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Patriot Paddle Event - Friday DEC 23

From: John B.
Sent on: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:28 PM
A logistic issue has arisen regarding the possible group kayak on my last leg  - if weather/wave/wind conditions permit - I am planning on passing the Orange Park area - near Doctor's Lake - around 13:00-14:00 - if weather permits and the decision is made to continue to the Acosta Bridge ramps (or if someone has a better pull-out suggestion please let me know) then anyone wishing to join please be geared up and ready to join me as I pass OP during that window. I will be using a handheld VHF radio and will be updating my family on my ETA via text msg and/or radio as I approach the OP area.
If the weather is bad then the event will end at Orange Park. My concern is twofold - if the weather is bad, I don't want to endanger anyone else on the water and if I am pushing up against a sunset deadline, I may have to press on at a higher pace and I don't want to be in a position to have anyone "left behind." Hoping for a small group of kayakers - and especially one who can ride shotgun on the group if I have to accelerate the effort to make deadline. A "chase boat" might be a great idea if anyone wants to accompany the event and provide a back up safety net on the wide water.

My day will start at Green Cove Springs at 09:00 and I will be passing Orange Park around 13:00-14:00 if my speed estimate is correct. (@3-3.5 mph weather conditions dependent). At OP, I will have to make the determination if weather permits and I am still physically "in the groove" to continue Northward. Obviously if I am fighting to make it to OP due to weather then making the run to the Acosta Bridge is probably not a good decision for anyone. Additionally, if the average speed is 3mph - which can happen in bad water - then the day is a 25 mile = 8 hour event in total. With a 09:00 launch and a straight 8 hour run means getting to the Acosta Bridge around 17:00. That doesn't allow much time before sunset. So I guess what I'm trying to say is - hoping to do better than 3 mph but worst case scenario on this event has been 3 mph average over an 6-8 hour run. If anyone has any input on local conditions in that area please feel free to shoot them to me. Most of my reconnoitering of the route has been via Google Earth and that doesn't give me as much information as someone who has been on the water there.

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