Friday, November 27, 2020

Paddlers Complete 1,515 Mile Sea Kayaking Journey

 

 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection congratulates kayakers Marc DeLuca and Jim Windle for finishing the entire 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, as mapped and developed by the Department’s Office of Greenways & Trails. The two retired police officers from Charlotte, N.C., began their four-month journey Nov. 2, 2013 at Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola and finished March 1, 2014, near Fort Clinch State Park just south of the Georgia border. They are the 12th and 13th paddlers to complete the entire trail since it opened in 2007.

The two men faced extreme weather, large ocean swells and some health scares. On day three, DeLuca’s kayak almost sank in rough seas due to a leaky rear hatch cover. They battled a case of influenza near Miami, and a serious foot infection requiring hospitalization almost sidelined Windle in St. Augustine. The two pressed on, vowing not to give up.

Despite the hardships, what they remember most is the coastal beauty and acts of kindness and hospitality along the way. A multi-media blog capturing their experiences can be seen at KayakAroundFlorida.wordpress.com/.

For more information on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, visit www.FloridaGreenwaysandTrails.com

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