Day 16 Begins – Morning Update May 26, 2014 Monday – Time 07:30 CST
WELCOME MISSISSIPPI – bye Tennessee
This morning’s headline “Delta Travel is Beautiful”
Phone in from Tom, “Boot” Bawja 06:30 CST
Marine radio is now allowing discussions with the barge captains – especially helpful in the night. The paddlers received a txt from 2003 World Record paddler Mr. Clark Eid talking about these barges and send this message back to Mr. Eid, “Clark, Thank You & You Are Absolutely Correct”!! Yikes – there was one that ran their tow onto the shore right in front of them. At the moment there are 4 rafts in a narrow bend and The Southbound Spartans are glad they’re in a skinny boat…
The river is dropping in water levels, the wing dikes are no longer runnable, sandbars are appearing everywhere. Keeping the main channel’s primary flow in front of the boat is especially challenging in the night. With increases in barge traffic – The Main Channel gets a little crowded. The barges create huge waves that amplify when reaching the shallow river bottom. Shallow river bottoms in this context happen everywhere across the river as the sandbars move constantly. The impact of the suddenly appearing 8’ waves creates conditions of treacherous travel. For our guy Clint Adams though, they’re surfing opportunities & the paddlers are ‘catching the wave’ as nimbly as a 24’ canoe can…
Yesterday’s recap – after getting ‘barge blocked & with limited communication the night before, our team’s mileage improved significantly and they came through Memphis in a rush. Mr. Dale Sanders met them on The Memphis Mud Island cache drop & sent them on downstream. The river proved challenging to arrange a meeting point for replacement of the marine radio. The Mighty Quapaws fixed that problem as John ‘MadDog’ Fewkes stepped up on his rest day and got the location arranged and the shorecrew placed. This worked perfectly and our team was on their way in to the night. Thank You Gentlemen – Well Done !!!
This morning finds us South of Island 63 and heading into the next food cache at Greenville. If anyone has a couple of pizzas, (one vegan and ½ veggie), it would appear some of the comforts of home are finally creeping into the minds of our team.
In honor of Memorial Day – The Southbound Spartans are flying the nation’s colors on the stern of the boat, (courtesy of a gift from Mr. Randy Scero as Steward of The Food Cache). The new flag has given this waterborne vehicle a touch of class for sure. An additional video slideshow is linked at the bottom of this post for your Memorial Day experience (*).
WEATHER: We are moving the checker downstream to Natchez Mississippi: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=31.560438564000435&lon=-91.40316581099967&site=all&smap=1#.U4Mes_ldXrA Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Light south wind increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tuesday A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Tuesday Night A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. South southeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms..
The rest of this trip and these posts will focus on the information provided through:
The Mighty Quapaws: http://www.island63.com/about-us.cfm
The Rivergator Site: http://www.rivergator.org/paddlers-guide/introduction.cfm
From Rivergator, The Maps: http://www.rivergator.org/river-log/st-francis-to-arkansas-city/island-63-to-hurricane.cfm
Timestamps – see the section in this link about ‘rivertime’ please: http://www.island63.com/quapaws-river-rat.cfm
Race Recap: These guys are in a 24’ canoe called The Southbound Spartans paddling 24/7 on the 2,345 miles from Lake Itasca to Mile Zero at The Gulf of Mexico. The current record is 18 days 4 hours & 51 minutes as paddled by Bob Bradford and Clark Eid in 2003. The water levels in The Lower Mississippi will be a key factor, as will the survival of the paddlers. The 2003 World Record Holders have been in regular contact & comparatively – The Southbound Spartans are in the hunt and not far behind.
The winds will become the wildcard – and of course – whenever you are dealing with one of the largest river systems on the planet – all things will become ‘rivertime’ –http://www.island63.com/quapaws-river-rat.cfm
(*) Memorial Day River Slideshow Because many readers have ‘a casual day’ today – (not our guys in the boat mind you, but…) – Today we are providing a link to a production from The Mighty Quapaws, Rivergator: Paddlers Guide to the Lower Mississippi “Featuring the WILD people and WILD places along the Lower Mississippi! Narrated by river rebel Mark River with raw river gee-tar by Driftwood Johnnie and technicals by River Brax. A must-see for any and all river-rats! The longest water trail in America along the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the continental United States, over 1100 miles from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (including the Middle Miss from the Missouri River confluence). There are thousands of islands, backchannels, side channels and oxbow lakes to explore. The trail connects cities, states, public lands, festivals and all of the people and businesses found along the Lower Miss.”
Updated from ‘deskcrew’ by Flipper 07:30 cst ‘rivertime’ on 05.26.2014