A Team is Born . . .
In 1992 Arthur circumnavigated Lake
Ponchartrain in a solo canoe, covering 108 miles through storm and fog in 50
continuous hours. His articles describing that trip were printed in “Gatortales”,
the newsletter of South Louisiana’s paddling club, the Bayou Haystackers.
Those articles convinced Larry who had previously done the bulk of his paddling
solo that nearby there paddled a devoted (some might say extreme) fellow whose
acquaintance he had to make.
Their first trip together (and
Arthur’s first ever in a kayak) involved two 5 mile crossings from the
Pascagoula River (in Mississippi) to Horn Island.
It came off without a hitch, and plans were made for the most remote trip
in local waters that they could then imagine.
In the summer of ’94 they left from Venice, LA in two single boats,
headed down the Mississippi River and out Main Pass to travel up the Chandeleur
Island chain to Biloxi, Mississippi. It
was a 110 mile trip with 3 crossings of 10 miles or more, a 13 mile nighttime
crossing, a thunderstorm encounter midway on a 10 miler, a rogue wave powered
collision that necessitated a boat repair, a waterspout siting, pelican
rookeries, and innumerable dolphins and frigate birds.
In short, it was a totally delightful trip, one that inspired them to
paddle together the entire Louisiana coastline, and one during which a strong
bond of shared dreams and goals was formed.
During the remainder of the Louisiana coast exploration (482 miles in 21 days
total) their friendship strengthened and a major shared interest appeared.
Both were strongly committed to the exploration and preservation of their
local playground, their own backyard, the Gulf of Mexico. Many hours were spent trying to imagine and solve the
problems inherent in an open water sea kayak crossing of the Gulf of Mexico.
Larry tried (with no success at first – see http://www.seacajun.com/)
to convince Arthur that it would be better to paddle around
the Gulf than across it.
It was not until early 2000 that Arthur approached Larry and asked if he
were still interested in a circumnavigation.
His answer is obvious.