Sat - July 8, 2006

Fog over the Suwannee River during Cross Florida Paddling 2006

My last two nights on the Suwannee River in the end of March 2006 during the Ultimate Florida Challenge were really cold. I believe the air temperature was dropping down to 30s. A dense fog was forming over the river making night paddling somewhat challenging. However, mornings with rising sun were beautiful and provided me with many photographic opportunities.

The above pictures were shot with Pentax Optio WP in a fully automatic mode but usually with some adjustments of exposure time. I have assigned EV compensation to the "green button". Right now, the exposure compensation in my Pentax is at the first position available by one click to the green button. I am often underexposing when shooting in the harsh light of the middle of day as well as during sunset or dusk shooting. Florida kayak canoe

SandyBottom aka Dawn Stewart described the foggy nights on the Suwannee at the 6th position of her Scariest Moments during the Challenge.

6 - The fog (and dark and cold) on the Suwannee River, 3 nights in a row. There are often trees down and branches overhanging on the banks of the River creating what could be a very dangerous situation. There was also no moon the nights we were on the Rivers, it was very dark. Three nights in a row, on the Suwannee, in the pitch dark, the fog was so thick, that we often couldn't even see the outline of the tree line. Even more frightening because there were constant turns on the River, sometimes as often as every 50 yds. These nights were also some of the coldest, with lows in the 30s. One night the fog was so bad, that DrKayak, RiverJohn, and I had to raft up and float, knowing we were going in the right direction because of the current, but worried if we hit a bank, we needed to be together, in case there was trouble.

I don't remember those nights as scary, however, I experienced fog at the lower more open river than SandyBottom's group. I had also a reference to my paddling in 2003 Texas Water Safari.

There was a dense fog at night over Guadelupe River between Dupont and Salt Water Barrier. I could see only tree tops and nothing on the water surface. I was really scared that hitting something would result in capsizing my tippy safari canoe in a gator territory. Fortunately, I didn't hit anything in the fog. Later that night when the fog cleared, I hit a submerged log in the middle of the river below Tivoli but I didn't capsized.

By comparison, I felt pretty safe on the Suwannee River in my stable Sea Wind canoe. I suppose I am more a river paddler than sea kayaker. I was much less comfortable when entering the Gordon Pass during night with some choppy water condition.

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Posted at 10:15 AM    

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