Cindy Fetch & Peggy Perry ~ December 2011

Posted at 1:13 am on 06/30/2014
Cindy Fetch and Peggy Perry

​A 44-year old friendship is tested (and perseveres!) over a week of paddling on the Suwannee River. Two 2011 Suwannee trip graduates share their adventures in paddling.

1) Name and hometown: Cindy Fetch, Athens, GA

2) When and how did you become interested in paddling? I’ve always loved activities involving water and started paddling in 1995. I bought a whitewater kayak and started out on the lake behind our house. My daughter was dating a guy who was a competitive whitewater paddler. He tried to teach me how to roll, but I never got it down unfortunately. I sold the boat and bought a Keowee kayak, which allows me to paddle 1-3's and not have to worry about rolling.

3) Where is your favorite place to paddle? The Chestatee River near Dahlonega, GA. Clear water, pebbly bottom, bluffs lined with rhododendrons, and only an hour from our home.

4) What made you decide to go on a Paddle Florida trip? My husband and I have gone on several paddling trips with the Georgia Canoe Association. I think it was Paddle Georgia’s web site that had a link to Paddle Florida. I've been forwarding the trip info to my friend Peggy for three years. She finally agreed to go!

5) What did you enjoy most about the PF trip you went on? The camaraderie. Everyone on the trip was so friendly and supportive…we were the slowpokes!

6) Would you go on another PF trip? Absolutely (with a faster boat!)


1) Name and hometown: Peggy Perry, Jacksonville, FL

2) When and how did you become interested in paddling? We moved to Fernandina Beach in 1967 when I was 13. Before that my family spent every weekend at a lake near Atlanta, so water is essential to my happiness! Cindy was the first person who spoke to me in Fernandina. We immediately formed a bond that has lasted 44 years. I currently live on the St. Johns River and keep a small kayak on my dock. I had only paddled it a few times—basically, just enough to get blisters. When Cindy suggested this trip, I ran out to get two pairs of gloves because I was afraid I'd lose one!

3) Where is your favorite place to paddle? Since my only real trip has been on the Suwannee with Paddle Florida, I'll say that for now! I'm eager to challenge that opinion, however.

4) What made you decide to go on a Paddle Florida trip? Cindy made me do it. She had asked before and I knew if she went without me she wouldn't have any fun.

5) What did you enjoy most about the PF trip you went on?  Everything about it was perfect! Well, except that first rained and flooded our tent. I tried not to panic when I awoke and realized our situation...I am the one who brought the (piece of ...) tent. That first morning we were the last to get in the water and next to last out. We had Doug, the sweep, distract another paddler near the back of the pack so that we could pass her. She got a prize for being last that night....that prize should have been ours! Humiliated, we organized for the next day by rehearsing every step from getting dressed to getting in the boats (with lots of laughter). We were first in! But, still last out. We had to shift our focus to getting a prize of some sort, which Paddle Florida Director Bill Richards ultimately gave us just because we were kind of obnoxiously cute together.

6) Would you go on another PF trip?  I can't wait for the next one! There are so many wonderful trips planned and I love the way the Paddle Florida folks organized everything for us. The campsites, food, nightly entertainment, and the people involved were what made this experience so great. We borrowed boats for the Suwannee trip and blame them for keeping us in the rear. So, I have purchased a new boat, a Perception Essence 16.5. Surely, I can figure out how to make a fast boat go slow, if necessary...but making a slow boat go fast was way too hard!

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