Day 12 – May 30th – Cape Charles to Onancock

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The tidal push up the Chesapeake and the point-to-point nature of the geography allowed for an easy paddle and minimal navigational issues from Cape Charles to Onancock. The wind gusted out of the east, broadsiding me as I went by the little cuts and harbor entrances. Shallow areas weren’t a big deal, and actually enabled me to stop and stretch my legs every now and then.

The sun even tried to break out a couple of times and dark clouds rimmed the southwestern horizon of the Chesapeake. The onslaught of wind when I finally made it into the cut going to Onancock slowed me down dramatically. It’s always the last five-ten miles that “get you.” Sometimes they are super sweet and easy and sometimes it’s as if conditions stack up just to test you.

It was mostly a quiet, contemplative type of paddle. An osprey swooped down not to far from me and snatched a fish. The school then fluttered with a collective splash. They did this a couple of times before I realized that they seemed to do that every time a tern or seagull swooped down for a snack, too. This fluttering collective splash seemed to startle the birds, and they backed off. It was funny to watch. I don’t know if the fish were reacting to something under them or if they did this to back off the birds, but that was the affect, anyway.

While I was paddling thoughts of my conversation with John the sailor/train engineer went thru my head. On discussions about wealth and the consolidation of it to ensure that one’s kids and grandkids are “set.” He mentioned that is all anyone tried to do. I kinda had sat in silence, mostly cause I was tired, but I wish I had answered, “well, this is why I’m doing what I’m doing. I don’t have a lot of wealth. But this country has a lot of natural resources which translates into a kind of wealth. Certainly clean air, clean water, and a healthy ocean translate into more solid future for my kids, and other people’s kids. I prefer to leave my kids with a world and a healthy ocean, one better than I found it. It’s really all I can do, which is why I’m doing what I’m doing, and why I’m paddling to the March for the Ocean on June 9th.”

But I didn’t. My bad.

The area around where I’m staying is now locked in fog. Visibility is way down, to something like a half a mile. So I will not be able to see the island where I’m paddling to. I’ll hafta find it on the GPS and dead reckon. I know basically where it is, but it’s also easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. At least the only people on the water will be crabbers and not speeding yahoos.

I’m staying  at a friend of Kim’s, a guy named Darryl, who simply has a slice of heaven here in Onancock. They treated me to dinner last night and it’s coffee and donuts from a famous bakery this morning! The Corner Bakery, I think it’s called. So many places to come back to! Would love to get my family down here-the DelMarva Peninsula is super special.

Kim also told me about a program that I forget what university has-where they get the kids in kayaks circumnavigating the whole DelMarva Peninsula. I would love to learn more about that program. And I definitely want to come back and explore the islands on the coast some more. It kind of kills me to have not gone out on the ocean at all. Next time!

Day 11 – May 29th – Leaving Cape Charles

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Unlike my last fake 28-mile paddle which really was 40 miles, I KNOW this paddle is gonna be on the 40 mile mark or a tad more and I also know if I don’t get out the door soon the monster current in the Chesapeake once the tide turns will eat me up. But bathroom needs and coffee needs dictate. Well, maybe I can wiggle on the coffee…

Last night I hung out at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub which is the BEST place to hang out and talk to friendly and eccentric locals. I befriended an owlish looking guy in biker boots up to his knees with what looked like clip on earrings. I’m sure they weren’t clip ones but I didn’t have my glasses and I didn’t want to stare to hard to figure them out.

John is his first name and his last name I couldn’t quite grasp, but it was sorta Germanic or Pennsylvania Dutch. He had piercing blue eyes that held you and while he talked he kind of looked down and up at you at the same time so you could always see the large bottom of the white of his eyeballs. He was a retired navy guy who lives on a boat which is dry docked nearby, holds court at the pub, and has plans to bring a community railroad to the area. He also apparently had a taxi company in Sandbridge but lost it to Uber. He also mentioned the Illuminati and being part of it so there is that, too. Definitely a character. Search him out for a good story if you come this way. I definitely want to come back-maybe I’ll see the ghost animal parade that he told me about that surrounds his boat instead of going thru it like the others. He also might be a feature or an aspect in “Woo-Woo,” a book by Joe Caccaro about Cape Charles and the characters that live here. I gotta grab a copy!

So the weather is gonna be a beast as is making sure I get out the door early enough. Next big challenge is crossing the Chesapeake. Won’t be a problem if weather is good, but things go south in a hurry with a lot of wind, especially this far down with this much current. I’ve had bouncy rides out by Annapolis with my cousin and with a boat full of gear I’d rather not repeat that experience. But it is what it is! Would rather have the wind at my back on bouncy than going right into it.

So today I end my three night stay at Dave’s House. Despite the lack of water it’s been a perfect place to recoup and catch up a bit on logistics. This weather will be a challenge and I might need to make some adjustments to the route to get to DC in time for the sign making party on the 8th and the March on the 9th. Would love to make it to Tangier but I don’t want to get stuck there, either.

Day 10 – May 28th – Oyster to Cape Charles

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The route from Oyster to Cape Charles was perfect for a tired, Delamarva back bay/sun/wind worn paddler. Along this stretch my charts, the markers, the channels, and reality messed up perfectly. The last channel marker, if you are following them, does end abruptly, but if you look to your right, you will see the Tunnel-bridge which spans the Chesapeake. It also helps if fishermen & crabbers come in at the same time as you approach the marker, guiding you by accident.

After the last two difficult legs thru the DelMarva marshes and bays below Chincoteague, the foggy start was a blessing. Going out I met a few boaters coming in because of the fog-out, which also helped to tamp down the wind, even providing a light wind with a northerly aspect, helping me move along. Approaching the point of the peninsula the current picked up and quickly sucked me out to where I needed to make a hard right and dig in to fight the outgoing current you always get with big bodies of water despite it being slack low tide. I remembered how slow it was to slog across the mouth of the Columbia River, despite having the tide with me. The brakes don’t just automatically come on with the tide on those big waters.

The fog and misty weather provided a welcome break from the sun. The gray mist created a silence all its own, with birds being the only noise I heard. It was a peaceful, “in my head” kind of paddle, a day to take in the beauty of my surroundings, and relax a bit. Not once did I have to get out of my canoe to walk her in the shallows, tho I did come across some shallow areas. It was truly a mental-health paddle, a wonderful gift after two hard days when I really questioned what the hell I was doing as well as my ability to keep going.

As I paddled toward the bridge a “v” of pelicans glided overhead, flap flap and glide, flap flap, dip and glide. No other bird seems to surf the wind more than they, or skim and glide so close to the water. Black skimmers don’t even stop flapping when they dip down to skim the top of the water with their funny shaped beaks, not the way the pelicans just so coolly glide what seems to be a mere few inches above the water. They reign supreme in their domain, masters of the airspace above water. And then it all goes to shit when they PLOP in the water with the most awkward of all splashy dives.

I was too slow to catch a photo of a funny array of seabirds on pylons and nets on the Chesapeake side. The seagulls and terns occupied the pylon tops, while the bigger, bulkier pelicans wobbly balanced on the fishing nets, clearly a challenge for them. As I got closer and tried to grab my phone, they gave up their unsteady perches and flew off, as did the seagulls and terns. This shuffled the deck so now the pelicans tried to settle on the small pylons, but this was equally clearly not going to work well for them, but not for lack of trying. Pelicans are graceful in flight but utter clowns and goofs when not showing off their aviation abilities.

With the annoying south wind now at my back and consequently not so annoying, I paddled and surfed windswells despite having the current in my face. Flood tide didn’t really pick up until the last thirty mins to an hour before I got to my destination, and when it did it was quite the push. Tomorrow I hope to get out early and take advantage of that push for as long as I can. Now it’s a race, once again, between storms and tide. It’s as tho our rainy season has grown to be from May to August. The stories of flooding make me wonder what to expect for the next legs, especially flood prone Tangier Island, as well as what condition our campsites will be in when we get to them. Oh well, we can dry out after the 9th!

My legs should be all healed up by the time I get to the sign making party on the 8th, and definitely for the paddle in to the March for the Ocean on the 9th. Right now the oyster rubs and scratches hurt more than the sunburn. Ah, what we do for our ocean!!! That spiritual salve, the provider of stoke, the giver of life. Where would we be without it?

Day 9 – May 27th – Wachapreague to Oyster

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I was never so happy as get in from my hellish paddle the other night going from Chincoteague to Wachapreague and the same can be said for paddling into Oyster. It seemed the only time the wind was with me was when I was going the wrong way and one glorious time in a little marked channel before the last bay crossing.

I even contemplated going outside to avoid the shallows and marshes but didn’t know the conditions at the inlets, how far out sandbars were, etc, plus wind in my face. I did see pelicans! The threat of thunderstorms had most people heading off the water around 2p, but the forecast had been clear for Oyster, so kept heading south as I watched storm clouds form on the horizon and blow north. It wasn’t until nearing Oyster that I saw one that might catch me.

I’m staying tonight with adventure outfitter Dave Burden, who also hosted me many years ago when I was paddling from Miami to Maine. He’s based in Cape Charles and normally lives in a boat at the marina where I’ll stop today, but he’s hosting some friends there, so he and I are at his house.  Since the house is currently undergoing reservations, there is no running water – but that just makes things interesting. Poor Dave, who’s been working crazy long days starting at 4a& 5a during the holidays, came in last night and realized I had not eaten (carrying provisions on an outrigger canoe is seriously challenging, I’m lucky I got what I go on it-plus snacks!), so he went running out again and got food.

I’ll be back here today so I can go light, plus I can take a late start since the tide goes out til 2 and then I can let it push me up the Chesapeake side to Cape Charles. I hope my canoe is okay-I left it at the boat launch not hidden at all, but people so far have been kind. Dave had left me his truck to get back to the marina and take a shower and then get to his house.

Today should be an easier day-navigating with charts that are using information they last got in 1998 in these back bays is stupid. Many of the markers are just gone-and some are on sandbars. It’s a totally different back bay than I had remembered- definitely not advisable to take an OC1, doable, but you can’t let your mind wander like I did mine when I ran over that last oyster patch.

The beauty here cannot be taken for granted or missed-it is so special and alive with life-oysters, turtles, birds.  I’d love to come back here and poke around on a non-windy day-and wind isn’t so bad if you are just going ten miles or so- and do just local trips to the barrier islands-hike and camp on them-with the family. Carl tells me I say that wherever I go! I always want to come back with the family.

So today is a late start, thankfully, and some repair work on my poor canoe. It’s taken on a bit of water-I think it can do the 25 miles with nothing but am also thinking I should tape some of the deeper gashes that have gone thru. My poor Pueo!!!

Day 8 – May 26th – Chincoteague to Wachapreague

 

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So much thanks for Kim and Jeff Check for scooping me up the night I paddled in late to Chincoteague and hosting me two days. It was the perfect respite I needed to heal my swollen sunburned legs.

The campground where I was going to stay might have been okay if I had rented a trailer, but of course I was pitching my tent. It was a little soggy looking all around, which I only noticed when we went back the next day to thank the owners and let them know I did make it in okay but I just needed up staying somewhere else.

The proprietors where generations locals, with funny stories of past travelers, including a world sailor that had made their way to their cat infested campground. Jeff and I drove around a little bit before heading over to work on my canoe’s strappings, and watched cats hopping out of the trash car like a hundred clowns in a clown car. They were everywhere!

When Jeff and I got back to the car the owner of the campground motioned for us to stop. He gave us little religious pamphlets and asked us if we wanted to go to Heaven. I wish he would go ask that of the folks responsible for stripping children from their parents at the border! But we positively nodded and took his pamphlets.

Yesterday then ended my blissful stay at Kim and Jeff’s. It started off okay enough, with a little break by the inlet that you sorta hafta skirt behind a little bit on the outside, but approaching Gragatha Bay and then Motampkin Bay were tricky, made more difficult because my iPhone map wasn’t always accurate with my location. I had never found good maps of the area in Chincoteague-and there is a reason-at low tide Metomokin is IMPASSABLE…..UNLESS you slither along in the muck, your canoe’s long, Hawaiian rudder in hand, and crawl. I think I did this for over a hundred yards. At one point I considered turning around. But there was really, if you wanted to get where I was going, there was no option.

It was HELL and I would recommend other ways-after nesting season-of enjoying this area. Camping and paddling IF you are NOT in a schedule and can use the outside ocean. Because Motamokin SUCKED.

Thunderheads appeared on the Western horizon but I figured they’d continue to blow northerly, which they did, but the clock ticking and knowing the navigational challenges ahead kept me slightly on edge. My newly recuperating sunburned knees now have oyster scratches all over them.

At times I’d have to call me husband to make sure I was on the right track. He had been watching me but of course he was also busy with the kids-Julia had a canoe regatta and really loved it. I am thrilled for her-now to get her in a team boat!!

So today could be more of the same-I’m hopeful tho, that maybe it won’t be as bad-even tho the paddles from the bays here to Oyster do look a little challenging. What is different in this case is that there are at least blinking markers. Well, in this area at least.

Am thankful I got a room in the Wachapreague Inn – It stormed pretty good last night and is STILL raining now. I’m hopeful I got all the mud out of my pants but my booties are a different story!

I would have done a FB video live thing of that but I was too pissed and didn’t want to lengthen the misery, but it would have been pretty funny. You have to crawl thru the muck, by the way, because if you try to walk you sink up to your knees or more.

Fun times! Today it is raining. Time to get ready to head out!

Day 7 – May 25th – Still at Chincoteague: On the Seventh Day She Rested

Today is gonna be a super early start as this next leg, from Chincoteague to Watchapreague is truly a navigational nightmare. Unfortunately there are NO outfitters here. Dave Burdens if SouthEast Expeditions has a great paddling map, a copy of which he gave to me back in 2007, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to dig it up in time, or I might have given it to someone going this way. Either way, I wish I had it but now I don’t.

I did manage to call Dave and he did tell me that if I do find markers to not always believe them, to “follow my gut.” Hahaha. Well this is a gal who was believe almost to the end that her 40 mile paddle was really only a 28 mile paddle and once in this area I got turned around and thought something was wrong with my compass, that I was really traveling NE rather the SE my compass said. My compass was right!

Anyway, so we’ll go with my Piney Swamp girl gut in the marshes and hope for the best. If you look at this area from google earth you’ll see it’s kinda like those games on place mats that restaurants used to give out to entertain kids. You know those games, like the little mazes where you hafta help Bucky Beaver make his way back to the lodge? Yea, navigating marshes is like that.

So I’m going to look at today’s challenge as a game and a bed in an inn and a hot shower and food as the prize. Don’t get that if you don’t get there! At least I have snacks this time if I’m stranded somewhere.

Last night Kim and Jeff had a friend over, Mark, who is a retired cop from Oahu. He also just picked up an outrigger canoe from the Wrigthsville Beach Paddle Co. I think this area would be the PERFECT place for an outrigger canoe club, but Chincoteague needs a gym with a pool, among other things. But seriously, all these beach towns should have thriving water cultures.

Kim is heading out this morning as well, to find adventure. She’s getting off the island with her kayak and bike and heading out. There is SO much to do on this peninsula for those wanting something different and off the beaten path.

So it’s time to pack up the gear-made a LOT easier cause I don’t have to break down a tent, and head out. Of all days to watch the Spot tracker, today will be the day! I WISH I could go out but with making some repairs on my strapping yesterday and still not 100% sure about it, and with the inlets a little rough and that SW wind, I think I’ll be just struggling on the inside. It will be pretty and it will be challenging, that’s for sure!!

Day 6 – May 24th – Ocean City to Chincoteague

What a kicker yesterday was, but in a good way. Also, what a HUGE difference starting out after coffee and breakfast does for the spirit. Wednesday’s torturous 23 mile paddle with no food til 5p so completely wiped me out, plus my swollen sun poisoned legs were throbbing, my lips a mess of slimy broken blisters, and the rubs were…well, I was a total mess. The separate visits by Mike Benson and his dad, David, and Kathy Phillips plus the friendly couple from the Philly area, really lifted my spirits.

Mike thought I had miscalculated my distance from OC to Chincoteague, so when he pulled up his chart plotter to show me the distance was more like 28 miles, a bit of relief washed over me. My brain, though, conveniently ignored the “nautical” classification, which translated into 36 miles as the crow flies to the northern part of the island. We discussed tides and the value of a later start. It can work out in your favor, but generally speaking, an earlier start is preferable than a later one, no matter what. BUT I did have wind at my back.

So I woke up yesterday refreshed and ready, although still suffering with swollen and sunburnt legs. Some creature scratching by my tent trying to get my leftovers woke me up around 5, but I had been able to snooze a bit even after that. I was going to throw the leftovers out-after all the mix in my calzone was jalapeños, broccoli, & anchovies (salt!), and I wasn’t sure how that would taste cold-know some folks might be doubtful that that mix would taste good even when warm-but then I remembered how depleted I felt during that 22 mile slog even with the wind at my back, and well, I wolfed it down and got coffee and a breakfast sandwich on top of that. I was NOT gonna let myself get that low again.

Suffice to say that the 42 mile paddle was SOOO much easier than the paddle of roughly half that distance prior. Yes, you MUST nourish your body on these trips. It was kinda funny, tho, that while I saw the realty of Mike’s navigator (measuring in nautical miles) and I knew the distance based on what I remembered from ‘07 plus recalculating it again, my brain just REFUSED to believe the reality and instead focused on the positive, even tho I KNEW better. Gosh. Sounds like a pretty common and familiar scenario, doesn’t it.

In the end, tho, those rose colored glasses served me because they kept my thinking that I could totally have a late start and that I could easily do this shorter length. The mental mindset of an “easy paddle” v. knowing what will be a total hellish slog is so totally different. So I was, like in this happy, jazzed frame of mind that this would be cake. What’s so funny is I started to wonder, when I realized that it was taking me a crazy long time to get to my destination, I started wondering how the HELL I was going to paddle 36 miles of navigational nightmare from Chincoteague to Watchapreague and get there before the storms! And that wow, I was in WAY worse those than I thought or maybe that and the current were way harder than I remembered and that was why I wasn’t already closing in on my destination when I knew I should be getting closer. Hahahaha. So now I know—I WAS more like 42 miles! So hopefully tomorrow with an earlier start I should be okay. Tomorrow’s challenges will be SW winds and navigation.

Right now I am lounging at my hosts’ home. Kim and Jeff Check rescued me from what probably wasn’t the best campground. They had poked around a bit where I was going to pitch my tent and it actually looked, to them, that the campsite was even underwater. That would not have been good! They met me at the boat ramp and and loaded my gear and me and carted me off to their wonderful home where their very people dependent dog is keeping me company. Jeff adopted Koa who has intense separation anxiety issues. Consequently Jeff has gotten really good at dry-wall repairs. Kim set up an incredible selection of aloe-based products for my swollen legs and peeling face, as well as grabbed me dinner the night before.

Chincoteague is DEFINITELY a place to come back to. And I so hope I can return the favor to all my wonderful trail angels!

For the Ocean! (And don’t forget to wear BLUE for the Ocean in June 8th & 9th at the March for the Ocean in DC!)

Day 5 – May 23rd – Rehoboth to Ocean City

The shining sun and north wind continue to make this paddle a little more enjoyable compared to the the first slogs of wind in my face and clouds and rain. But that sun has nasty consequences, especially since I neglected to pack sunblock! I really thought I’d be able to grab stuff on the way at one of my stops. Abbey Beard, the amazing staff person at Massey’s Landing, set me up with some sun block and lip-rescue stuff. The blisters on my lips are nothing short of gross, and of course all of my sunburns are painful. Well, today will be the end of it!

Yesterday I met up with some trail angels-Mike Benson and his dad David-who visited me at my little camp site here at Castaways, which bills itself as the campground closest to Ocean City, Maryland. Mike and his dad cane bearing gifts-my favorite hydrating beer, Dogfish Head’s “SeaQuench Ale.” What else would one drink in the DelMarva Peninsula while paddling to the March for the Ocean on June 9th?

The Bensons also went back out to get me more water and aloe for my sunburn-which is actually now sun poisoning-my legs are swollen and very painful. Mike had sailed down from Barnegat- he left Lacey and sailed & motored 22 gourde straight, docking in Cape May to get a little sleep and then catching up with me yesterday. I think next time I want to sail to DC for this march. Would be fun to get a passel of sailboats making the trek, although what I’m doing now would be that bad if I had remembered sunscreen and had trained!!

I’ve cut the distances down a lot from what I did in ‘07 going the other way. There is a lot of current in the bays and channels, and apparently the wind blows more on the bay here than out in the ocean-or so it seems. Mike said he didn’t really have much wind so he had to do a lot of motoring.

After Mike and David left, Kathy Phillips of Assateague Coastkeeper came out to say “hi” and drop off some sunscreen for me. So today I am SET! Hopefully I can grab a Badger Sunblock stick in Chinctogeague today. I’m planning on staying there for two days, even tho it looks like thunderstorms on Sat now. We’ll see-this whole week was supposed to be stormy, which is why I wasn’t too worried about sunscreen, originally.

My tent neighbors are from the Philadelphia area, one has a degree in Marine Biology. She had heard about the March for the Ocean and was planning on going but a fundraiser for her significant other’s genetic heart problem conflicted with the date, but she’s the first person I met so far that has heard about the March!! I’m SUPER excited about that!

After going over my route, Mike suggested that I leave a little later, so I’m giving myself permission to hit the water between 9-10 today. It is a slog in the back bays, even with wind at your back, but I also definitely need to eat. Yesterday I left wonderful Massey’s campground, which has no early breakfast options, and never found a restaurant on the water with tie up options that would work for my canoe. So I didn’t anything all day until about 5/6. It was brutal. Fortunately this campground has a little deli that is open NOW. Better go get it!

Oh, I’m excited to be doing my first ever Ecowatch live FB chat. Tune in there at 1!

For the Ocean!

Day 4 – May 22nd – Lewes to Rehoboth

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Today might be the day to go outside! Laden with gear and all, it might not be the wisest thing to do, but it will be the funnest thing, provided my aging strapping holds. So far all held well in the foray into the bay-Rehoboth Bay-which I was SO happy to get into from the doldrums of the canal before I realized how the wind was cranking in my face and snotty chop testing my gear strappings. So my gear held fast thru that, it should hold fast out on the ocean. My bad for not being better with pre-trip prep.

Oh-we were supposed to get 50 mph winds with the thunderstorm last night, but we didn’t. The wonderful folks here at Massey’s Landing were a little concerned for me, but it wasn’t a bad storm at all. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke around midnight to get up and stayed awake a little longer, listening to my heart in my ears because I stupidly slept with my head at the lowest point. All was better once I stopped being lazy and reversed myself.

Next stop I REALLY must find sun block for my lips and face. I always get burned and figured the forecast looked so crappy why bother with sun protection, besides, it’s never all that great, anyway. Well, I am here to tell you folks, don’t be stupid-when that sun comes out it’s brutal. My lips are so blistered that the blisters ooze at night leaving crusty streaks on my face in the morning. It’s gross. And I’m sure I’ll be buying my dermatologist her next Mercedes.

It’s funny how we never appreciate what we have until it’s gone or we don’t have it when we’ve counted on having it. Sun screen and lip balm, people, and the wonders of our ocean. Which is, again, why I’m abusing myself and my family this way! Hahaha. It’s not really abuse-they get a break from me and it’s fun, BUT this is a horrible way to train, too, on the fly, and sometimes is DOES feel a little masochistic. But paddling to the June 9th March for the Ocean to get as much interest in that sure-to-be-awesome event as I can is one bitty aspect-and hopefully helpful-of what many are working so hard to do-get people realizing, while we still have time, what we have before we feel the very real pain of what we have lost.

Days 2 & 3 – May 20-21 – Avalon to Cape May, NJ to Lewes, DE

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I just posted a video of a whale stranding on my FB page. I’m guessing it happened this Saturday? It happened on Long Beach, NY. I wonder if this was the whale that was sighted kind of close in to DE & NJ over the past weeks. I hope a necropsy is done-the poor thing seemed to have bloody lesions on its mouth and fins, but maybe that was abrasion from the sand?

Why did this whale beach and die? Did it ingest a bunch of plastic? Was it sick? We’ve had a lot or rain, and flooding which means combined storm outfalls spew out untreated sewage from aging, outdated, and overburdened sewage treatment plants. Herpes has been found in seals, so maybe the whale picked up some human virus it was also susceptible to? Or was it bacterial? Ether way, this whale, combined with all the other occurrences of species decline and mass death events (like all the dead fish I saw while paddling across the Delaware yesterday) are canaries in our proverbial coal mine.

Which brings me back to why I’m paddling to DC for the March for the Ocean. We need to not just wake up our elected officials to the fact that we care about the ocean, we also need to wake up so many people who actually would care if they knew just how on the brink of disaster the ocean is. I don’t think people are deliberately trashing the ocean. They just don’t know how they are-they don’t think about the consequences of their actions cause they don’t see them, much less feel them.

I can’t help but think the guys in the motor boats are deliberately going out of their way to make crazy wakes that flip over and kill horseshoe crabs, but that is what they are doing to this ancient species that’s been around since the dinosaurs. On Sunday I paddled through the Cape May canal and witnessed horseshoe crab carnage. I just have spent 40 mins flipping over horseshoe crabs that wild wakes has knocked upside down. There was even one poor crab that had its spikey tail wedged between rocks and other debris. Fortunately I was able to gently free the frantic creature. The whole thing made me unreasonably furious. What a bunch of stupid idiots.

Except that is not right.

These are not stupid people and I’d bet they are not uncaring people. These are people who are just totally unaware of their actions. Which leads me back to the march, and other actions that we must take to educate the public about the ocean and the lives-all of our lives-which are directly tied to it. We need to keep up the outreach, we must keep educating, we must march, we must do our PSA’s, write articles, and do whatever we can to educate people.

We cannot allow the problems impacting or ocean to be denied. I guess some folks feel that by denying a problem exists negates their guilt in helping to create the problem. We are all guilty of adding to the problem, but the easiest way to remedy that is by working hard to fix that problem.

One problem that sadly can no longer be denied, is the plastic problem. Our oceans are littered with it to the point that micro-particles of plastic are being found in micro-brews in the Great Lakes! These bitty bits of plastic also make their way into our food chain.  This is so not good, as plastics are a petroleum product and these little bits actually adsorb contaminants from the water-so it’s like they are collecting and condensing them. This is SO not good, and there is NO denying that.

So how to make it better for our ocean? Reduce or refuse to use single use plastics. This can actually be a fun family challenge-reusable bags and cups and water bottles are a great start. So are stainless steel straws!!

For boaters-please be aware of your wake and how damaging it is to the shore banks and to the horseshoe crabs and other creatures. In narrow canals and by inland sedge islands, leave no wake. Go slow and enjoy the beauty of where you are!

I’m enjoying the ferry ride back to Lewes-what a great town!! So great to see Matt Carter, of Quest Fitness, again-haven’t seen him since 2007 when he and his brother escorted me across the Delaware. My boat is in his shop, uniquely stored so that it fits in a space about six inches shorter than  the lengthy of my canoe.

He gave me the tour of quaint little Lewes, which I definitely want to get back to with the family. I discovered that Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale is an awesome way to rehydrate and that the little restaurant at the ferry has the BEST fish tacos.

After filling up at the restaurant I hopped on the ferry to stay at Bobi Lyon’s place. She’s a Blue Mind ambassador so she got me to speak a little bit to the kids at the municipal pool where she works. Then it was back to her house for more fuel and beverages and a sound sleep.

Thanks to my hometown friend Bridget Reilly for giving Carl a lift to Cape May to retrieve the car!

For the Ocean! (It really DOES take a team!)