Day 87

Day 87 / Oct 1 Mon New Orleans to Belle Chase, Louisiana 🚣🏻‍♂️

Most everyone knows how much I love @marriotthotels, so when the valet parked my canoe right outside the front door all night, I like to think it’s because it’s just another perk for Platinum Elite members who canoe down the Mississippi even though he said it was because the angle of the garage was too tight for it to go there. The morning was sunny and we had no problem putting the canoe back in the river at Woldenberg Park. But ten minutes after I started paddling a huge storm rolled in and the wind kicked up and my easy little 22-mile day around the bend to Belle Chasse became a big challenge. I pulled over to the side when the storm drenched me to the bone and a Coast Guard helicopter flew low over me to see if I was OK. Thankfully, Dr Stuart Guey of the Belle Chasse Rotary Club knows everyone in Plaquemine Parish from here to the Gulf of Mexico, so he arranged for a boat from Plaquemine Port to provide support to me my final week. I had no idea that Holly and Rotarian Keith Hinkley and his son Whit were on board the boat that snuck up behind me and blasted its horn. I thought I’d pissed someone off in the river and the Coast Guard was pulling me over. They got a good laugh and Captain David Sylbe is used to canoeists and kayakers passing through his parish so when I finally did arrive at the port and climbed aboard still soaking wet, they pulled my canoe up for the night and helped me unload my gear. I learned that Whit is a river pilot and he gave me great advice for the upcoming days. All large vessels traveling between the Gulf and Baton Rouge are required to turn the controls over to a licensed river pilot that knows the sandbars and pipelines so that no one runs aground or damages infrastructure. My easy little day turned into a chase for daylight and I was so happy to get a hot shower and dry clothes and call it a day. @ Belle Chasse, Louisiana

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