Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Planning Begins

At the start of any new adventure there is always the dreaming stage.

IMG_2529Where can I go ~ How will I get there ~ What will it be like?

For me that’s a fairly common state of mind as I’m always dreaming of that horizon, and the planning of possible adventures is a fantasy world into which to disappear for a while.

Now this journey will be a little different to most that I enjoy in that it is really not into a truly remote and inaccessible area. In fact for a great portion of the journey it will be just the opposite; built up industrial complexes that supply the nations fuel and access ports for transglobal commerce, other areas are massively populated by citizens that clamor for any real estate that even remotely feels like a beach.

It seems that what is left is mostly swamps and bayous, marshlands and everglades, and of course the commercial canals linking the them all together.

Naturally enough I am truly looking forward to the more remote places but I am also excited to witness the grand scale of that which has been the backbone of the American dream.

Initially, I had planned on arriving and setting up Wilber at the area of Port Isabel, specifically on South Padre Island.

Then I found out that my planned time fell right within an event called the Ulimate Music Experience, which in itself is during spring break. Now, little Wilber and I, muddling about in the midst of a four day event that is expected to attract over 50,000 people? Uhh no, I don’t think so.

So now I’m looking for an alternate jumping off location, unfortunately it may have to be a little further north but I don’t think that should detract from the overall theme. Port Mansfield, a small fishing port, located about 32 nautical miles (NM) north seems to be the first logical place, so I’ll do a little research and see what comes of it. Options appear to be somewhat limited; fingers remain crossed.

The journey to the starting place, wherever that may be, hopefully will be as uneventful as possible; no seizing wheel bearings as we had on our way to the Sea of Cortez in early 2014. Wheel Brg FailureHowever, I must say that because of a bearing failure it put us on a whole new and enjoyable course. Problems are not always bad,… if the mind is kept open.

When dreaming of a new adventure one of the bigger questions is “what will it be like”?

From experience I have a solid knowledge of wilderness journeying, but these canals, barges and local, cultural characteristics have got me thinking a bit. Through research these aspects seem to be interesting to say the least.

The barges plying trade along the canals naturally demand great respect and they’re relatively easy to deal with. Local drivers of recreational craft however, specifically those of the idiotic nature, have found mention in quite a few reports. I guess time will tell whether these will truly be problematic.

No matter, this is all part of the dreaming and planning process, lock down that which can be controlled and try to imagine the path through that which cannot.

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Welcome to a New Beginning

At least its new to me.

I’ve been dreaming of a new adventure for quite a while now, some might say a little obsessively, and the time is fast approaching that it will take a real form and carry me towards some very nice horizons.

The IntraCoastal Waterway is a network of canals connecting natural water courses along the sea shore of the Southern and Eastern USA. Its primary purpose is to allow the movement of huge load carrying barges to and from various sea ports and industrial complexes without venturing into the exposed waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1826, the first survey was authorized for a canal system that would link the Gulf and the Atlantic. Nowadays the overall IntraCoastal Waterway is 3000 miles long (4800 km) consisting of three main sections.

Two sections form the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW); 1-Brownsville, Texas to Carrabelle, Florida, and 2- Tarpon Springs, Florida to Fort Meyers and the third section forms the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; Key west, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia.

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is a part of the American Great Loop; a water navigable journey that encircles the Eastern portion of the USA.

At the moment my interest is focused on the Gulf of Mexico portion, the GICW.

GICW Journey Overview

Why the Gulf of Mexico section?

Why not I say.

There are areas that don’t seem to be highly populated (by American standards) and there seems to be very little documented about recreational traveling through or along this coastal area of the USA.

Huge areas of coastal flat lands that stretch to the horizon from I’m told, vast areas of everglades that hardly see any people and these are things I would like to witness here in the States.

My homeland, Australia, is physically about the same size as the US lower 48. The population here in the US is somewhere around 320 million people, in Australia we have just over 23 million; 300 million less for the same size land mass!

So, if I can find some places that are remote, and go out and get lonely for a while, I think that will be absolutely lovely.

I’ll be filming and writing as I travel along and who knows, maybe I’ll share something that you never knew about this great land.

Youtube channel should follow soonish.

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