This past weekend, I did a 15 mile trip from Montgomery to Yorkville. I started by montgomery's dam, passed through downtown Yorkville, then completed at Silver Springs state park. The current was up from recent rains, and I had a strong gusty tailwind pushing me almost the whole way. I did this stretch in just 3 hours, including the Yorkville portage (basically a 15 minute walk around the white water course).
5 miles an hour is a new record for me. While I've certainly gone faster in certain high flow areas, that speed level is tough to maintain for a longer stretch. I do owe plenty of credit to the wind/current, as I was paddling at a hard but not sprint like pace. I was able to catch eddys and also position my kayak in such a way that the wind would push me fully, instead of sideways.
It was a cold miserable day. I wore a base layer T, long sleeved wick layer, sherpa lined henley, and then a windbreaker on top. With my constant paddling, I was plenty warm. I actually had to roll up my sleeves a few times to keep from sweating.
Metamorphosing from an average camper into a true outdoorsman