Dave and Amy Freeman thought they would be spending a couple of days with Bill and Carmen Stage in Waretown when they paddled their kayaks into Barnegat Bay on Oct. 26.

They planned to give a talk at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education, then get back to their 11,700-mile canoe, dogsled and kayak trip. The couple started in Seattle, went to the North of Canada and will end in Key West, Fla.

Instead, they arrived in time for Hurricane Sandy and won’t get back on the water until next Monday, Dave Freeman estimated.

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Stage, 65, owner of New Jersey Kayak on the bay in Barnegat Township, said the Freemans spent hours tying down boats and equipment at the marina before the storm, then rode it out inland, and returned to help for days with the cleanup.

When the roads were closed after the storm, Stage and Dave Freeman paddled kayaks to the marina through flooded forest and marsh. They found the boats in good shape, but the docks and other structures damaged. They spent days hauling out tons of debris, mostly wood, Freeman said.

It was the worst weather the Freemans have experienced since embarking in April 2010.

“The most similar thing was a blizzard in the Northwest territories,” said Freeman, 36, of Chicago. “We were dogsledding and it pinned us down about three days. It blew roofs off buildings. Still, it was nothing like Sandy.”

The Freemans expect to pass Atlantic City on Nov. 14, and welcome contact from locals about giving a talk to a school or community group. Visit wildernessclassroom.com for more information.

That’s a lot of candles

Bertha Segal, of Margate, turns 101 on Friday. Her family only recently confirmed her age, said granddaughter Shari Adler, of Philadelphia. Segal’s parents did not have a birth certificate for her, but Segal finally recieved a letter from the Social Security Administration this summer confirming she had turned 100 last November, Adler said.

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Michelle Brunetti Post writes about the lives, careers and good deeds of southern New Jersey residents Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays in ‘Everyone Has a Story.’ To share your story, call her at 609-272-7219 or email her at: MPost@pressofac.com

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