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September 14, 2018 Mission22

Well the phone insurance company rejected part of my documentation so I have to try and get a hold of an agent yet they provide the same phone number as the one that is a recorded message telling you to go online. This should be frustrating to say the least.

The clothes in one of my dry bags smell musty so I will be washing the clothes in all 3 bags today.

I will be working on kayak repairs today. A whole lot of hand sanding as the damage is in the wells for the fittings.

Well the insurance company rejected my driver’s license as it is expired so I had to get a new phone but I had to pay off the old one which over drafted my account.

I won’t get paid until the first so I am screwed.

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Hurricane Florence

To all the people who I have met and are following me on this blog that are in harms way of Florence. I pray and I hope that you are all safe and doing well. That you all realize that life is more important than property and if you need to evacuate that you did so.

I would like you all with me when I get to the finish of my mission and help me celebrate.

You are all in my thoughts until this storm is no longer around.

I wish you all the best.

September 13, 2018 Mission22

Woke up walked to the Publix supermarket to get breakfast and returned to hotel. The surf was crashing on shore even though the hurricane is up in the Carolinas.

My brother and sister in law showed up about 11 to pick me and the kayak up. We stopped at West Marine on the way home so I could pick up another can of resin to do repairs as I ran out in St. Augustine. We stopped at the you broke I fix store to see about getting phone fixed but they said since the charging port doesn’t work they can’t touch it.

So my brother and I took a ride to the Verizon store who said it would be easier to do it online. So they he had to stop at Best Buy for a return and then we stopped at Lowe’s so I coul.d pick up some hardware a sponge and some squeegees

Spent an hour working on an online claim for the phone, filling out forms scanning form and drivers license. sending it in and waiting. Now they tell me they didn’t accept the documentation so I have to call tomorrow to talk to a agent.

September 12, 2018 Mission22

After a good night sleep we had eggs and cheese on english muffins for breakfast. They were delicious and it hit the spot.

While packing the kayak a boat came flying by trowing a good size wake.I tried to steady the kayak as it was broadside to it. Water splashed into the open drywell and the fittings for the deck lines got ripped out. I pumped out the drywell then sponged out what water was left. Farley had to drive me to the hardware store to get some stainless washers to repair the fittings so I could hold the deck bag in place.

Finally said mu good byes and thank yous and was under way for Daytona 38 miles away.

I made it to Ormond Beach by night fall so I decided to get a hotel here. I found one on the ocean for a good price so I started the 2 mile portage to the hotel. A couple who had just come out of Outback Steakhouse where hailing me down as a taxi. I stopped and talked with them and the guy offered to pull the kayak down to the light after checking the distance to the hotel from that spot 1.8 miles. I thanked him for the help.

The woman on the front desk was great and we had fun with the check in when I told her I only had a kayak. SHe thanked me for what I was doing and I went to park the yak and find my room.

A hot shower with a little expedition laundry a call to Beverly some catch up on the computer and then sleep.

September 11, 2018 Mission22

I broke camp and set off for as far as I could paddle. I ran into 4 kayakers along the way. We talked about the mission and veteran suicide. I asked if there was any place to eat as I skipped breakfast. They told me about Brigs Marina just a short paddle away and the BBQ place there. I also told them where I slept last night and they offered me a stay with them a hot shower and a place to sleep. An offer I couldn’t refuse.

They  continued their paddle I went into the marina where they had a kayak float that I opted not to use so I landed on one side of the boat ramp out of the way. I went to Captains BBQ and had lunch and dessert. I had the brisket sandwich and collards. I then treated myself to strawberry cheesecake for dessert. If your in that area I suggest you stop for a good lunch and a great dessert.

I talked with a number of people there many of which are veterans and they all thanked me for what I was doing raising awareness about veteran suicide.

I launched and headed down river looking for their house. They had already returned and I was met by Farley at the dock. We figured out how to tie the kayak to the dock for the night. I took out what I needed and went to meet everyone. It felt great to have a hot shower and change into clean clothes. Farleys wife did my laundry which wasn’t much 2 tshirts and 2 bathingsuits. We had tacos for dinner and then they showed me the camper where I would be sleeping for the night. It was a good night sleep.

September 10, 2018 Mission22

I broke camp after breakfast and set out for the boat ramp at the lighthouse 2.2 miles up the road.

The state park has a kayak launch area just inside the park.

I had to paddle north then west then south which meant I went by the fort and St. Augustine again as well as the Kings bridge.

I paddled until I reached Creasant Beach. While trying to pull my kayak up high enough to put it on the dollie the front fitting ripped out of the bow. I ended up sleeping on a small island just before the bridge. Another night of sleeping on oyster shell berm.

 

September 9, 2018 Mission22

Made reservations for the KOA campground here in ST. Augustine. I need a place where I can work on the keel of the kayak as the front drywell has water in it. Also, it cost less to stay there.

They have WIFI so I can use the laptop again.

I have to use my phone as I cannot get internet on the campground wifi.

Set up camp repaired kayak in 3 places did laundry ate dinner.

Found a place to play darts. I had lunch at Dominoes Pizza as they are on the other side of the fence from my site and the smell was driving me nuts. The dart place is next door to it.

will be heading south tomorrow

September 8, 2018 Mission22

Well after the tournament started a couple from the county/state showed up with kayaks to take a group out for a trip. I decided to hang around and kayak down the river a ways with them. The group was excited that they got to kayak with me for a short ways.

When they pulled into a marsh I kept going.

I stopped at an island that is a estuarian preserve. Met a nice family who had also stopped. I saw them a couple of more times as I continued to paddle down the river toward St, Augustine.

I was paddling by this restaurant along the beach and I could smell the smoke of what I thought was BBQ but it turns out they smoke their own fish. I had a nice shrimp lunch and a couple of drinks one was on the bar tender. I want to thank the customer who bought me lunch.

My next stop was on Bird Island in St. Augustine. Ran into a group who call themselves the Bird Island Buddies which included decals and flags, koozies cups etc. They went all out…got love the enthusiasm. They gave me direction to the Municipal marina where I docked the yak.  They let me stay at the dingy rate when I told them what I was doing.

I walked the 1-2 miles to the store to get my phone fixed to find out he was closing and would have to order the part and it would be over $200. I can’t wait for the part to come in so phone isn’t get fixed yet.

On the way back I stopped in a Wyndam hotel to check rates. Too high so went on to marina. I noticed a Motel across from the marina and the rate was lower than the other guys so I took it because the location was ideal.

Nice hot shower changed clothes and went to dinner.  Went to yak and got my laptop so I could catch up on stuff.

September 7, 2018 Mission22

After a long walk from the hotel I found a boat ramp to launch from. There was a restaurant there so I had lunch first. The current in Clapboard Creek is strong when the tide changes. It runs into the St. John river just a short distance away.  I caught the end of the out going tide when I left.

I made it to the end of Palm Valley where I found a boat ramp next to a restaurant. I also came into a fishing tournament that was happening the next morning. Met a bunch of great people and talked about the Mission22 of course. Had a great dinner.

Thank you Tom for the offer of staying at your house. I should have taken it since the tournament guys were launching their boats starting at 5 AM.

I camped right at the ramp under the bridge.

Remarkable!

During this trip I meet a large number of people just striking up conversations about a number of things. Kayaking, camping, Mission22, SUP, navigation, weather, or their boat.

That amazing thing that comes out of these conversations is they want to go out of their way to help me. I mean total strangers helping a stranger. I believe this is due mainly to the cause and also the inspiration I instill in them for my method of raising awareness.

It certainly renews my faith in humanity that we still live in a great nation. It has not only been Anericans but Irish, Scottish, Dutch, and Scandinavian tourist willing to help.

People have opened their homes, shared their food, and asked tons of questions to understand my history, motivation, and the Mission22 cause. They have provided transportation and even multiple times if I needed it.

Businesses have provided discounts or no charge for stays and meals. People have paid for my lunch and dinner and thanked me for my service and especially thanked me for doing this trip.

If these people are reading this I am eternally grateful.

You help motivate me to persevere and continue to the end.

I will make it to mile marker zero. It would be great for you to be there to celebrate. I know you will be there in spirit.