Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jubilant Glee

Some time in the night, between when I started charging my GPS and when I woke up in the morning, the screen cracked leaving only a third of it visible.  It was a good thing I wouldn't be needing it.

Day 65:



I woke in a small hotel room that the LNI had ready for me.  It was 5:00 and I was ready to rock.  The good people from the LNI wanted to give me a lift in the morning from the hotel to the port, saving me the 40 minute walk.  I explained to them that it wouldn't make sense, trying to use my trip to encourage people not to drive, and then getting in a car at every opportunity.  After a leisurely hot shower and other morning chores, I walked through the town to the water.

Awhile later I quietly pulled away.

I had been told that it would be sunny and warm so I was dressed for it, despite the overcast skys and chill breeze.  I figured the weather would clear up in no time.

I went into many caves, some I followed several hundred feet back into the mountain.  More went farther than I was willing to go without a headlamp, a helmet, and any research about what to expect.  It's a good thing I didn't die on my last day.

The water, even in the extremely foggy weather, was very clear, especially near the caves.  In one of them a school of little fish kept jumping out of the water in the same spot, just ahead of my boat.   The other nice thing about the caves is that they were warmer and protected from the breeze.

I passed an island that was heavily fortified for a 15th century battle.

The air was getting cold and my fast paddling was no longer compensating so I decided to pull over at the next opportunity and put my dry top on.  As I pulled into an area sheltered by a seawall, with a large house on the land side, a man gestured to me from the shore that I was not welcome there.  He made himself very clear.  I kept on paddling.

Soon after there was a fisherman's port and I got dressed there.

Later I found a shortcut under a bridge that saved me from going around a peninsula as I had expected.  The bridge connected the mainland to a giant castle with lots of turrets and very high walls.

My destination was the LNI Naples.  I had passed many small harbors and while I was fairly certain it was still ahead, I wanted to makes sure.  I asked a fisherman and he told me I passed it already and, yes, he was certain.  I ignored him and kept on paddling.  Soon, I arrived.

I paddled 1,000 nautical miles from Barcelona to Naples.  I had set out to kayak further, but more importantly, I hoped to get the most out of an expedition.  In that, I found victory.  As I reflected on this, hot shower cleaning me, I was overcome by emotion.  Joy, weariness, accomplishment.  It's been a long way.

Walking through the crowded streets of Naples, I sang a lot, loudly.

"Jubilant Glee,

Jubilant Glee,

I have kayaked

one thousand miles."

[slideshow]

8 comments:

  1. love it.
    you are now my favorite kayaker by far.

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  2. Chancellour of the EzchequorFebruary 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Can you please post audio of the Jubilant Glee song so that we may sing along?

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  3. That song is lost to the wind and the people of Naples who heard me sing it. Another vicotry song, sung as I entered the water of Naples, will be posted shortly. Thanks for the request.

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  4. photos please! did you salvage your stepped upon hard drive?

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  5. Not yet, but I hope to if possible. I got back to Israel early this morning, and it's on my to do list, though fairly low.

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  6. Pictures form the last few eeks should be on their way.

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  7. Shalom! How dose it feel to be back in Israel?!

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