Mississippi Challenge Successful!
Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsanac have completed their epic 2400 mile journey by canoe down the length of the Mississippi river
This report was received shortly after Ken & Grace had negotiated the final stretch of river
In the lower half of the river the flow had been quite fast and had been assisting the duo with their progress, at some points they were able to reach over 7 mph for most of the day. This enabled them to maintain an average of over 50 miles per day for two weeks. Then came the bad news. The river became deeper and wider and the flow velocity reduced lowering the average to less than 5 mph, and they still had to maintain a high mileage average each day to reach their target. This required them to paddle for more hours each day and work significantly harder.
Not only did they have to contend with the river dynamics changing but as they entered the last 500 miles the level of traffic on the river increased dramatically. The barges that they had encountered in the upper areas where in sets of 9 units per outfit, now they were 35 or 42 and had much bigger power plants pushing them.
The barges are then dwarfed by the ships that use the river to access the Ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. These are ocean going monsters that have a displacement of 250,000 tonnes with engines to match. Their size is not the only hazard they present. They literally do not make a sound as they glide along the river and Ken and Grace had to have their necks on swivels to be constantly looking out for them as the ships crew cannot see two little dots in the water and the kayaks do not show up on radar.
At 1245 local time we passed 29 Degrees 09 Minutes of latitude and officially left the Mississippi River and entered the Gulf of Mexico. In 58 days we had had 5 rest days, slept in beds for 13 nights and a sofa for 1, had spent days on end without contacting any other people, had been without any form of communication more than we had had it, had eaten a monotonous diet and looked at essentially the same scenery for days on end