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Patience – Waiting for the dye cloud

Posted by on October 4, 2012

Today’s miles: 11.6 Today’s paddling miles: 11.6 Cumulative miles: 110.3 Cumulative paddling miles: 80.8

I set up on a rock outcrop in mid river to wait for the dye. I’ve learned to turn the fluorometer pump off until about a minute before I need to take a fluorescence reading in order to conserve the battery.

7 Responses to Patience – Waiting for the dye cloud

  1. Kevin O'Connell

    Robert, are you familiar with “River Song” by Joe and Monica Cook about the 1995 canoe trip they took down the Hooch/Apalach to the Gulf? I followed their progress in the Gainesville Times as they made their 100-day odyssey and was thrilled when my wife gave me the book for Christmas shortly after it published in 2000. They are professional photographers and it is a gorgeous coffee table book, one of my cherished possessions. Keep on paddlin’ brother! Wish I had been at the Picnic with Joe and Alice this morning. Next best thing to meeting you on the river, which I have not given up on!

    • Robert Fuller

      G’morning Kevin. I am a big fan of Joe and Monica. I talked a little about how they were a part of the inspiration for this trip in my Acknowledgements. River Song is a beautiful book and has a place of honor in my home. Thanks for bringing it up, because I remain grateful to them.

  2. Eddie Allen

    Hello, Mr. Fuller

    Congratulations on your trip to the Gulf and beyond. I just wanted you to know that I’ll be following your entries along the way. I used to work with the Wildewood Shop back in ’81-’86 when the outpost was at Hwy. 115 bridge. I’ve paddled every section up and downstream from above Helen to Buford Dam, mostly getting ready to do the Helen to Atlanta races back then. I recognize every picture so far on your trip, and hope to paddle to the gulf later on in my life. I’ve read all of the Verlen Kruger Books, and I’m really inspired about your trip. I also saw Joe and Monica Cook camping a couple of times and met them on their trip to the gulf. It’s ironic that I found out about your trip just a few days after I had made a “Google Earth Tour” of the whole Chattahoochee River from Sautee Creek to the Gulf.
    Anyway, I just wanted to wish you luck, and let you know that you will surely be an inspiration for me if I ever get to do my trip. Also, I was just wandering where you first put your boat in the water in the Helen area.

    Thanks, and take care Eddie Allen Cleveland, GA

    • Robert Fuller

      Thanks, Eddie. This trip or one like it has been part of my dreams for years. I just had to reach a point in my life when I could reasonably do it and then I had to make it happen. It helps that I work at a fine university with a bunch of great people who have encoueged and supported me. It sounds like you have all the experience and enthusiasm needed; you just need to set the goal and work toward it. Stay in touch.

  3. Stephanie Mathis

    I am really enjoying your blog of your trip! Keep it up and stay safe. If you get a chance, I’d love to see a photo of the dye cloud. I wonder if it looks at all the way I have it imagined. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day and look forward to learning more as you journey onward!

    • Robert Fuller

      Hi Stephanie,

      I am having trouble uploading photos – don’t really know what the problem is. If words will paint the picture, let me try. When I first release the dye, it colors the wate a deep, almost burgundy, red. As I paddle down to catch it, the cloud has typically already dispersed to form a more typical red colored region, perhaps a couple hundred yards long. I usually try to get a couple of miles ahead of the cloud to set up my instruments, and by the time the fluorometer begins to register dye and even as it peaks, there is no noticeable color. I guess it would be safe to say that it generally becomes invisible within the first two miles. The “cloud”, then, is only detectable by fluorometer. Does that help at all?

  4. Joe Smith

    Robert, how do you know when to turn the pump on? Doesn’t the dye soon disperse so it is invisible to the naked eye?

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