4 weeks ago
Monday, August 24, 2009
I've got the day off tomorrow, so I'm trying to figure out where I want to paddle. Not that there's a shortage of options; there's a ton of possibilities. But I don't know anything about any of them. In NC I was familiar enough with local waters to choose a trip based on the local weather, wind strength and direction, tide, and my mood. Too many consecutive trips on the river sent me back to the marsh. Too much time in the marsh sent me looking for blackwater trips; and so on. Sometimes I wanted to do things I hadn't done much like paddle into the ocean, and other times I wanted something comfortable and familiar like looking for birds in the waterways behind WB. Furthermore, a fact I've long been very aware of and grateful for, I had paddling friends with loads of experience in regional waters. When I had a day off, I would look at the weather, consider what I wanted to do, and plan a trip. Or the Geezer would call me and say "Hey, the tide looks good for X, let's go." I was rarely disappointed. Right now I have neither the experience to choose a trip based on its character, nor a friend to advise me. Of course, these things will come with time, but in the meantime it makes my trip selection somewhat arbitrary. So I'm sitting here with my Florida Gazetteer and Google Earth trying to figure out the best trip. It's looking to be a launch in the gulf village of St. Marks, which will give me a choice of three directions: up the St. Marks River to the St. Marks Spring, up the Wakulla River towards its spring, or down the St. Marks River into the Gulf of Mexico, where'd I poke around in the marshes around the rivermouth. I'll shoot from the hip.