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Women In Paddling

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Margo's Paddle for Charlie

In her own words, Margo talks about her attempt to paddle the New Jersey coast for four year old Charlie:
"So, this year's attempt at paddling the NJ Coast without stopping was not a success. Some would call it a failure (I might include myself in this category) and chalk up the experience as proof that this is not attainable (I would NOT include myself in this category). Others might feel that it was not proof. Maybe some else will try it. I would love to give it another go, that's for sure. The determining factor will be what equipment I have, namely what board I'll use, because if I can ever get the blasted paperwork from the state the goal is to raffle off the board with proceeds benefiting both organizations.

I can't really write this attempt off as a complete an total failure, though. I'm very happy with the amount of attention both causes received. So far, that has not led to an outstanding increase in donations, and a good friend of mine has an idea why. She thinks I set the bar too high for donations-the $100/mile thing. So let me clarify-NO donation is too small!! Seriously, you'll get your name up there. And seriously, every little bit helps, so please, even if you can only throw $5 bucks to one charity, please don't hesitate! Childhood cancer is serious stuff, as is the uncertainty in the Gulf. Please help CHOP continue it's life-saving research and help Surfrider Foundation's Emerald Coast to continue testing and monitoring the water in the Gulf.

I simply cannot thank the volunteers enough who came out to escort me out on the water-Gerry Haughey and his merry group of sailors, Dan Gottlieb and Cookie, of Steve an Cookie's Restaurant in Margate, Capt. Fogel and his crew, wonderwoman Gina, and Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper, and Lorraine who were holding up to do the final leg from Manasquan to around the Hook. The crew was in place, the plan was good, but the weather was not optimal and I had serious doubts about an outside run in those conditions past NJ's three worst inlets. To quote Kurt Vonnegut in "Slaughter House Five," "and so it goes." I was completely comfortable with my decisions but definitely not happy about not following through.

Many thanks also go out to Linda Horner of Cape May, who kindly hosted me the night before my departure from beautiful Cape May. Her place was simply perfect- a real gem!-as was her company and conversation.

Thanks also to Mark Colino of Starboard, who donated the SUP board and Meg Chun of Kialoa for their support and believing in me.

Special thanks also to Jon Coen, journalist, surfer, and paddler, and an all round amazing waterman. He came out to paddle with me at one in the morning in Beach Haven. We blew our way up to Ship Bottom where I decided to make the call to atop torturing everyone and myself and to pull off the water. He housed us and sent us on our way after a hearty breakfast and then went on to do a fantastic article about the paddle. Jon and Ann are an amazing couple, and we were completely honored that they let a bunch of salty folks crash their amazing home. We are truly lucky and indebted!

And some thanks, too, to the dolphins who of course can't read this. They kept me company for awhile along the coast of Wildwood. Even if I had to hold up paddling because of their closeness to the board, it was amazing to once again be in the position of making eye contact with a wild creature in the sea. They seemed to have as much fun playing around me as I did watching them.

Forward, Ho!"

Margo Pellegrino
More about her trip at her website:

Here is a great article in the Medford Sun News

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