|Birdnut at the start of our trip|
All flights were on time, the immigration officer was nice, all my bags and boxes were there and even Birdnut was already happily awaiting me. Very good start indeed!
|Our bomb proof tent|
I woke up at 4 am that morning in howling wind and bitter cold. The tent was not doing very well - even as it was Birdnut's 2 person free-standing bomb-proof heavy weight car camping tent. All stakes had come off and I realised that I could not get out of the thing without it blowing away!!!! I yelled: "Birdnut, I have a problem!!!!!!" Birdnut being a perfect gentleman came to my rescue and with a fully loaded cooler and two full 6 gallons water containers we could eventually secure my tent. His was still doing remarkably well. At that point it was already apparent that paddling that day might not be such a good idea.... We were in a canoe after all and the sea was full of whitecaps.
To cut a long story short: We were marooned on that beach campsite for 2 full days. The sea was too bad to leave. Luckily I found a sheltered spot in the mangroves out of the wind. It was freezing cold. I am not exaggerating here: Florida - also called Sunshine State - had a record low. The beach was full of dead fish, literally hundreds of them. We later found out that they died because of the cold - as did most of the crops we saw later. I was wearing my warm cap and warm jacket almost a week straight. I was surprised out water containers did not freeze. Having company was great. We kept each other entertained by telling each other trail stories and I (being a German citizen) taught Birdnut (an American) all the America states which I had memorized on some very long days on my CDT thruhike. Birdnut then lost a bet and had to do the dishes for the rest of the trip. He had bet that there is no American state starting with R..... (for those of you who are not so good at memorizing: There is one American state starting with R: Rhode Island.)
|Birdnut in Florida outfit|
So today I am in Everglades City and we are heading out for another 5 day paddling trip. So far it is really warm. I might even wear shorts today, but I do not really dare to believe it.....
Well so much for Florida, where it is always warm, even in the winter....