I was on the east side of the Marquesas so I had a few miles before I even reached open water. I paddled through the center of the circle of islands all the way to the west side where I saw three boats anchored in the lee of the island. In the flats I could see a couple fins swaying to-and-fro. I knew what they were but paddled up to get a closer look. A very large 7-8 foot nurse shark was sifting through the murk to find crustaceans. I startled him as he startled me and I continued on my trip. I soon was out into open water and felt the gusts pick up on my back. It would be a tailwind ride the entire way, making for a questionable return in the coming days.
It’s hard to understand the months of preparation from any other vantage than my own. They think I just thought of the idea of an open ocean paddle to the Dry Tortugas this morning, and they think I am crazy.
He asked me how far I was going to be paddling out and I responded saying I was headed for the Dry Tortugas. “Do you know how far that is?” he asked with a concerned expression on his face.
I laughed and said “yes, yes I do”. It is a common silly question in a long list of them that I have recently become accustomed to. Minutes later, as I prepped my boat on Higgs Beach in Key West to set off for my open ocean voyage in a standard kayak, another man walked up and asked me if I was training for something.
“Actually, I was training for what I’m about to do right now,” I responded. Continue reading Key West to Dry Tortugas, Part 1