Monthly Archives: May 2010

The launch

Well, the big day finally arrived last Tuesday. We picked up the boat, took it straight home, and threw it in the water. My first outing in Cross Lake was absolutely spectacular! This thing tracks well and is VERY stable. Just the ticket for 340 miles down the Missouri River. I will need to work on my exits, though. As I came cruising back to my apartment and pulled up to the shore there was a couple standing at the dock, enjoying the evening. They watched me race up, pull the boat up to the bank, and (try to) jump out. It seems kayaks are a bit more tippy when you’re getting out of them because I immediately fell over sideways – into the slime and muck. As I was laying there with my left eye underwater and my right eye looking at the bugs on the top of the lake I heard them say “We didn’t see anything – your secret’s safe with us!”

Finally here!

The second attempt was much more successful. I got home from work and out on the lake at 6:30 and didn’t pull in until 9:30. Covered a lot of miles in the boat, some of them out in the middle of the big lake. Once again it handled well and took some fairly big waves from the powerboats in stride. Half way though I pulled in to the Shreveport Yacht Club and rigged the boat lights, for safety, and headed back home. To get back to my apartment I need to go through an area of cypress trees growing up in the lake, under a small bridge, then down a bayou. It took me a while to pick my way through the trees, find the inlet under bridge, and down the bayou but there was a hot shower at the end of the trip. And I didn’t see any snakes or ‘gators so it was a success.

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On the bayou

It's loooooong!

From now on, if you see a blue and white ‘yak out on Cross Lake you’ll know who it is. The White Rock Navy is steaming full speed ahead! And, by the way, the pics were taken by my lovely wife, and fellow WRN crew member, Sharon, who’s here in Shreveport visiting me for the weekend.

64 days until the race.
108 members of the navy.
$616.00 in pledges for Haiti.
A whole bunch of sore muscles already!

Ned

The power of prayer

When we were in Haiti one of the women we met told us they were praying for us. Haitians really do admire Americans and appreciate what we’re doing for them. And over the last few months I’ve been drawing on those reserves of prayer from Haiti, from lots of rosaries being said by my Catholic friends, from the prayers of my Baptist “Prayer Warrior” friends, all kinds of other prayers being said, and the good thoughts and wishes of all of you as I work toward the MR340.

And it’s working. The boat is on a truck and on the way to Shreveport. There are now 108 of you signed up as members of the White Rock Navy. The pledges total $616.00 and a number of people have said they’ll be pledging. Thanks to Leslie, Ann, Steve, Rosalie, Carol, Dorothy, Stu, Schuree, Kathy, and Mike for stepping up to help with this already. Raising awareness and money for the efforts in Haiti is my first goal but I’d also like to print up White Rock Navy t-shirts for all of you. So, if anyone has a company interested in advertising their name on the back of these shirts, on the boat, and on the blog – let me know! 70 days before the cannon goes off in Kansas City and the race starts and still a long way to go.

Just as important as the fundraising, though, is your willingness to let me intrude with the reality of things in Haiti. Life in the US can sometimes be insulated. We forget that there are people not too far from us who are hungry every day and who don’t have nearly the opportunities we take for granted. But just as often it’s good for us to be reminded of these realities. To be grateful for what we have.

Stay tuned for a post in a couple of days with pictures of the new boat. And thanks again.

Ned