KayakVagabond

the website of Greg Stamer

Archive for April, 2020

KayakVagabond — Everglades Challenge 2020

Posted by Greg on April 18, 2020

I nudged the right rudder pedal, and like falling off a ledge, my kayak leaned right as the bow dropped into the wave trough just ahead of me. Immediately the kayak accelerated sharply as I shifted my weight back to keep the bow from pearling. Soon I was surfing faster than my arms could spin, and I stopped paddling completely — holding the paddle blade skimming just above the water ready for a low brace. The GPS recorded 11 mph as my exuberant shouts of “Woo Hoo!!!” were drowned-out by the wind.

I was in the deepest part of Tampa Bay, about 5 miles from the starting beach with still a mile and a half to go to reach the shelter of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) near Anna Maria island.  During the crossing my speed was averaging 5, 6, and even 7 mph. The conditions were such that I could point my bow into the next wave trough and surf almost at will — although not always directly toward my destination, weaving a zig-zag path toward Anna Maria.