Day 27

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!


12 thoughts on “Day 27

  1. hey, since you can’t really play pacman out there, you could keep that frog gig on your lap. see how many carp a day you can spear. start out simple, just after they land, then try getting them on the fly once you get good. maybe pick up some surgical tubing for some extra ooph!
    or slingshot? blowgun?

  2. Hey, Sam
    This is Dan and Joan from day 3 (with the dog) . My life is filled with these very strange coincidences- On Sept 30th when you and Leanne were at Fort Knox, Joan and I were were also at Fort Knox, Maine. We were on vacation and traveling the Maine coast to Boston. Maybe a pellet gun for the security issues. You would probably be legal state to state with that. Stay safe.

    • Hope you guys had a nice trip. The funny thing about raccoons is that they are so cute you don’t want to hurt them. But they are a wild animal that can very much hurt you. I was thinking of getting a squirt bottle with vinegar. Just enough to scare them away.

  3. Watch out whacking, you might wake a sleeping giant. Frog gig?, I have experience with that, when assaulted-attack. You are having just the right amont of fun!

    • Everything I learned about throwing a frog gig, I learned from you! BTW, how is that back?!! Man, that was forty years ago yet it seems like yesterday. I still remember you falling off your bike and running after me to thump me for that one.

  4. Hi there. I saw you on the river yesterday just a bit west of Henderson riverfront where you said you ate lunch. We were taking out our boat dock on the Indiana bank as you passed by us. We all looked at your sign trying to identify the website. I did some checking this morning and found your blog. Seems like a pretty neat thing that you’re doing. When you passed by yesterday, the water was a bit choppy and the waves were rather closed to lapping over the front of your boat. Once downside of the fall/winter on the Ohio is it’s constantly breezy/windy. Usually makes for rougher water. Hopefully it doesn’t get too rough for your canoe. Anyway, hope all is well. Keep on truckin’.

  5. Well I check Hendersen in Wikipedia and it seems that there was an illustrious resident..

    “In 1810, Audubon moved the business further west to the less competitive Henderson, Kentucky area. He and his small family took over an abandoned log cabin. In the fields and forests, Audubon wore typical frontier clothes and moccasins “and a ball pouch, a buffalo horn filled with gunpowder, a butcher knife, and a tomahawk on his belt.”

    He frequently turned to hunting and fishing to feed his family, as business was slow. On a prospecting trip downriver with a load of goods, Audubon joined up with Shawnee and Osage hunting parties, learning their methods, drawing specimens by the bonfire, and finally parting “like brethren.” Audubon had great respect for Native Americans: “Whenever I meet Indians, I feel the greatness of our Creator in all its splendor, for there I see the man naked from His hand and yet free from acquired sorrow.” Audubon also admired the skill of Kentucky riflemen and the “regulators”, citizen lawmen who created a kind of justice on the Kentucky frontier. In his travel notes, he claims to have encountered Daniel Boone.”

    Now Sam, I’d just like to be sure that you are going to keep a sharp eye out for any regulators, and do see if you can join up with any Shawnee or Osage hunting parties so you tell us what that’s like.

    All the best and thanks for helping me learn a little more about your country

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