Talk about dead in the water! I only made it about 10 miles today before I was forced to stop because of winds and chop. I was taking on more water than what it was worth as I was constantly bailing water. I got to Henderson, KY and stopped at a riverfront park and decided to eat lunch in town and gas up. Not much else to do! It is a super nice day but too windy.
I had a visitor last night in the form of a raccoon. At first he was cute but he wanted to play all night long. Once I caught him in the tent with me! I tried scaring him, spraying him with mosquito repellent, and then finally using my push pole to whack him. I wasn’t too far from getting out my frog gig and poking him. The first couple of times were a novelty but he kept coming back again and again. The last time he came back, I whacked him with my pole and he went into the drink! It was a solid shot. He didn’t want to play after that one. Unfortunately, that was at 5:30AM and it was time for me to get up-ugh!
It was so nice this morning that I unpacked the boat and washed the inside. I was on a nice shallow, sandy shore and took my shoes off and took my time. It needed it as there was a bit of sand in there. I finally got on the river at 10:30AM. As I look at my map, Kentucky is one long state! I still have a third of it to go. After Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana should be slam dunk.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me what I do with my time. I chuckle at that because I feel like I don’t have a down moment while I am going. I am constantly looking for floating debris, reading the wind, reading the waves, etc. Those don’t sound like much but one misread wave can dump five gallons of water in the canoe. I am always trying to stay out of the wind as it kills my forward progress and the chops that it creates are a pain in the butt! And the river never goes straight! So every curve I am having to readjust where I am at on the river. So I guess I am not thinking of one big thought but a thousand tiny thoughts. With my brain, I do tiny thoughts better! After dealing with all of those, I worry about the river traffic. Barges are good because they are very predictable both in their path and their speed. Pleasure boaters are sometimes a little squirrely. Luckily, the pleasure boat season is about over. Soon it will be just me and the barges.
I see a million of these asian carp. These are a highly invasive species that nobody knows how to kill without harming the rest of the native fish. These carp have a habit of jumping out of the water. These fish can be very big and have a very thick skull. They sometimes jump into the boats. The closest they have come to my boat is about three feet. I probably see on average 15-20 of these jumpers a day. While I think it is cool to see them jump, I can see why fishermen hate them. They prey on the native species and look to have a voracious appetite. The are a very thick fish. I guess it is the habit of fishermen to kill these fish and throw them back in the river whenever they catch them. They are the only dead fish that I have seen on the river.
The weather is going to change for the worse tomorrow so I will have to break out the winter clothes! It doesn’t really bother me one way or the other-I just want calm water!