Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Would You Do With a Girly Pirate?

Ahoy Mate,
Monday at Crystal River went very well…Janis went with me…JC launched us from CrystalRiver Kayak……since there were so many snorkel people; I started to paddle out toward the gulf and came upon a basin…suddenly the boat was moving by itself…the calves’ were playing with my boat (kind of like a Tonka truck in the sand box)…all the cows were hanging out to one side (reminded me of women in a coffee clutch)…the kids were snorting hot breath up my back and tapping on the boat…Janis and I got to speak to many people about the paddle…we did good time on the water and was able to stop at Emily’s Restaurant…always worth the stop- good food/clean/friendly staff/fair prices…Yes, I do like the place:)

I spoke to Trish at the shelter…we need donations…she suggested I make some personal appearances since I cannot afford table fees at many of the upcoming events…I ran an advert in a local shopper type of paper called ‘The Flyer’ too…

I tried to gain some help from an RV company that could well afford it…the man spoke to me about one price- when I came up with money to meet his price he tried to double it…when this happens it is called ‘Bait and Switch’…people like this have very messed up karma- you do not want to be there when it hits the fan…even if he offered me something for free now I would not take it, NO bad Karma here or allowed near this trip:)

Our local hockey team may be terrors on the ice but, off the ice are well known through the community have been leaders among men…they take time for charities, community events and their families…their actions in the community speak so loudly that they can be heard throughout the Tampabay Area…

Saturday brought with it The Kumquat Festival in Dade City…many hands to shake and pictures to take…I got to try some kumquat jelly…the funnel cakes were great..Nathan went with me…we talked to several people about the paddle…the nice lady from the Pasco County fair knew who I was and had questions…the car show was really cool- so much muscle…Nathan brought the kids back to ride on the camels…what a really great day

I had received an invitation to paddle the Weeki Wachee from Curt at PaddlingAdventures…mornings like these are a true blessing and should never be taken for granted…around every corner was a new treat- animal, structure or nature…it was all Curt had promised and then some…you can never go wrong with a man who has a squirrel for a friend…

The Mermaidsof Weeki Wachee are real and I got to meet them…full of beauty and grace…this brings a whole new level to the term roadside attraction…I now understand why young ladies of Florida dream of being a Mermaid…the park was very clean and well organized…The Mermaids were very supportive of my goals and send their positive energy with me on my quest…

Every day I see my dream…

 Your favorite Girly Pirate,

 Captain D

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paddle Crazy

Greetings My Crew,

It has been busy…as any good Captain it is important to stay on top of as much as possible…setting a priority list is always very important to keeping kayos to a minimum

I am a full time student and my current class has been hard work…education is always valuable…as a person with Battered Women’s Syndrome, I find that it is actually a stress reliever…it is empowering and worth every minute of my time…in my current class we are speaking about global warming…oops…not PC, climate change…how much of this phenomena do you think I will see on my trip and in what forms???

After a week of paperwork and appearances…I am a tired Girly Pirate…my husband was missing our friends at Siesta Beach Bike and Kayak…so we early Saturday we left for the Island…Lance greeted us and had a kayak waiting at the beach for us…we got out there for 3 hours…the water was empty except one guy fishing from his kayak and some skullers off in  Little Sarasota Bay so, we had the whole park just for us…the aviary was a lively place and the birds did not seem to mind us at all…when we got back we were so hungry….

Lance recommended ‘Walt’s Fish and Chips’ in Sarasota…good food and great service- A cool place for Girly Pirates…the waitress donated a ‘Walt’s Pirate Haven’ T-shirt…it was a wonderful day...I feel blessed

A woman who had overheard me speaking to the waitress, left the restaurant and came back and handed me a flag…she had made a donation to the American Vets that were outside- they gave her the flag and she to me…she said many of the disabled vets wish they could go and this way I could take them with me…she was a nurse at the VA in Tampa and asked to remain anonymous…the whole thing makes me want to cry

This morning, we were off to home depot…when suddenly balloons started landing in the middle of the road in a back neighborhood...American Balloon Rides were giving rides around the area…I showed Walter the crosswind at the high elevation…I also saw the cranes following the ultralight…here in Florida it seems, we swim with the fish and fly with the birds:)

Tomorrow is Monday…Janis and I will be headed to Crystal Rive Kayak…paddling with the Manatees is fun…I hope we can stop at Emily’s Restaurant in Homosassa…this is a 50s style place with good food…it will be the last time for a while that Janis can come play with us as she will soon have family visiting

Starting February 1 we will be confirming all Days (1-39)…if you have a place we can stay for the night, if you want to meet us, if you want to bring us a meal or if you live on the coast and can give me the call letters, phone number and address of your local news/ radio stations- I would be very thankful…

Everyday I see my dream…

Your favorite Girly Pirate,

Captain D

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Paddle of 2012


The last run of all the west coast training areas- Sarasota, Siesta Key, Crystal River, Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, Anclote River- has now begun…I will soon start Atlantic Training next month…

It has been holidays and bad weather…finally a break…on Saturday, the last client left and I called Scotty at Siesta Key Bike and Kayak…he said the weather was beautiful and to come down…I needed workout time…I jumped in the pimp mobile and was off to Siesta Key…I love this area and cannot wait until my journey is over to return (maybe I can sneak in one more visit when no one’s looking)…We have made some wonderful friends here:)

On the drive there, I stopped and took time to think of the area I was going into and how beautiful it is…exit 205 on I75 South…make a right off the exit ramp and your life is soon to get better…it has been such a great place to train…people have been very friendly and supportive…it is clean and VERY GREEN (reduce, reuse, recycle- should be the county motto)…

I arrived at Siesta Key Bike and Kayak shop to find Lance loading my rental kayak on the truck…Scotty was donating the rental to me and told me to have fun…the entire staff of Siesta Key Bike and Kayak has been supportive of my goals…at Turtle Beach I ran across some lovely young ladies from Minnesota…we spoke of the paddle and the reason for it…Lance took our pictures.

Paddling out alone is different….you become more aware of every movement of the air, water and animals…I saw many people coming off the water and thought it was because of low tide…I look at the change of tide as a challenge…I paddled around the Neville Wildlife Reserve, 3 full times and then slowed to take video and pics….my average is up to about 5.4 MPH…I am happy with that and my endurance has been steadily building…I was sad not to have the Blue Horizon with me, but I really needed stroke practice…getting in and out of small/shallow areas, paddling forward/backward/sideways…with no rudder, it was all about the core workout…I saw a nest that an osprey was building…

Pelicans (brown and white) seemed to be everywhere…blue herons and egrets were darting about…I could touch the bottom and found a small empty queen conch shell…I saw a few mullet jumping up by mullet shoals…I know there are no longer sharks at the old shark lab, but my senses are always on high alert when I paddle that area…as I came back up the channel, I saw Lance…timing was everything…this Girly Pirate was happy…what a beautiful afternoon

On my way home, I started going over all the paddle information in my head…it was then I stopped to think about how blessed I am…many people have donated time, boating equipment, knowledge and much more helping put this together…it amazes me how many people have been inspired to volunteer help in their own areas…if you want the right to complain about something, first you must try to make things better…by the end of this month I should have all landing points confirmed- I will be posting meet ups that can happen on meetup.com…I do have a few areas where I will need help from local boaters…we have entered the home stretch people…

I spoke to the nice woman who owns Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City…I asked her politely if she had time to help and explained to her I would need a flag for the road crew to hold on shore so I know where to land…it is a lot to ask of anyone, but she rose to the challenge…I am excited to see what she comes up with:)

It was nice to have a few sweets for the holidays, but I am now back on training menu…I am also starting to stock up food for the trip…I must encourage all parents to send your children to scouts, much of the preparation work for this trip was learned while in scouts…they are lessons that have served me well throughout life…how many knots can you tie? Well I must shove off…

Your Favorite Girly Pirate,

Captain D

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Clear You’re Scupper Holes Get Ready to Haul Anchor

Welcome aboard,

Maps and charts abound….where is the quartermaster when you need him?

I will be in Sarasota next weekend…I hope to spend all day Saturday around both sides of Turtle Beach…it will be my last time to see my friends there until after my return from the journey as I will start training in the Atlantic in February…it has been a great place to train…I have been given instruction and support from everyone in the area…a lucky girly pirate am I…it has been a blessing

We are working out the details for our first Atlantic launch…I am currently trying to obtain permission to use the beach at Canaveral National Seashore…you may wonder why I chose this spot…this will be our first visit to a National Park…it is also across from our county as the flamingo flies…lol…I am excited and as we finalize details I will keep you posted…I have heard much about the east coast of Florida and I guess I am about to see what it’s like:)

Many hours of prep work go into each paddle along with…along with my own small business and being a full time student, it takes up almost every spare moment I have to put this together…I have to call ahead to make sure we can be accommodated or if they need to charge us, put together maps, pack all we might need (most places are well over an hour from home/ the Atlantic is 4 hours away)- this is just for the individual paddles…I have a plastic storage bag with all paperwork, business cards and maps from each area as I like to continue business with those who have been so supportive what I am trying to accomplish…it also help us keep things straight for the website and all adjoining media…we believe in our goal and that pushes us forward...I could not do any of this alone

If something is worth doing it is worth doing your best…if it takes hours of study, time to train and hard work you should feel you goal is worth it…accept that nothing will end up perfect and enjoy what does happen...here I go, channeling my inner Capt. Phil again...

I am doing all of this through Donations…every penny helps…you can donate at PayPal or mail it in (information listed below)…as you put up your new stuff from the holiday, please remember to send us any camping or boating equipment you may be replacing and no longer need…we are trying to be as green as possible (reduce, reuse, recycle)…as I said earlier, we are still looking for some type of camper…

30131 Clearview Dr

Wesley Chapel, FL 33545

Girly Pirates hate office work, but it is so cold most of my crew has fallen ill…I put a blanket over The Lady Blue Horizon and another over Yum Yum…I do not need them sick before the temperature goes back to normal Saturday…

May the wind fill your Sails and the sun be warm on your back,
Captain D