Leroy Harmon- Suwannee Paddle Legend
The alarm went off at 0535 hrs. Leroy Harmon is suppose to pick us up at 0630 hrs to take us to a local breakfast place. We intend to pay for Leroy’s breakfast for all his hospitality.
Afterwards we get dropped off at the kayak launch and start the packing ritual. Leroy will go home, get his kayak and meet us to paddle a shortcut route back to the Gulf.
The tide is going out but due to the route we will need to paddle against the tide for several miles before it switches. In some sections our yaks are thrown about like fishing bobbers in a washing machine. Paddle hard! Leroy has no problems. He’s pretty nimble.
Finally we make it to the actual Suwannee River. Wide and majestic. A treat to paddle.
Leroy has to turn back now. We take pictures and bid him farewell.
Our day proceeds. There are periods of wind and waves then calm. You tend to get in the zone on long paddles like this. Mostly because you are so far off the coast to get depth.
We don’t really stay together in conditions like this. Sometimes we can barely see each other. Our designated signal for communication is to put your paddle straight up in the air. That means turn on your radio and talk.
We end up on an island to stretch our legs and eat lunch then check the charts for our destination-Cedar Key.
We elect to take the Southern route since we think there will be more water. Good decision.
As we turn around the point, we only have 1.5 miles until we reach our condo rental.
Before we get there the dolphins return. Nice to see them again.
We arrive at the Island Place Condo Rentals. They have a beach and easy access for our kayaks. We get a very cool 2 bedroom condo for a nice price.
This is the place Gus catches a ride back home. It’s been a great trip paddling with him the entire Big Bend. We’ve learned so much from him. Wow!
Now it’s time to take a zero day. Barney, our gear guy is meeting us here. We will swap out some gear and regroup.
The two items we look forward to getting- new tents (Marmot Limelite 2P) and Crocs for our feet!
More later…… Stay tuned.
Marc and Jim