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What better way to end an epic kayak tour than an epic paddle through Hampton Roads. I met Kevin at West Neck Marina Saturday morning and we paddled through WN Creek and the VB Ditch traversing log jams and downed trees. Kevin didn’t look like someone who had just spent 4 months in the marsh, he was in great spirits, excited to be completing this tour but disappointed that it was over. We saw a water moccasin about 30 minutes after launching. At one point we met a canoeist who was stuck in the logs. “I don’t know if we can go through,” he said. “Oh, we’re getting through!” I told him. We did get through, canoeist in tow, and landed 15 miles and 6 hours later in my backyard on Wolfsnare Creek. We spent the afternoon drinking beer and catching up before Kevin pushed off to spend the night on a friend’s yard at the intersection of Wolfsnare and the E Branch of the Lynnhaven. I met him there bright and early Saturday morning. Neither of us had slept well, listening to the wind howl all night. We paddled down the Lynnhaven to the inlet, ran into Mike on the way, and landed on the beach at Crab Creek where Robert (Yak and Surf) and a Bill Tiernan (photog from the Pilot) were waiting to meet us. Also there to meet us was a 20 knot northeast wind. We waited until the tide turned before launching the boats and heading out. The good news was that the wind was at our back and the 3 to 4 foot waves were quartering from the stern. We didn’t get far before being stopped by the pipe coming from the dredge in the inlet. We had to land through the surf, wrestle Kev’s boat over the pipe, then surf launch again. Next we had to get across the 4-foot breakers crashing on the shoals at Chicks and again at Little Creek. Between waves all I could see was the tips of Kevin’s fishing rods sticking up. 200 yards from the inlet and safety, we both got caught in the tide rip screaming around the tip of the jetty where 4 to 5 foot waves were rolling into the rocks. I cleared the entrance first, turned around to see Kevin surf in, spin his boat into the waves, give the sea a hard core salute and scream into the howling wind. He had fought the elements for four months and he had won. The rest was easy. We met up with Calvin (NakedGoby) who had spanked the pups and flounder while waiting for us to arrive. He told us, “I said to myself ‘There is no way they’re out in this and then you guys came around the end of the jetty.” George and Robert met us in the inlet and we escorted Kevin back to Anchor Marina where his folks, my family, Chad, and Cory were waiting to welcome Kevin home. Hugs, hand shakes, pizza and beer followed and the party was still going on when I left around 2. Kevin’s accomplishment is on par with summiting Everest, Hiking the Appalachian, or sailing around the world. Following his progress and joining him on his last two days has inspired me to live boldly, test my limits, and simplify my life. One paddle stroke at a time…

Ric
 

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I particpatred in an adventure once, and many were complaining about the weather and conditions of the adventure. We told them "This ain't Disneyworld this is life." Glad to hear everyone is safe and home. Soundls like LIFE was with him all the way to the end. I can't wait to hear about this great adventure. I'm sure it'll be on the shelf of WRO before long.

Congratulations
Jeff
 

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Ric, you are only going to simplify your life so much unless you can get rid of the kids! I've got about 17.75 years left and then I'm free again.

Tom
 

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Make your kids part of the adventure. You may not be able to paddle 1800 miles with them in tow, but my son (5) has logged a hell of a lot of hours on the front hatch of my yaks, between my legs or in the tankwell (until the second time he hooked me on the backcast). He loves it and will be fishing partner numero uno as soon as he can handle a yak himself. My daughter (4) begs me to go and has only been a few times but she loves it also.
Chad
 

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Yeah, my 3 year old daughter went out with us on the boat and caught some 'croakerfish and spotfish' as she called it. She is a little scared of the boat but she said she had fun and will be back out. We go on my parents boat some too. My son is still 3 months old. My wife is luke warm about boating. If I could afford something plush and me do all the work she would like it. No thanks, I'd rather just do my own thing and let her do what she enjoys; chill out at home. I will encourage the kids to come along as they get old enough.

Tom
 
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