Little did we know: Next morning the wind was stronger than ever and we had to make another 18 miles. I should mention at that point that Birdnut has been in the military. Luckily he still remembered those military cadences they used for drills, so whenever the wind got really bad he just yelled at me "repeat after me" and we were paddling across the bay singing happily:
Two old maidens lay in bed
One turns over to the other and says:
I wanna live a life of danger\
I wanna be an airborne ranger...
I want to mention at this point that I am a pacifist and Birdnut used to be a paratrooper... But as his drill sergeant used to say: You have to practise to be miserable. Our sufferings where not over yet.
|Note the channel marker|
But one thing was clear now: We would not make it to our appointed and reserved campsite that night, so we decided to paddle to the next chickee and hoped whoever stayed there would let us stay as well. We were lucky: It was a double chickee and only one party was staying there.... But the wind was so strong that we actually had to use our canoe as a wind break in order to set up our tents - but it also dried our clothes in no time.
Next day we were back on schedule - and were turning back. And with us the wind turned again, so that we had to paddle into a headwind again. Isn't that lucky? But we had a very funny incident that night. We had a lot of drinking water left and decided to take a little camp shower with it. In order not to get our feet mucky we showered on top of the picnic table. Of course it was just my luck that when it was my turn to shower and I was standing on top to the picnic bench stark naked a sightseeing tour boat passed by.... Birdnut was laughing his socks off and happily waved to the captain (who probably has some story to tell to his customers now about that particular campsite....) At night the stench of decaying fish became overpowering. Plus myriads of mosquitoes.... We retired to bed early.
Luckily next morning the sea was as smooth as a baby's butt - but of course the tide was against us. Birdnut said that during the whole trip we had the tide or current WITH us for only a single time....
But as I have mentioned at the beginning of this entry: We really enjoyed that trip!!!!! We suffered record cold, were marooned for 2 days, capsized and got nearly eaten by an alligator - but we loved that trip.
And tomorrow I will start my Florida Trail thruhike - I have already heard that I section hiker has died out there because of hypothermia, Big Cypress is wet and the water up to the waist - but I am sure that I will enjoy that trip as well....