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NJ Coastal Paddle Launches

Wooboy. Today's the big day. Am I up for the challenge? Will I be able to maintain the stamina needed to do this thing? Went to bed a bit later than I'd like, but maybe with wind and tide at my back I can make up for that...and plenty of nutrition on the water.A huge thank you to Linda Horner, of Cape May who is hosting me right now so I didn't have to get up at an even crazier hour (than 5:30) to hit the water, which I might decide to do from her backyard. She's right on a creek that feeds into the Harbor, so what the heck, might as well launch here! I'll swing by the sandy little cove by the Nature Center to see if anyone's there, but I doubt there will be. Then I'll head out. Capt. Fogel called and gave me an update-save my energy and relax. Wind will pick up during the day and probably blow 20 thru out the night. That'll be challenging, for sure.Special thanks to Gerry Haughey, little Charlie's grandfather, and the merry crew he rustled up. I'm looking forward to meeting them on the water at Corson's Inlet. They'll be my first chase boat in the line-up along the coast, and the first chase boat after 30 miles of paddling without one.At the Longport Inlet (Great Egg Inlet), I'll meet up with Dan Gottlieb who will then escort me up to the AC inlet where I'll meet up with Capt. Joel Fogel who will be with me for the next 68 miles. I'm not going to think too much about that number. I'm going to be thinking that at least I've got dry food that's not covered in goo, and at least I'm not out in the Indian Ocean being tossed around like a cork like my friend Roz Savage who's rowing from Australia to India.Any time I get tired I will think about my friend Julia and her husband, who show amazing grace and stamina in the face of the extreme illness of their little boy, Charlie. He's in the "year after treatment" round of tests every three months to determine if the latest new treatment CHOP used did in fact save his life. So far, two tests down with "NED" ("no evidence of disease") and shrinking tumors (he's stage IV), it's looking extremely good. No parent should have to go through watching their kid suffer so.Hopefully, I can be as strong as Michael and Julie. I'm sure gonna try like hell!Please, if it moves you, donate to either or both causes. The Gulf Coast is still suffering. All is still not well there!Also, thanks so much to Doreen of AC & the Resolute who spontaneously donated some cash to Surfrider Foundation's Emerald Coast Chapter the other day when I was poking around Gardner's Basin in AC. Woohoo! Clean oceans and Gulf and cancer free kids!