Posted by: supthecoast | March 22, 2011

wind,current,sun and chop

The Grand Canyon of The Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek is 225 miles of amazing river tripping. In 2000 I paddled the river, raft supported for 21 days. The river flows down stream at about 8000 cfs (cubic feet per second). The year we paddled had additional flow from above normal rainfall. The additional rainfall raised the cfs hence raising the volume of the river.

Even with the additional flow it still took us 21 days to move the entire distance. We took 4 days off to do day hikes and dry gear. With motors or just rushing down stream you can of course do the trip faster. But why hurry?

We left Key West March 1. Currently we are in Stuart Fla. About 240 miles from our starting point. Our journey has had nothing but perfect weather.Except for a cold front that blew up 40 knot head winds and huge water spouts that sent us paddling for shore.

Un-like running a river where the flow moves you towards the take out, we have been like salmon running upstream to get to our destination. Wind and current have been trying to stop our progress. And for 6 days of this trip it had us on the beach wondering if we would ever make it out of the Keys.

After 15 days of paddling up wind,up current , with annoying side chop and blazing sun, we have accomplished what seemed impossible one week ago.

Every day I wish we went further. But when I think about the mileage we have done and in the conditions we have done it in. All I can do is smile. And can’t wait to get up in the morning to do it again!


  1. Mimi Barbara and I just returned from Naples. Can we help with lodging.? We are at the Indian River Club in Vero beach near US 1. Dick Murdock

    • Piper and I are at our rental house on Skidaway Island and have brought our 25-foot boat with us from Little Compton. We are looking forward greatly to coming out and giving you an escort when you get to this area. We are just off the ICW southwest of Savannah near SM 600 on the chart.
      I would note that the tide rise around here is eight feet, which produces some significant currents that can get up to the three-knot range. And it can be tricky trying to figure out which way they will be running over the course of a 20-mile run, given the maze of creeks and rivers in the area.
      One other note: we just made a round trip down to Jekyll Island, about 70 nm each way. In that stretch, there were few places to go ashore other than in the reeds and mud, although there are occasional islands with sand banks.
      We wish you the best.
      Sandy Hawes

      • Thanks for the info! We will be in touch when we get up that way for sure!

  2. It’s just so amazing what you guys have done so far. Kiri and I can’t wait for the next update! Wishing you fair weather and following winds.
    Tom & Kiri

  3. woohoo!! You guys are awesome!! of course you’ll make it!! love reading about your adventures! seeing lotsa cool stuff!

  4. I paddled two miles into a stiff headwind yesterday and it exhausted me. You guys have been doing it for 6 days!!!!! Get’m!!!!!!! Having fun watching your progress. Let me know what I can do to support when you arrive Virginia Beach. “Stay the course” Cowabunga’s – Ray Barnett

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