good friend on the net suggested that he needs to be eating at least 5 times per day to keep up with the output.  To that end, Jim is adding flat-bread slathered with peanut butter, with a good trail mix topping.  The flat bread is then rolled for stowage and eaten like a taquito.  He's also adding a power bar or two to his daily intake.  In order to make some mileage he hates to stop long enough to make meals, so he had been doing without a noon meal and not taking in any other fuel except Gator Aid added to his drinking water.  His friend suggested that he needed to add fuel to the furnace, so that is now being done.  Jim remains in good spirits and is paddling away.  We both extend our thoughts and prayers of condolence to all those who have been caught in the savage storms of the past week here in the southeastern United States.  The fish camp here suffered a bit from the windstorm with a greenhouse being totally blown out.  It is an aluminum frame affair, and all the panels and clips blew into the pig pens just in back of where the greenhouse was situated.  A frantic gathering of those materials was necessary before the big sows took a notion to eat them.  It is now being reconstructed with some difficulty.  At least they have the materials - which is more than many people in this region have been left with.  Jim will attempt to reach Pt. Washington tomorrow, with 15-25 knot headwinds being forecast, and about a 12 mile distance to run.  If he can get into the canal he should be pretty well sheltered from the wind.  The only thing he'll have to worry about then will be the commercial traffic that transits that same canal.  We've been assured that there are plenty of camping places available on the banks of the "ditch" where he can spend the nights as he transits the canal down to Apalachicola.  Let's hope the weather holds long enough for him to make the run down to the more sheltered area of the canal.  Please let everyone know about the venture and what Jim is hoping to accomplish for Save the Children.  Thanks to each of you for your support as Jim travels this watery trail. Happy Paddling!

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