For a few years I had thought it would be funny to float down the James river to a friends house, about 120 miles away, just to stop in and hang out. Originally thinking of taking a canoe or john boat, one or two more people, a bike or skateboard, and some supplies. The idea never really materialized because of time constraints, a very open ended schedule, and most importantly, lack of a decent vessel.
Early summer 2009, I found myself thinking more seriously about the trip, studying maps and tidal charts, and making loose plans with a few friends. By mid July construction had begun, I attached a trailer to my moped and began scouring the alley ways for, well… anything. Using headboards, scrap wood, garden lattice, etc…the boat was constructed from all found materials with the exception of 4, new 2X4’s for the main chassis, and two boxes of deck screws. After gathering a crew we packed minimally with dry foods, bottled water, some tooling and construction supplies for repairs, one dry bag each for personals, and some wine and whiskey. once the boat was packed and finished there was only one thing left to do… test the boat. After consulting the crew we decided to not test the ship and just assume it floated, earning its name, The S.S. Educated Guess.
We arrived early on launch day just in case, but we should have slept in, it floated just as we thought it would, dialed. We left while the high tide was creeping back out to sea for a weeks adventure on the James, it was a perfect day with high supposed to reach the low 100’s. The first day was full of paddling for hours and swim breaks in between, and a quite a few drinks, we had a lot to celebrate, it actually floated.
To be continued…
Part 2 right here
Here’s Part 1 of the Adventure on video….