CLUB MEETINGS ARE HELD THE FIRST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH AT THE

5 RIVERS DELTA RESOURCE CENTER (map) AT 7PM. SEE THE POSTS BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS!

To post information to this website or for further information about this website, just ask Tracy at tracy@thelannies.us
Current Club Coordinator: Tracy Lannie
MBCKC would like to express our appreciation to 5 Rivers and it's staff for all they do.

Disclaimer: This site provides general information & links on topics of paddling. Paddlesports can pose serious risks of damage to personal property & serious bodily injury including permanent disability & death. Anyone participanting in any MBCKC event or participating in any event mentioned on this website does so at their own risk and agrees to hold MBCKC harmless from any liability as a result of such participation or use of information contained herein.

Monday, December 31, 2001


PADDLE AND MEETING REMINDERS

Paddle: The Last Sunset

Date: Monday, December 31
Place: put in at Fairhope Yacht Club
Contact: Gene Boothe, 928-1107
Time: contact Gene
Comments: This is an annual tradition. Gene will lead us out into the bay to enjoy the last sunset of 2001.

Paddle and Party: Annual Boiling Creek Paddle with the West Florida Canoe Club
Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Place: Boiling Creek
Contact: Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage. Bob Andrews may also be able to give you more information about this paddle: h/w: 344-8664, cell: 367-4144
Comments: This is an annual event. Please remember that a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base is required for this paddle. See above on this webpage information about obtaining such a permit.

Next Month's MBCAKC Meeting
Date: Tuesday, January 8
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Fairhope Yacht Club
Comments: Please note that the next club meeting will be on the SECOND TUESDAY of January, instead of the first Tuesday. (The first Tuesday is New Years Day.)

Sunday, December 30, 2001


Phones and e-mail are quiet. I guess everybody is with Bob in Florida, paddling with the manatees. I hope at least one of you who went on this trip will write it up to post here on our webpage.

In the meantime, here is a fantasy for you: click here to read about paddling the Missouri River.

Monday, December 17, 2001


Tom Fink writes us from New Orleans:

I am working on organizing a "Greenland-style" rolling course with Mark Molina sometime around late March or early April. According to Mark, he thinks the Greenland style rolls are much easier. He seems confident in getting anyone to roll.

The Molinas are wonderful people and are one of the premier paddling couples of the US and really the world. They are exceptional teachers of paddling and exceptional paddlers. Both are among the very very best freestyle canoe paddlers in the world and very good kayakers who very frequently host instructor trainer workshops for canoeing and kayaking at their home and elsewhere. They also host canoe and kayak workshops at other levels (all ACA approved).

I can still be reached at this e-mail, as I will come to Mobile about twice a month or so.

------------------

You can direct any inquiries about this paddling class to Tom at tomjfink@home.com. Bear in mind that he cannot check his e-mail frequently, and will get back to you when he's in town.

Sunday, December 09, 2001


Some of you have advised that this new webpage format is so big it doesn't fit on your monitor. There are a few possible explanations and fixes for this:

Explanation 1: You have a very small monitor. Fix: Use the bottom scroll bar to position the text where you want it. This webpage is in column format now, so you should be able to see all of one column, even if you can't see both columns at once.

Explanation 2: The font size in your web browser is set to "large" or "largest." Fix: In Internet Explorer, go to "View > Text Size" and tinker with the settings until you get something that you like. In Netscape, you're on your own. :-)

(3) Explanation 3: The font size for your operating system (e.g., Windows) is set to "large." Fix: Trying to change my Windows font size has caused me problems in the past. If you're feeling brave and you are using Windows, you can tinker with this by right-clicking on your desktop and going to "Properties > Settings > Advanced." Warning: You will have to re-boot, and bad things can happen when you re-boot after changing these settings.

Similar "fixes" may help if you are having problems printing this webpage all on one page.

FYI, the old webpage format was in an 8-point fixed font, and I (Julie), personally found it hard to read. So I redesigned this webpage to have a variable font, so each reader can tinker with the text size on their own system to suit themselves. If you don't like this new format, tell me, and I'll go back to the former, fixed, fine print. You can e-mail me, Julie, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. There are no dues, no application forms, no membership lists (other than Gene's e-mail list). All you have to do to "join" our "club" is send Gene your e-mail address, show up at a paddle, come to a meeting, or just decide you're a member.

3. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

4. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.
-----------------------

Reminder: Permit for Boiling Creek

The old recreational permits for Eglin Air Force Base, to paddle Boiling Creek, have expired. The permits are good from 15 September to 30 September. They cost $5.00. You get a map along with the permit that is worth more than the fee.

Request the Recreational Permit, which is the one for paddling. You can get the permit from one of the gates or by mail. Permits may be obtained from the Jackson Guard Office (Natural Resources Branch), located at Highway 85 North, Niceville FL 32578 (850) 882-4164. The mailing address is:

Eglin Natural Resources Branch
107 Highway 85 North
Niceville, FL 32578

For each permit requested, send a photocopy of either a driver's license or identification card which contains full name, current address (including zip code), current phone number, and date of birth. Specify the type of permit (recreational) desired. Be prepared to wait three weeks for delivery (though recent turn-arounds have been only a few days). Payments can be by personal check, money order, or cashiers check made payable to DFAS-LI Eglin AFB. Cash is not accepted.

Saturday, December 08, 2001

Welcome to your new webpage format. I hope you find it easier to read.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Paddle Reminder
If you intend to paddle in the Magnolia Springs boat parade please call Jane Agee no later than Friday afternoon at 251-965-7154.
Gene advises that he is having technical difficulties. The e-mail newsletter will be delayed. In the meantime, the calendar of events is posted below. Remember, you can print directly from this webpage by clicking on the "print" button on the toolbar of your browser.

I (Julie) am planning to revise this webpage to give it a friendlier look with a larger, more readable typeface. When I do so, the archives (the list of dates to the left that link to old posts) will disappear, and new archives will start fresh. So if you want to copy any information out of the old archives, do so now.

If you have any recommendations about how to improve this webpage, please let me (Julie) know, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net, or 928-4623. The "blogger" software that powers this site limits my flexibility somewhat, but I'll be glad to entertain any suggestions and consider whether they are do-able.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

DECEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Paddle: Boiling Creek
Date: Wednesday, December 5
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664, cell: 367-4144
Comments: Contact Bob Andrews for time and place to meet. CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base required. See below on this webpage for information about ordering your permit.

Paddle: Christmas Parade on the Magnolia River
Date: Saturday, December 8
Contact: Jane Agee, 965-7154
Time: 5:45 p.m. put-in
Place: Jane's house. Watch your e-mail and/or call Jane for directions.
Comments: This is an annual Christmas parade of power boats. The leader wants to include kayaks this year. Bring a light (the more Christmassy the better :-) and a covered dish to share. Jane will host a pot-luck at her home. Please RSVP.

Meeting: re Delta Platforms
Date: Wednesday, December 12
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Daphne Public Library
Contact: Frank Laraway 945-5504
Comments: This is a meeting of the Sierra Club regarding plans for the platforms that will be constructed in the Delta. It is our understanding that the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a grant to build these platforms (which will be a wonderful convenience for us paddlers), but the open questions include: what amenities will be added to the platforms, who will pay for the additions, what the Sierra Club can do to help with finances or information, where the platforms will be, and who makes the decisions on these issues.

Road Trip and Paddle: See the Manatees
Date: Wednesday, December 26, through Sunday, December 30
Place: Crystal River area in Florida
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664, cell: 367-4144
Comments: This is a group trip, driving to the Crystal River and spending a few days paddling and snorkeling with the manatees -- with the emphasis on paddling. (You don't have to dive if you don't want to.) There is more water in this area than we can paddle in three days, so Bob will lead us wherever the manatees are. Boats and dive gear, including wet suits, can be rented at the site if you don't want to bring your own. You will need to reserve your own room(s) at the motel, so call Bob for that phone number, and stay tuned here for further details.

Paddle: The Last Sunset
Date: Monday, December 31
Place: put in at Fairhope Yacht Club
Contact: Gene Boothe, 928-1107
Time: contact Gene
Comments: This is an annual tradition. Gene will lead us out into the bay to enjoy the last sunset of 2001.

Paddle and Party: Annual Boiling Creek Paddle with the West Florida Canoe Club
Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Place: Boiling Creek
Contact: Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage. Bob Andrews may also be able to give you more information about this paddle: h/w: 344-8664, cell: 367-4144
Comments: This is an annual event. Please remember that a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base is required for this paddle. See above on this webpage information about obtaining such a permit.

Next Month's MBCAKC Meeting
Date: Tuesday, January 8
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Fairhope Yacht Club
Comments: Please note that the next club meeting will be on the SECOND TUESDAY of January, instead of the first Tuesday. (The first Tuesday is New Years Day.)

"Alabama Rivers Discovery Expedition"
Date: January 2002 and continuing
Comments: As previously reported on this webpage, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has initiated an "Alabama Rivers Discovery Expedition" to raise public awareness of our state's rivers and streams. Greg Lein of State Lands Division and Jerry DeBin of I&E Division are major organizers of this event running from October 2001 to September 2002. The object is to organize long-range canoe-kayak floats in contiguous river sections throughout the state. Many floats are on local rivers and may exceed 100+ miles! For more info. call Greg at 334-242-3484 or see web at:
http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/riverdiscovery/river_discovery_itinerary.asp. Our current understanding is that the DCNR plans something for the Perdido River in January and the Delta in February.
NOTE: If the person who announced these details at last night's meeting would please get in touch with me, Julie, via e-mail or phone, I would love to post your contact information and more details about this project on this webpage. 928-4623, jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

------------------

PLEASE READ: Please read the FAQ's, above on this web page. Please note that I, Julie, edit this webpage, while Gene Boothe handles the e-mail list. I know it's confusing, but neither of us can do both, so we split the labor. If you have comments or questions about this webpage (or if you want to publish something here), please contact me, Julie, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net. If you need to get on the e-mail list, or send something via the e-mail list, please contact Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

Also, please note that this webpage that you are reading right now is the "Club webpage," and you can count on it for updated information to the best of my humble ability. The "bulletin board" at http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/paddlemobile is a wonderful project that was started by one of our wonderful club members. I don't edit that webpage/bulletin board, he does. If you are a member of the bulletin board, you can upload your own photos and messages directly to the bulletin board, so it's a great resource for all of us, while this webpage just posts the calendar, announcements, and other essentials.

If you EVER have ANY questions about how ANY of this all works, I (Julie) will always be glad to answer them or find somebody who can answer them for you. I (Julie) also welcome any suggestions on how this webpage can be improved: h/w: 928-4623, cell: 422-8138, jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Monday, December 03, 2001

Upcoming Paddle: Boiling Creek
Bob Andrews will lead a paddle on Boiling Creek on the morning of Wednesday, December 5. Call Bob for the meeting place and time: h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144. You will need a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base to go on this paddle.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

Flash Paddle
Sunday December 2
Buzbee's on Hwy. 225
Bob and I will be leaving at 1:00 PM from Buzbee's for a paddle of undetermined length. Come join us! Call for more info.
Fritz Cell 680-8928 Home 990-5987
Paddle Reminder: Overnight Trip to Horn Island

Larry McDuff is planning to paddle to Horn Island Saturday, spend the night, and come back Sunday. Although it is not a "led paddle" as such, he would welcome anyone from the club who wants to come along. He plans to leave from the Pascagoula public launch (turn left off Highway 90 on Market St., turn right at the water to the dead-end at the launch area) about 10:00 a.m., stopping for lunch at the half-way point on Round Island. The paddle is about 8 1/2 miles each way and is for experienced paddlers. Anyone who wants to go can call Larry at 928-1582. Possibly we can car-pool over there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Flash Paddle: Lizard Creek

Date: Friday, November 30, 2001
Meet: 11:00 A.M. at Bruno’s on west side of the Spanish Fort shopping center @ corner of Hwy. 31 & 225.
Put-In: Cliff’s Landing, north of railroad tracks above Hurricane on 225.
Paddle to cross Tensaw River to RR bridge canal, west into Lizard Creek, north, then back to put-in.
Comments: Easy paddle, taking into account open water winds; cancel for rain
Contact: Frank Laraway at 945-5504

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

!!!!!!!!!!MONTHLY MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our next regular monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2001, at 7:00PM, at the Fairhope Yacht Club. There will be a short meeting consisting of previous and upcoming paddle information. Following the meeting will be our annual club Christmas social. Jane will furnish ham as a main dish. Everyone is invited to bring a side dish to share.

Those who have not had an opportunity to attend many club meetings are especially encouraged to attend. This is a great time to meet others interested in paddling.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, same time, same place.

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. There are no dues, no application forms, no membership lists (other than Gene's e-mail list). All you have to do to "join" our "club" is send Gene your e-mail address, show up at a paddle, come to a meeting, or just decide you're a member.

3. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

4. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.
-----------------------

Reminder: Permit for Boiling Creek

The old recreational permits for Eglin Air Force Base, to paddle Boiling Creek, have expired. The permits are good from 15 September to 30 September. They cost $5.00. You get a map along with the permit that is worth more than the fee.

Request the Recreational Permit, which is the one for paddling. You can get the permit from one of the gates or by mail. Permits may be obtained from the Jackson Guard Office (Natural Resources Branch), located at Highway 85 North, Niceville FL 32578 (850) 882-4164. The mailing address is:

Eglin Natural Resources Branch
107 Highway 85 North
Niceville, FL 32578

For each permit requested, send a photocopy of either a driver’s license or identification card which contains full name, current address (including zip code), current phone number, and date of birth. Specify the type of permit (recreational) desired. Be prepared to wait three weeks for delivery. Payments can be by personal check, money order, or cashiers check made payable to DFAS-LI Eglin AFB. Cash is not accepted.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

The Alabama Department of Conservation has initiated an "Alabama Rivers Discovery Expedition" which intends to raise public awareness of our state's rivers and streams. Greg Lein of State Lands Division and Jerry DeBin of I&E Division are major organizers of this event running from October 2001 to September 2002. The object is to organize long-range canoe-kayak floats in contiguous river sections throughout the state. Many floats are on local rivers and may exceed 100+ miles! For more info. call Greg at 334-242-3484 or see web at:
http://www.dcnr.state.al.us/riverdiscovery/river_discovery_itinerary.asp

Monday, November 19, 2001

Program Change: December Meeting
Bob Andrew's Swamp Program has been pushed back to the January Meeting. Instead we will have our annual Christmas "Social." Please come and bring something to share. We will try to have a ham for a centerpiece and hope you all will bring something else to fill in.
The date of the meeting is December 4th.
There will be updates and reminders to follow.

Sunday, November 18, 2001

Flash Paddle: Lizard Creek & Lower Delta
Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Meet: 9:30 A.M. at Bruno’s on west side of the Spanish Fort shopping center @ corner of Hwy. 31 & 225.
Put-In: Cliff’s Landing (north of railroad tracks above Hurricane on 225)
Comments: Paddle to cross Tensaw River to RR bridge canal, west into Lizard Creek, north, then back to put-in. Easy paddle taking into account unknown open water conditions; cancel for rain
Contact: Frank Laraway at 945-5504
Flash paddle:
Bob Andrews will lead a paddle in the lower Delta this afternoon, Sunday, November 18. Meet at the Texaco station on the Causeway at 1:30 p.m. Call Bob for details: h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144.

Saturday, November 17, 2001

Flash paddle:
Meet at Fairhope Yacht Club, 3:00 AM Sunday, November 18. Paddle out into the bay and view the Leonid Meteor Shower. Harriet is leading, but don't bother calling, just show up. Winds should be calm, temperature cool. Harriet says this is predicted to to be the most spectacular meteor shower in 34 years - at peak could be as much as 2000 meteors per hour. Hvk1457@aol.com

Friday, November 16, 2001

Flash paddle - CANCELED:
Bob Andrews has canceled the paddle on Boiling Creek on Sunday, November 18, and has rescheduled a new paddle, see above.

See the November Calendar of Events, below, for additional paddles that have already been scheduled.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

NOVEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Perdido River
Date: November 10-11 (Saturday - Sunday)
Leader: Bob Andrews W/H: 344-8664 C: 367-4144
Comments: This may be the first overnight paddle we've done as a club. Bob proposes to paddle 16 miles in two days, including a 50-yard portage. Primitive camping. Bring your own food and drink. Call Bob to find out the time and place to meet (somewhere around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning).

Bay Minette Creek
Date & Time: November 13 (Tuesday), put in at 5:45 p.m. sharp
Leader: Fritz Ingraham, 990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net
Put-in: Buzbee's Fishing Camp on Highway 225, north of Spanish Fort
Comments: We'll be paddling up-river. Bring a light and $3 per boat for the launching fee.

Paddle with Harriet! (Anywhere!) (Well, almost anywhere. Within reason.)
Date & Time: November 23-30, various times
Leader: Harriet King, hvk1457@aol.com
Comments: Harriet wants to paddle somewhere every single day during this time period, and would love to have company. Get in touch with her to find out where and when, or to invite her to join in on your own paddling plans.

Byrnes Lake to the Delta
Date & Time: November 25 (Sunday), 9:00 a.m.
Leader: Matt Darring, 343-1196, iama@backpacker.com
Put-in: Byrnes Lake
Comments: Matt proposes to put in at Byrnes Lake and paddle all day, probably over to Gravine Island and beyond into the Delta, depending on conditions.

Flash Paddles
Stay tuned here for any last-minute paddling plans, or e-mail me, Julie, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net if you would like to invite others on your own "flash paddle" via this website.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

How to contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System:
Last night's presentation by Sonya Wood Mahler (Baldwin County Extension Agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System) included free brochures and handouts covering everything from the new Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, to what makes jubilees happen, to lists of phone numbers to call if you observe environmental problems, to lists of environment-related websites. In addition to the free materials, the Extension Service also offers a handy little guide to invasive aquatic species -- waterproof, color photos on one side and an explanation on the back -- for $10.

If you missed last night's meeting and/or would like further information, you can contact Sonya at smahler@acesag.auburn.edu, phone 251-937-7176. Her mailing address is Baldwin County Extension, 302A Byrne Street, Bay Minette AL 36507. The Extension System's web site is at www.aces.edu.

--------------------

In other news: Gene and I are making some changes to the FAQs to reflect the particular inquiries we have recently received from new members. The latest version of the FAQs is printed below. If you have any comments or questions or things you would like to see added to the FAQs, please e-mail me, Julie, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Gene and I will also be sending some test e-mails in an effort to explore the mysteries of Microsoft's Outlook Express and exploit them to the Club's best advantage. So don't worry if you get some strange e-mails from me and Gene over the next few days.

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. There are no dues, no application forms, no membership lists (other than Gene's e-mail list). All you have to do to "join" our "club" is send Gene your e-mail address, show up at a paddle, come to a meeting, or just decide you're a member.

3. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

4. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail me, Julie, at jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

!!!!!MONTHLY MEETING UPDATE
I, Fritz, was mistaken about the presentation. Bob will give his slide presentation next month. This month (tonight) we will have a speaker from the Auburn Extension Service.
Jane Agee will have leftovers from Saturday night's Party on the Gazebo at FYC before the meeting around 6:00 PM. Please come help make sure they dissapear!

Monday, November 05, 2001

!!!!!!!MONTHLY MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The regular monthly meeting of the MBCAKC will be this Tuesday, November 6, at 7 p.m., at the Fairhope Yacht Club. The program this time will be a slide presentation by Bob Andrews on one of his recent trips.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

----------------------

In the meantime, here are some paddles for your consideration.

Perdido Estuary Paddle
Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2001, returning in time for the club meeting.
Contact Bob Andrews for details W/H= (334) 344-8664, C = (334) 367-4144

Pre-Meeting Sunset Paddle
With the time change, we can start our sunset paddles prior to the club meeting again. If we end up with time on our hands between the end of the paddle and the beginning of the meeting, we can always sit in the FYC bar and try to think of something to do. There is a TV in there.

Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2001, prior to the 5:00 sunset, in Mobile Bay in front of Fairhope Yacht Club (FYC).
Contact: anyone that also shows up. Gene hopes to show up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Upcoming paddle and PARTY: Remember the Blue Moon Paddle at Jane Agee's house this Saturday, November 3. Please RSVP ASAP so she will know how much food to buy. This is our anniversary paddle and is the major club event of the year. Everyone is welcome and we hope that you will come.

There will be a canoe free style paddle exhibition by Tom Fink and Charlie Mink around dark (5:30?). then, we will do a moonlight paddle on Magnolia River, put-in at Jane's. Upon the return to shore, the primary event, the pot-luck social, will commence.

If you can't make it for the first two events, come to dinner. This is a great time to meet, or make, friends. Everyone is welcome. Bring a covered dish to share. Again, remember to RSVP Jane Agee at 965-7154, ageejn@netscape.net (We are not sure that this e-mail works - she has had problems with Gulftel. Please telephone Jane instead of e-mailing your RSVP, if you can.)

Those of you who are already on our mailing list have received directions Jane's house. If you have not already received directions, e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net

Saturday, October 20, 2001

FLASH PADDLE :
Bob Andrews will lead a paddle Sunday, October 21 departing from Pelican Point ( end of Hwy 1) at 1:00 PM. The paddle will head south along the coastline past the inhabited area until the participants are ready to return for a late afternoon meal at Pelican Point. Four kayaks have already jumped at this opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather. Join them. This wonderful weather can't last forever!

Sunday, October 14, 2001

OCTOBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Coastal Kayak Basic Rescue Course

Terry and Randy Hurd of Gulf Coast Wilderness Adventures write us as follows: My husband Randy and I are both ACA Coastal Kayak Open Water Instructors For Gulf Coast Wilderness Adventures (www.gulfcoastadv.com) and attended the Club meeting last month. We propose offering a 3 hour class (outline below), @ a price of $30.00 each with about 4 or 5 guides total. We will provide the rescue gear and can provide some limited kayaks. All participants will be getting wet. The course outline is as follows: Each participant will learn/practice self-rescue techniques, be able to rescue another boater and be familiar with basic rescue, signaling equipment and group planning for safety.

I. Land class: kayak/PFD design function as related to safety, USCG, HELP / HUDDLE, importance spray skirts, Dry land wet exit, rescue equip.

II. Water Work: Wet exit, self-rescue-Paddle float re-enter and pump (w/w/o stirrup), Assisted T rescue of others (stirrup if needed) PRACTICE RESCUE GUIDES
III. Land class/debrief: USCG signaling, float plan, group paddling.

We would like to offer this on either October 20th or 21st and require a minimum of 10 people to teach it (can handle 15 people max). We can also offer multiple classes if needed that weekend or in the future. Each participant will need weather appropriate clothing. To register, please call Randy or Terry at Gulf Coast Wilderness Adventures LLC @ (850) 492-7128, if necessary leave message and we will get back to you ASAP.


Paddle: Fishers Lake Paddle

Date: Sunday October 28, 2001
Meet: We will meet at the new Stagecoach restaurant in beautiful downtown Stockton at 9:00 AM.
Guide: Matt Darring, Iama@backpacker.com, H-343-1196, W-341-1712 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
Comments: This is a beginner/intermediate level paddle to Fishers Lake in the North Delta. It will be a little over 9 miles long and should take about 4 to 5 hours. Bring usual safety gear, lunch, water, and a camera, because the area is very scenic.

--------------------
In other news:

The old recreational permits for Eglin Air Force Base, to paddle Boiling Creek, expired. The permits are good from 15 September to 30 September. They cost $5.00. You get a map along with the permit that is worth more than the fee.

Request the Recreational Permit, which is the one for paddling. You can get the permit from one of the gates or by mail. The instructions on my old map states that permits may be obtained from the Jackson Guard Office (Natural Resources Branch), located at Highway 85 North, Niceville FL 32578 (850) 882-4164. The mailing address is:

Eglin Natural Resources Branch
107 Highway 85 North
Niceville, FL 32578

For each permit requested, send a photocopy of either a driver’s license or identification card which contains full name, current address (including zip code), current phone number, and date of birth. Specify the type of permit (recreational) desired. Be prepared to wait three weeks for delivery. Payments can be by personal check, money order, or cashiers check made payable to DFAS-LI Eglin AFB. Cash is not accepted.

I was checked for a permit the last time I paddled Boiling Creek. I would think that there is a good chance that permits may be checked again.

---------------------
Thursday Slackers: Fritz Ingraham (334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net) is going to try and lead a Thursday paddle fairly often. You can check with him to see what is coming up.

----------------------------

Member Events:
From: Lisa Moore Haywood
Subject: Halloween Events: addresses needed by October 16!

Carl and I have a tradition of hosting most interesting Halloween events. On Saturday October 27, we will have such an event. If you are interested in a genuinely scary affair, please e-mail your home or work mailing address (not email) no later than October 16 to ersmoore@bellsouth.net. On October 31, weather permitting, we will also have a memorable trick or treat for people of short, but increasing stature. Taller, non-increasing stature people are welcomed to help with that bemusing activity.

If you have already provided your address to us, no need send via email.

Lisa Moore Haywood
Steve Delker writes us:
I'll be heading up to Byrnes Lake this afternoon. ETA about 3:00 to 3:30. Anyoneone who would like to join in is welcome. My phone number is in the Eastern Shore phonebook. I realize this is very short notice. However, it will also serve as my "Float-Plan"--in case I'm never heard from again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Flash paddle: Fritz will be leading a paddle from Pelican Point (at the end of County Road 1) TOMORROW, Thursday, October 11, at 6:00 p.m. Bring at least one white light -- a flashlight is fine. If the weather doesn't cooperate, then we'll just go inside and eat. RSVP Fritz at 334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net.

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

3. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Bruce at bzboater@earthlink.net AND Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net AND Tommy at tommy@beebefarm.com. Whichever of us is in town and on-line at any given moment will take care of it ASAP.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Paddle tonight:The full calendar of October paddles is not yet complete, but please be aware that Fritz will lead a club paddle tonight. It's one of our club favorites: Meet at Buzbee's on 225 north of Spanish Fort, and paddle up Bay Minette Creek. Because the sun is setting earlier every day, Fritz says he'll be in the water and paddling upstream promptly at 6:00, so if you get there late, you'll have to catch up with him. My notes from the Tuesday meeting do not indicate Fritz's plans about food and drink, but this particular paddle is usually pretty food-intensive, so it can't hurt to bring something to share. RSVP Fritz (and I strongly recommend you check in with him to confirm the details because I'm relying on my meeting notes, here) at 334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Flash paddle: Bruce is home for more days than he expected, and will be leading a paddle to Soldier Creek TOMORROW, Thursday, October 4. Meet at the giant strawberry at the farmer's market east of Elberta on U.S. Highway 98, near County Road 95, at 11 a.m.

This is a really great, new paddle that Bruce and I explored a couple of weeks ago and that Bruce wrote about on our webpage recently. Click here to read his report.

Bring food and drink -- there will be plenty of opportunity to pull off in the woods and picnic. Plan on spending a few hours exploring the maze of headwaters. This is an easy, though long, paddle, and you will have the chance to stretch your legs if you want.

RSVP by calling Bruce at 625-2156 or e-mailing me (Julie): jrobber@worldnet.att.net

Monday, October 01, 2001

Flash paddle: It's October, it's the night before the full moon, and moonlight paddling simply does not get any better than this. I will put in tonight at 6 p.m. sharp at the Fairhope Yacht Club. I will paddle up Fly Creek, enjoy the sunset, then paddle north in the bay and enjoy the moonlight. This will be a slow, leisurely, easy paddle, close to shore. I would love it if anybody wants to join me. Bring at least one white light, and as many additional lights as you have. (We will keep the lights off as long as there is no boat traffic, but the law requires us to carry one after sunset and you'll want as many lights as you can lay hands on when power boats are around.) Feel free to bring whatever food or drink you want, but I personally don't plan to picnic or dine out afterwards. Please call or e-mail me if you do want to come. Land: 928-4623. Cell: 422-8138. E-mail: jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

Sunday, September 30, 2001

!!!!!!!!!!!Monthly Meeting!!!!!!!!!!!
Our regularly scheduled club meeting will be Tuesday, October 2, at 7:00 PM at the Fairhope Yacht Club. The program will be Larry McDuff's slide presentation on their Boundary Waters adventure.

Regular meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

Friday, September 28, 2001

Flash paddle: Meet at Bruno's in Spanish Fort at 6 p.m. tonight (Friday), and I'll lead you to Byrnes Lake if you don't know the way. If you do know the way, feel free to join us at the put-in at Byrnes Lake at 6:30-ish. Short, leisurely, paddle in protected waters. Bring a flashlight (and any extra flashlights, to share, if you have them). Call me or e-mail me (Julie) if you plan to attend, and be sure to tell me whether you'll be at Bruno's or at the put-in. Land: 928-4623. Cell: 422-8138. E-mail:jrobber@worldnet.att.net.
Steve Delker writes us:
Steve and Terry Delker are looking for anyone who would like to join them Sunday afternoon to christen Terry's new Dagger Savannah kayak. Anywhere convenient to the Causeway or Eastern Shore would be fine. Home phone is 928-7342 e-mail is sjdelker@earthlink.net.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Mike Predmore writes us:
Saturday, Sept. 29th, I will lead a fast paddle from Fairhope pier to Point Clear and return. Two weeks ago we covered this distance at an average of 3.7 nm/hr. The pace will be at least that. One break at turnaround point (short) and a chance to stretch your arms a little. Last trip we had three people including myself paddle this 6.2 nm trip. If interested, call Mike Predmore at: 626-7915 or email at: paddlefoot64@usa.net. Meet around 0730 just north of the pier, we leave at 0800.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Notice of Paddle: Perdido River, Sunday, September 30. Due to shuttle, paddle limited to the first 10 people. Contact Bob Andrews (W/H= (334) 344-8664, C = (334) 367-4144) for more details.

Request for Paddle Information: If anyone knows of a paddle they would like to coordinate for October, it would help Gene to send him that information ASAP, instead of waiting until the meeting next Tuesday. Click here to send Gene an e-mail.

Remember: the full moon is Tuesday.

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

3. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Bruce at bzboater@earthlink.net AND Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net AND Tommy at tommy@beebefarm.com. Whichever of us is in town and on-line at any given moment will take care of it ASAP.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.

Sunday, September 23, 2001

Hi y'all. This is Bruce. I'm home infrequently, and rather randomly, these days. My employer lets me out of my box for 2-4 days at a time when operations permit it. Sometime ago, Bob Andrews put the idea in my head to look for access to Soldier Creek. Baldwin County provides information about streets with public water access. The trick is to match the Baldwin County Water Access list ( I passed out a dozen copies at one meeting) with a really good street map and go do some checking for ground truth. Julie has a really good map and a great sense of direction so we went out on reconnaisance.



On the first trip we tried going down county road (CR) 99 south of Lillian, Alabama. We found Perdido Bay Recreational Beach (#38 on the county list) which is attractive for picnics and hiking over some severely eroded clay cliffs, but the portage to the water might have to be done with a pack mule. It is a long way from the parking lot to the water over rather steep difficult terrain. The rappelling phrases "Belay on!" and "On belay" came to mind. So we continued south looking for one more water access (#37) at the end of CR 99. It was Randolf Drive, but the water access sign was missing and other signs saying "Private" and "keep out" were at the gate! Things that make me go Hmmmmm.



We took a heading back north and found our way over to CR 97. This road goes south from US Highway 98 to Perdido Beach, Alabama and T-intersects with Magnolia Road. Both CR 97 and Magnolia Road have several water access lanes, courtesy of Baldwin County Parks. These give us paddlers a way to reach soft water access without tresspassing. Generally these lanes are limited in parking space to 2-5 cars, but CR 97 has four good access lanes terminating on Palmetto Creek and Magnolia Road has two good and two so-so access lanes to Perdido Beach and Perdido Bay. The Magnolia Road access lanes are an easy paddle to either Palmetto Creek or Soldier Creek entrances.



The day was getting late and we wanted to paddle so we chose Baldwin Street access off CR 97 for our put in to Palmetto Creek. The put in is natural sand, but narrow. The lane is wider than most and quite long. A No Parking sign prohibits parking too close to the water, but it is ok to offload at the water's edge then back your vehicle away to the grassy shoulder of the lane. We took a right, heading north up Palmetto Creek. This is wide navigable water. We have to share, at least initially, with motor traffic. The shoreline is somewhat developed with landscaped yards and wide spacing between homes. About halfway up the creek, the water narrows but stays deep. The development falls behind us and we are in the woods. The water stays deep, 5 feet or so, and we wind our way up until a deadfall stops us. We headed back down the opposite shore in the late aftenoon sun. We started to look at Spring Branch but postponed that exploration until another day.



The second visit to this area, we put in at Mobile Avenue access off Magnolia Avenue. This put us into Perdido Bay about midway between the entrances to Soldier and Palmetto Creek. We chose this because it has the best beach slope for launching. As a bonus this access has a pair of breakwaters 20 feet off the sand which give a nice lee. If you have the Orange Beach Quadrangle Topo (7.5 minute series), this launch is near the upper right edge of the map just above the label "Perdido Beach". We paddled east along the shoreline listening to not so distant thunder. We stayed in close to shore to let the pines be the highest target, not us. At the entrance to Soldier Creek, we passed a fine beach at the tip of a natural sandy hook of land that protects the creek from seas and swell from Perdido Bay from entering full strength into the creek. This beach is privately owned.



Inside the Creek we were in wide calm deep water. The shoreline has nice homes. It's OK, but we wanted to see more than that. This Creek is mostly on the Perdido Bay Quadrangle (7.5 minute series). Coming around the second bend, we stopped at a really nice beach on the west side with a brown county parks sign. Next door to that park, across a gated fence, was a dock and ramp and signs threatening 6 weeks in jail for tresspassing. On the topo map, we located this county park, the only public access we could find on Soldier Creek. On the Perdido Bay Quad, this is near the upper left edge of the map near a 7 foot sounding label in Soldier Creek. On the map, a dirt road is marked heading east to the water and a red section line splits this road at the shore. Later we found by driving around that this is State Street (36 O on the county list), which is off CR 97 between Riggs and Baldwin Avenues.



The best part of Soldier Creek paddle is at the north end when you go off the top edge of the Perdido Bay Quadrangle map. The creek is deep, winding through the trees and gradually clearing and cooling in temperature. Julie was leading and I heard her say, "Wait, there's more!" at every bend. We continued up through forest which had no invasive plant species: no tallow trees, no kudzu, no Japanese ferns. We did see several stretches of white Alabama Azalea and deep carpets of native ferns. Finally when the water was only 4 feet wide we hit three deadfall trees that blocked the way. We had been paddling almost 4 hours up Soldier Creek. We backed out to the last bend to turnaround and retrace our way to the car.



Our third trip exploring this area covered Spring Branch, which is west of Palmetto Creek. The branch starts very wide and the south shore is developed with no public water access. The north shore is still undeveloped and pretty. At the west end some shallow water grassses and sedges make sheltered water. If you hold to the left (south) side, that is the way up stream. This is nearly as good as Soldier Creek. The water bends through the forest and I only saw one tallow tree. The rest of the plant life looked native. This branch ends in a 40 foot wide cul de sac with high banks and a view of a green grassy hill.



If you have not been over, I would suggest going first up Palmetto Creek for your first paddle. Then do the Spring Branch paddle and save Soldier Creek for a nice long day when you can go all the way up to the north end. Palmetto Creek Water park at the south end of CR 97 has boat ramp access, parking and picnic facilities as well as a port-a-let. See ya on the water.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Paddle Report: Ingram's Bayou, Monday, September 17

Four Slackers turned out for the Ingram's Bayou paddle - Peggy Crittendon, Bob Andrews, Joe Cropenski, and Larry McDuff. With miles of undeveloped coastline, this is probably the largest pristine area on the Alabama Gulf Coast..

Paddling south in a light chop from the put-in at the foot of County Road 95, we soon rounded the point and turned back to the north in smooth waters. Passing through the marshes at the head of Ingram's Bayou, we entered a spring-fed freshwater creek previously unknown even to Bob Andrews, who explored the creek to the limits of navigation where there was a beaver dam across the creek. Standing in the cool spring water we enjoyed grapes and cheese from Peggy's cooler.

On the return trip we took a little spray from the increasing northeast wind before entering Stone Quarry Bayou. We couldn't find the stone quarry, so we paddled up to Pirates Cove where we shared our meager snacks since the restaurant was closed on Mondays for the winter. A quick tour up Roberts Bayou completed the paddle.

Wildlife sightings included ospreys, blue herons, kingfishers, dolphins, a green heron, and a bald eagle. Other watercraft sightings included two or three powerboats, several sailboats, two barges, and no jet skis.

Respectfully submitted,
Larry McDuff

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Fritz writes us that his "surprise paddle," already scheduled for Thursday, September 20, 2001, will be in Whiskey Ditch. Meet and launch behind Tensaw Eco Tours on the Causeway at 6:00 PM. Contact: Fritz Ingraham, 334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net

Saturday, September 15, 2001

We have received the following e-mail from ruplec@gulftel.com:

I live down at Byrnes Lake.

If you have been down here lately, you have noticed that the pier has been rebuilt. Our next project is to try to get the parking area expanded and paved.

What I need is to get pictures of people using the area so I can go back before the County Commissioners for funding.

Please let me know if you know of any groups (kayaking, boating, canoeing, fishing, etc) that will be launching at Byrnes Lake Park.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Mike writes us:

Anyone wanting to join me at Fairhope Pier launch area for a workout Saturday morning at 0730, is welcome to participate in a fast (workout pace) paddle to Point Clear and back (6.2 nm). Average speed will be around 4 nm/hr. A short break at the point for water, etc and then return to pier area. There won't be much sightseeing and no planned meal afterward. If you arrive around 0730 there is no charge to enter the park.(They may have stopped charging by now anyway). I, and anyone accompanying me, will be leaving shore at 0800 sharp. Anyone interested contact me at 626-7915 or by email at: www.paddlefoot64@usa.net
Mike Predmore

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Gene writes us:

Count the Thursday, September 14 meeting in the Daphne Public Library to discuss the platforms in the delta, as being postponed. I cannot get verification on the meeting.

Remember to RSVP the Saturday, September 15 Party for the Platforms. This is for a good cause and the weather should be good. There is a lot of work involved, food to order, etc., and I understand that only a couple of club members have called in reservations. This is a good activity to support (to raise money for the Mobile-Tensaw Delta Canoe Trail) and is one that would benefit us directly. Contact Aven & Gary Warner for directions to their Dog River Home at 473-1819 . $10 per person. Rain Day Sun., Sept. 16.

On the Monday, September 17 Ingram's Bayou Paddle, contact Larry McDuff about camping out Sunday (not Friday) night.

Gene

----------------------

For a complete schedule of upcoming paddles, and for answers to frequently-asked questions, please see below on this web page.

Happy paddling, and God bless America!

Saturday, September 08, 2001

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS - Revised!!

Changes in this edition: (1) The Ingrams Bayou paddle has been moved from 9/15 to 9/17 (to avoid conflict with the Paddle for the Platforms). (2) Tom Fink has provided us with detailed directions to the Bayou Heron paddle. Everything else stays the same. Happy paddling!

Paddle: Bayou Heron to Bayou La Batre
When: Sunday, September 9, 2001, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Put-in Bayou Heron Wildlife Reserve. We will meet at the landing at the end of Bayou Heron Road at 7:30 AM on Sunday Sept. 9, 2001. Take I10 West and get off at the Franklin Creek Road Exit (just over the border in Mississippi). Make a left on Franklin Creek Road (South) and take it to Route 90 (stay in center lane of FCR), go over Rt. 90 and then you are on Bayou Heron Road (a small sign at the beg. of the road will point to Grand Bay Wildlife Refuge). Proceed on Bayou Heron Road and make the first left you come to and go over the Railroad tracks (watch for trains!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and bear right. Now just proceed on Bayou Heron Road (about 3-4 miles off the top of my head) to the landing. It will be the landing straight ahead, not the one nearby on the right. After we unpack boats we will shuttle cars to Bayou le Batre.
Comments: The kayak mileage is about 9.6-10 statute miles. Lots of Islands to get out on. Still good to bring a skirt. The trip will be all day, esp. considering there is a long shuttle.
Contact: Tom Fink, 457-0325, tomjfink@home.com

Paddle: Boiling Creek
When: Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Contact: Bob Andrews, W/H= (334) 344-8664, C = (334) 367-4144

Paddle: Roll Class
When: Thursday, September 13, 2001, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Fairhope Yacht Club
Contact: Tom Swearengen: H = 937-3960 farm, W = 334-937 FARM, C= 334-610-7410, Fax = 334-937-3276 (Notify First); & Bob Andrews: H/W = (334) 344-8664, C= (334) 367-4144

Paddle: Party for the Platforms
When: Saturday, September 15, 2001 (Rain Day: Sunday, September 16)
Where: Aven & Gary Warner's Dog River Home - contact for directions
Comments: Join us for a cookout on Dog River to raise money for the Mobile-Tensaw
Delta Canoe Trail. Cost = $10.00 per person
Contact: Aven & Gary Warner, 473-1819 RSVP & directions

Paddle: Little Bateau
When: Sunday, September 16, 2001, 8:00 a.m.
Where: Meet at the public launch next to Texaco on the causeway (just east of Pier 4 restaurant).
Comments: A 12 mile paddle to Little Bateau in the heart of the lower delta. Moderate paced trip. Bring food, water, sunscreen, hat, and standard safety gear.
Contact: Matt Darring, 343-1196 (H), 341-1712 (W), iama@backpacker.com

Paddle: Ingram's Bayou
When: Saturday, September 17, 9:00 a.m.
Where: Put-in is at the south end of Baldwin County Highway 95 just below Pirate's Cove in Josephine.
Comments: This paddle tours some of the unspoiled land that will be developed if Orange Beach builds the bridge. We will paddle southwest along the shoreline and then northwest into Ingram's Bayou. At the upper end the bayou we will bear east and explore a cool, clear, spring-fed stream. After we return there are optional explorations of Stone Quarry Bayou and Robert's Bayou. Bring something to eat, but not too much that you won't enjoy a late lunch at Bob's favorite restaurant. I will probably be camping overnight if anyone wants to join me. Please call if you are planning to come so I will know who to call if we cancel because of hurricane season.
Contact: Larry McDuff 928-1582

Paddle: Fritz's Surprise
When: Thursday, September 20, 2001
Contact: Fritz Ingraham, 334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net

Paddle: Upper Little River
When: Saturday, September 22, 2001, time to be announced
Where: Rendezvous: at Stagecoach Inn in Stockton (225 & 59), Put-in: Co. Rd.1 on Little River, Take-Out: Hwy 59
Level of paddle ability expected needed for trip: Beginning canoe or kayak
Expected Expenses: no launch fee
Comments: This is a scenic down river trip through shallow gravel and sandbars, lasting around 5 to 6 hours on the river. Bring lunch, drinks, and snacks.
Contact: Mark Vance 251 458-7574, vmarkandsunshine@aol.com

-------------------------

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

3. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Bruce at bzboater@earthlink.net AND Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net AND Tommy at tommy@beebefarm.com. Whichever of us is in town and on-line at any given moment will take care of it ASAP.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.

Thursday, September 06, 2001

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Paddle: Weeks Bay to Magnolia River
When: Thursday September 6, 6 pm.
Where: Meet at Pelican Point. All are invited, travel along the east side of Weeks Bay, up the Magnolia River and back for dinner at Pelican Point.
Directions: About 10 miles south of Fairhope on the end of county road 1. Take hwy 98 through Fairhope. Take the turn to the east as 98 dead ends and takes a turn. Look for Hwy 27 south - the first major road after the turn east onto 98, about 3 - 5 miles past the turn. Follow 27 to dead end - take a left (county road 1) and travel to end of road (about 1/2 mile). Nice beach to launch from. An easy paddle, with the exception of strong winds at times. Great view of the sunset.
Contact: Harriet King, 251-928-4568, hvk1457@aol.com

Paddle: Bayou Heron to Bayou La Batre
When: Sunday, September 9, 2001, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Put-in Bayou Heron Wildlife Reserve.
Contact: Tom Fink, 457-0325, tomjfink@home.com

Paddle: Boiling Creek
When: Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Contact: Bob Andrews, W/H= (334) 344-8664, C = (334) 367-4144

Paddle: Roll Class
When: Thursday, September 13, 2001, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Fairhope Yacht Club
Contact: Tom Swearengen: H = 937-3960 farm, W = 334-937 FARM, C= 334-610-7410, Fax = 334-937-3276 (Notify First); & Bob Andrews: H/W = (334) 344-8664, C= (334) 367-4144

Paddle: Ingram's Bayou
When: Saturday, September 15, 9:00 a.m.
Where: Put-in is at the south end of Baldwin County Highway 95 just below Pirate's Cove in Josephine.
Comments: This paddle tours some of the unspoiled land that will be developed if Orange Beach builds the bridge. We will paddle southwest along the shoreline and then northwest into Ingram's Bayou. At the upper end the bayou we will bear east and explore a cool, clear, spring-fed stream. After we return there are optional explorations of Stone Quarry Bayou and Robert's Bayou. Bring something to eat, but not too much that you won't enjoy a late lunch at Bob's favorite restaurant. I will probably be camping on the beach below the put-in Friday night if anyone wants to join me. Please call if you are planning to come so I will know who to call if we cancel because of hurricane season.
Contact: Larry McDuff 928-1582

Paddle: Party for the Platforms
When: Saturday, September 15, 2001 (Rain Day: Sunday, September 16)
Where: Aven & Gary Warner's Dog River Home - contact for directions
Comments: Join us for a cookout on Dog River to raise money for the Mobile-Tensaw
Delta Canoe Trail. Cost = $10.00 per person
Contact: Aven & Gary Warner, 473-1819 RSVP & directions

Paddle: Little Bateau

When: Sunday, September 16, 2001, 8:00 a.m.
Where: Meet at the public launch next to Texaco on the causeway (just east of Pier 4 restaurant).
Comments: A 12 mile paddle to Little Bateau in the heart of the lower delta. Moderate paced trip. Bring food, water, sunscreen, hat, and standard safety gear.
Contact: Matt Darring, 343-1196 (H), 341-1712 (W), iama@backpacker.com

Paddle: Fritz's Surprise
When: Thursday, September 20, 2001
Contact: Fritz Ingraham, 334-990-5987, phritz@bellsouth.net

Paddle: Upper Little River
When: Saturday, September 22, 2001, time to be announced
Where: Rendezvous: at Stagecoach Inn in Stockton (225 & 59), Put-in: Co. Rd.1 on Little River, Take-Out: Hwy 59
Level of paddle ability expected needed for trip: Beginning canoe or kayak
Expected Expenses: no launch fee
Comments: This is a scenic down river trip through shallow gravel and sandbars, lasting around 5 to 6 hours on the river. Bring lunch, drinks, and snacks.
Contact: Mark Vance 251 458-7574, vmarkandsunshine@aol.com

Friday, August 31, 2001

I see the good folks over at the Paddlemobile bulletin board are planning various paddles for the Labor Day Weekend. Click here to check it out and join the fun.

!!!!!!!!!!!Monthly Meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2001
Time: 7:00PM
Location: Fairhope Yacht Club
Terri and Randy Hurd, from Gulf Coast Wilderness Adventures, will present the program.

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Paddle Report: Bay Minette Basin, August 16

Sorry for the late report, still waiting for Jack. Obviously, I don't know Jack. Those that came to the Bay Minette Basin Paddle will understand.

We had seven paddlers show up for my first Basin paddle. A few moments were spent before departure trying to decide which direction the thunderstorm to the northwest was moving. Luck was on our side, the storm went elsewhere and we had a nice relaxing paddle. The water level was high enough that we had a mostly weed free paddle. Fortunately, Bob was on the trip and provided guidance and support for the paddle "leader." Thanks again, Bob.

We had a few alligators to keep us company, and the teal are starting to show up in the delta on their annual migration.

There were other birds and those wild looking black locusts too. The mosquitoes were not in short supply. Plenty of bug spray was used.

At the turnaround point, Bob broke out the olives and cheese. We rafted up for a while and let the current carry us back towards the takeout. The Three Tampicos gave Rob an opportunity for a photo shot. One day all five of us will gang up on the rest of you!

Melanie took Harriet's Santee XL out on this paddle, leaving her tandem home alone. Hope she's not in too much trouble.

Jeff (Jack), was along for his first Basin paddle. Thanks for the paddling tips Jeff. An old dog can learn new tricks after all.

As is customary, dinner was on the schedule after the paddle.

Ed's Shed got the vote, and we were off. The food was good, but for me the best part is always the company I am in during and after the paddle. I am fortunate to be a part of this group.

Thanks to Harriet, Julie, Melanie, Bob, Rob, and Jeff for joining me on this paddle. I look forward to seeing the rest of you soon.

Fritz

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Updated Calendar of Events

Bob's Surprise Paddle
[NOTE: THE DATE OF THIS PADDLE HAS CHANGED (It was formerly scheduled for August 30.]
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2001
Meet around 6:00 p.m. for a moonlight paddle. Location yet to be determined. Call Bob after 8-20 for details (or check this website). H = 344-8664; W = 344-8118; C = 367-4144

Sunrise Paddle
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001
Meet 6:00 a.m. at the boat ramp on the east side of Meaher Park on the Causeway. Breakfast afterward. Coordinate with Paul Morgan: 471-2104; W 432-1212

Party for the Platforms!
[NOTE: THE DATE OF THIS EVENT HAS CHANGED. It was formerly scheduled for Sept. 16.]
Saturday, Sept. 15, with a "rain day" of Sept. 16
Aven & Gary Warner's Dog River Home
$10 per person
473-1819 RSVP & directions
Join us for a cookout on Dog River to raise money for the Mobile-Tensaw Delta Canoe Trail. Food, cold beverages and a launch for canoe or kayak. Come for food, fellowship and update on the canoe trail project. Partygoers are urged to bring their best side dishes and any additonal beverages they wish to drink. Raindate same time on Sunday. This is an Sierra Club and Mobile Bay Area Canoe Club Outing. This is also listed under Mobile Bay Sierra Club Outings. Have not got confirmation from Grillmeister Hal Tippins yet. Any ideas? The Sierra Club just threw the baby in my lap so of course it will be relaxed. This is the first fundraiser for the platforms so we are in learning curve mode. Aven
Report on Recent Paddle: Bayou Tallapoosa Paddle by Matt Darring
August 12, 2001

The launch for this paddle is Rice Creek Landing. It's a wonderful landing for kayakers because there is hardly any motor boat traffic. In fact this was the first time in five times that I have actually seen a motor boat trailer. It's also free, which is a perk. Plus is wonderfully beautiful. It's very tricky to find, unless you have been there. I found out that even if you have been there it is still hard to find.

We met at the Stagecoach Restaurant in Stockton at 8:00 AM. I should say the old Stagecoach because they have a new building across the street. We left at around 8:15 and went to the launch all seven cars. I took a wrong turn onto Allen St. and my faithful companions followed. Needless to say that the little old lady that owned the front yard that we were now overtaking was a wee surprised. She took it in stride though, calm throughout. She even asked if we were looking for Rice Creek, which means this has happened before. Carl aced if she had breakfast waiting for us. It was quite funny. Anyway, we found the right street ("Rice Creek St.", go figure) and we had the boats unloaded and were in the water by 9:30. There were 9 people in 8 boats. It was a really good crew, but no new people unfortunately.

We paddled up Rice Creek to Tensaw Lake and took a right. We continued up the lake for probably 2.5 miles to the tip of an island. Just to the left of that island is the skinny inlet of Bayou Tallapoosa. It is very similar to Bayou Jassmine to the South, but unfortunately has some clear cuts nearby so the woods don't seem as Jurassic. Still a beautiful paddle. We continued up past a few minor log jams and such. Some of us got out and stretched at one point. There was a neat frog there. Carl showed us his cool "Launching from sitting on an overhanging tree branch" move. Rob probably has a picture of it posted on his sister website for the club. We paddled a good bit more to a much bigger log jam, that was passable but we had been out for a while. I suggested that we turn around since Fritz's gps said we had gone almost 6 miles. I only wanted to do 7 or 8 miles anyway, but the group came to a consensus that we were close enough to the Tensaw river to make a push for it. We paddled only a couple more tenths of a mile and reached the river. There we got out on the sand bar and chatted. Almost all of us went for a dip. Carl practiced his rolls out in the river.

We turned around and started to head back down the Bayou. There was a thunderstorm off in the distance, but it seemed to be heading south of us. The rather swift current of the bayou carried us quickly along. About halfway back down the rain started. It soaked us pretty good. We stopped at the end of the Bayou to group up and make our decision. We decided to go ahead and head back and stay up close to the bank to avoid lightning as best as possible. We made it back without much in the way of rain, and no one being struck by lightning. We did have a tail wind for a good bit. Can you imagine it? A tail wind at one of my paddles.

We got back around 2:30 if memory serves me, having paddled a little bit more than 12 miles. It was a great paddle, and the company was fantastic. It did end up being a little longer than I had planned, but that was mainly due to the experience of the group. It's not hard to convince me to stay out longer.

This is a great place to paddle. Even on a weekend I think we only saw 2 or 3 motor boats. There are several other places that I want to paddle in this area. There are no services directly at the launch site, but there are some amenities in beautiful downtown Stockton. If you have any questions about the area, or other places to paddle out of Rice Creek, feel free to email me.

-- Matt Darring, IAMA@BACKPACKER.COM

Friday, August 17, 2001

Kayak for Sale:

Harriet King writes us that she wants to sell her Hurricane Aqua Sports Santee XL, which has had only two months of use and is in new condition. Yellow, 36 LBS, 11.6 ft. Asking $600.00.

E-mail her at hvk1457@aol.com,
or call at 251 928-4568.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

Updated Calendar of Events

Bay Minette Basin
Meet at 6:00 PM at Buzbee's Launch on Hwy 225 Thursday, August 16.
$3.00 launch fee. Probably dinner afterwards
Contact Fritz Ingraham
H 990-5987
C 680-8928
phritz@bellsouth.net

Paddle at the Naval Air Station
Due to complications with access to the Naval Air Station launch site (can't guarantee that your cars won't be towed or that you won't be hauled off to the pokey)we have postponed the paddle scheduled for Saturday (18th) for a few weeks to work out details with the Naval Base. We would still like to go for a moonlight paddle into the delta or somewhere else this Saturday evening. We will be out of town until late Friday night. Email us your phone number and your preference for a paddle and we will call back Saturday morning.

We can still go to Perdido Key, launching from Johnson Beach. It's $6 per vehicle and if we fill out a camping slip they will give us access for after dark. The launch is about 5 miles from the pass (and Fort McRee), but there is still 5 miles of deserted beach to paddle if someone doesn't want to go that far. Hope to see you all Saturday night.

Email address ershaywood@aol.com
Phone: 251 - 471 - 2050
Cell: 251 - 689 - 3935

Thanks, Carl & Lisa Haywood

Dauphin Island to Sand Island Paddle
Date: Sunday, August 19th, 2001
Time: 7:00 a.m. (If you come an hour early, you can watch the sunrise with me)
Launch Site: Dauphin Island - east END of Bienville Blvd.
(around the corner of Ft. Gaines).
Paddle Distance: Approx. 7 miles
Paddle Time: Approx. 3 hours or more depending on stopped time
and optional activities.
Pace: Leisurely (2 - 2.5 mph)
Planned Route:
Leave from the beach just south of Ft. Gaines and paddle for about an hour southwest across 2.5 miles of open water to reach Sand Island. It is in these open waters of Pelican Bay that we are likely to see a few good sized dolphin. We'll then paddle our way along the edge of Sand Island in a northwest direction for about 2 miles ending up just south of the Dauphin Island pier. Along Sand Island, we can stop as often as the group wants to look at the birds, pelicans, terns, etc. Be sure to bring your binoculars!

From near the Pier, the paddle will continue about 2 miles along the beach of Dauphin Island in a eastwardly direction back to the launch site.

Options:
1. Somewhere along this trip, paddlers might want to take the opportunity to practice rolling their kayaks. This will be an option for the group. No one should practice rolling their kayak alone.
2. For those wanting to do more paddling after getting back to Ft. Gaines, there will be an option to paddle around to the North side of Dauphin Island, past the Ferry, into Dauphin Bay, and then back (another 7 miles or so).
3. For those wanting to do more paddling after getting back to Ft. Gaines, if the weather cooperates, meaning calm seas and no thunderstorms, another option will be to paddle across Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan and back. It is only a 7 mile round trip.
4. After the morning paddle, eat lunch at one of the island's restaurants.

Paddler Reality Check:
It is not necessary to know how to roll, but anyone paddling across open waters should have successfully re-entered their kayak after tipping over. Depending on the wave conditions, a spray skirt may be necessary. Anyone paddling in open waters should know that conditions can change with little or no warning. If you are not comfortable paddling in 2-3 foot waves, this trip may not be for you. It can get hot by 10:00 am and there will be NO shade on this trip, so be sure to bring your hat, water and sunscreen, plus any snacks you need to fuel the kayak's engine.

For more information on this paddle, contact: Rob Nykvist
Home Telephone: (251) 653-9064
Work Telephone: (251) 666-2766 (Ask for Rob)
Email: robnykvist@netzero.net
Email: paddlemobile@yahoo.com
Paddle Mobile Web Site: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/paddlemobile

Sunrise Paddle
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001
Meet 6:00 a.m. at the boat ramp on the east side of Meaher Park on the Causeway. Breakfast afterward. Coordinate with Paul Morgan: 471-2104; W 432-1212

Bob's Surprise Paddle
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2001
Meet around 6:00 p.m. for a moonlight paddle. Location yet to be determined. Call Bob after 8-27 for details. H = 344-8664; W = 344-8118; C = 367-4144

Party for the Platforms!
Sept. 16
Aven & Gary Warner's Dog River Home
$10 per person
473-1819 RSVP & directions
Join us for a cookout on Dog River to raise money for the Mobile-Tensaw Delta Canoe Trail. Food, cold beverages and a launch for canoe or kayak. Come for food, fellowship and update on the canoe trail project. Partygoers are urged to bring their best side dishes and any additonal beverages they wish to drink. Raindate same time on Sunday. This is an Sierra Club and Mobile Bay Area Canoe Club Outing. This is also listed under Mobile Bay Sierra Club Outings. Have not got confirmation from Grillmeister Hal Tippins yet. Any ideas? The Sierra Club just threw the baby in my lap so of course it will be relaxed. This is the first fundraiser for the platforms so we are in learning curve mode. Aven

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FYI - Charmein passed this along: " the City Museum of Mobile is moving its 14th century dugout canoe from the old museum to the new tomorrow at 10:00. "

Thursday, August 09, 2001

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Information:


1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net. Gene also snail-mails our newsletter to those members who request it. Contact Gene if you would like to receive a newsletter in either format.

2. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and also enjoy sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether or not the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision as to whether or not to participate in each event. The coordinator of the paddle should be able to assist with information on the expected paddle conditions. However, always remember that the weather and other conditions can, and quite often do, change both quickly and dramatically.

3. It is always a good idea to contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. They can contact you with important information, such as trip cancellation, etc. Also, thanks to the paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect rubbish along the way. They make it nicer for everyone.

Contact list:

If you want to get on our e-mail list, please e-mail Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Bruce at bzboater@earthlink.net AND Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net AND Tommy at tommy@beebefarm.com. Whichever of us is in town and on-line at any given moment will take care of it ASAP.

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.
Click here to go to the Paddlemobile "bulletin board" for MBCAKC members, where we post messages and photographs about club paddles, "slacker" paddles, just-plain-paddles, and whatever else we feel like posting about.

Happy paddling!
Members Bulletin Board:

Bob is exploring the idea of having business type cards for our club to offer prospective members. If you know anything about a good place to do this, please contact Bob Andrews (h) 344-8664 (w) 344-8118 (c) 367-4144.

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Gene writes us that the monthly Calendar of Events has not yet been finalized, but we do know that the following paddles are scheduled:

Paddle: Bayou Tallapoosa
Date: Sunday, August 12, 2001
Meet: at Stagecoach restaurant in Stockton @ 8:00 AM.
Coordinator: Matt Darring, iama@backpacker.com, 343-1996-H, 341-1712-W.
Comments: Medium Length Paddle at a relaxed pace

Paddle: Bay Minette Basin
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2001
Meet: at 6:00 PM at Buzbee's Launch on Hwy 225
Paddle leader: Fritz Ingraham
Coordinator: Fritz Ingraham. Please call and let me know if you plan to come. Home phone: 990-5987 (answering machine is friendly) Cell phone: 680-8928, e-mail address phritz@bellsouth.net
Comments: Bring flashlight, insect repellant, snacks, fluid of choice, and $3.00 launch fee. Leisurely paddle and probably dinner afterwards at one of the Causeway eateries. Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunrise Paddle
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001
Meet 6:00 a.m. at the boat ramp on the east side of Meaher Park on the Causeway. Breakfast afterward. Coordinate with Paul Morgan: 471-2104; W 432-1212

Bob's Surprise Paddle
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2001
Meet around 6:00 p.m. for a moonlight paddle. Location yet to be determined. Call Bob after 8-27 for details. H = 344-8664; W = 344-8118; C = 367-4144

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Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Six Bits Creek Paddle, July 21, 2001

The sun hung low in the sky, casting long shadows on the ground of three boats. The boats of three great explorers. They met at a local trading post owned by a man named Bruno, who had shot and killed the previous owner, Delchamps, in a duel.

After they stocked up on provisions for their journey, they made way to the launch site of the grand expedition. They came to the landing known as hurricane, and met with the other sojourner of their group, now four strong. They paid the harbormaster three schillings for the use of his land. The bows of the four boats, called kayaks by the locals, sliced into the slime covered waters of Hurricane Bayou. Bits of morning fog still lingered in the shadows, as well as a small alligator peering from the murky depths.

Our four explorers: Fritz the swift, Captain Gene, Tom the brilliant, and Slo-mo Matt (also pronounced Mo-slo, and is also known as Windy), are on a mission of their own making. They are off the to explore the reaches of Six Bits Creek.

Local accounts tell of great beauty and impressive wealth. Gene, an old salt of local fame, did not know if this grand adventure was possible. However, with the security of being surrounded by such great boatmen he headed off with them.

After leaving the bayou they encountered their first great challenge, crossing the mighty Tensaw River. The gods of the sea were with them as they crossed with ease. They entered the river that led to the Basin Negro. The river was lined with great swaths of American Lotus flowers. Fritz and Tom discovered an inlet creek and decided to follow it. Upon seeing that creek went on for a long ways, they decided to leave it for another day. The river forked, and our group took the channel to the East. Local lore tells that this time of year is a bad time to see flowers, but our explorers would tell a different tale. They saw many American Lotus, numbering in the thousands. That is not all, our heroes also saw Leather Flower Clematis, Trumpet vine, Swamp Lilly, Pickerel, Water Primrose, Alligator Weed, and Water hyacinth all in bloom. They were also fortunate enough to see a large alligator on the river to Basin Negro. They passed by Smith Bayou, then Owl Creek, and then to the point at the top of the island. They were at the South end of the vast Basin Negro, and the mouth of Six Bits was only a couple of hundred yards away.

The entrance to Six Bits is a most glorious site. Flanked on both sides by grand Bald Cypress trees. The channel of the creek is narrowed on both sides by encroaching water plants. On the South side is Water Primrose and Alligator Weed, as well as a floating plant that has the texture of a cats tongue, that Tom noted was a floating fern. On the North side is the venerable American Lotus.
The explorers cruised up the creek past hanging limbs and floating gardens. They thought to themselves, "This truly is a beautiful place." As they reached the navigable end of the creek, it bequeathed its great treasure: a noble giant of a cypress. The four travelers gawked in amazement at its size and beauty, and wondered why pirates of a foregone era had left it be. They pondered that if all four surrounded the tree there would be gaps between their hands. It was a true reminder of what had once been, and what will hopefully be again. Our heroes ate and drank, took pictures, and did other things one must do after having been in a kayak for three and a half hours.
Fully satisfied with the success of their journey, they ventured back. The group split at the island. Matt and Fritz went back down the East fork, as Tom and Gene ventured down the West. Tom broke off from Gene to hunt Fiddler crabs (apparently his food was running short). There was a gentle breeze as our heroes crossed back over the Tensaw, after a short break. They came back to there stagecoaches at four o'clock, having departed at nine that morning. The entire journey was 14 miles (or 8.2 nautical miles). The harbormaster and his mate were amazed by the explorers interesting mode of transportation, and wondered how many times they had capsized. Our heroes chuckled, rallied their horses, and rode off into the sunset.
-The End

All illusions of grandeur aside, this was an excellent paddle, due in great deal to the weather. There are several other creeks in the area that I would like to paddle, and most are closer than Six Bits if you are looking for a shorter paddle. We left out from Hurricane landing, which is in between Cliffs Landing and Byrnes Lake. It's never really crowded and it's only $3. There is also a restaurant right at the launch. The area is very safe for you soloers out there. There was moderate boat traffic, mainly concentrated on the Tensaw. To get to Hurricane landing go west from the four way stop on Hwy. 225 in the town of Crossroads, then take the right fork in the road. The four way stop is the first one you come to if you are heading North from Hwy. 31 in Spanish Fort. If you have any other questions about the area just email me at iama@backpacker.com.

- Matt Darring
LST 325 and Alligator Tour - Thursday, July 19, 2001

At about 5:30 to 5:45 6 kayakers arrived at the home of Ruth Larson and Tom Fink in Chickasaw (215 Bell Court). I think all were pleasantly surprised how close our house is to the inviting 8-Mile Creek (Hurricane Georges was also pleasantly surprised by this as well). We loaded into the creek at 6 PM and then began our quest for the famous LST 325 and the equally famous and sometimes also deadly AMERICAN ALLIGATOR.

We began our paddle by going north to the tip of Robber’s Island and then back south again on the east side of the island (Tom and Ruth, live on Robber’s Island, which isn’t the Caribbean, but by golly it has a tiny bridge and it’s an island!). I love to go this way because shortly we then go through a very small shrub hidden opening into an unnamed bayou. This bayou goes through the heart of a beautiful blackgum swamp. At first it is hardly wider than your boat. Then it opens up considerably as you paddle towards Chickasaw Creek. Well this obscure opening was so obscure that our intrepid sweep person, Robert, missed the opening. Luckily he had paddled from Chickasaw Creek to the route 43 bridge on a prior trip, and he knew where the LST was, so he waited for us there. Even though it wasn’t his fault (the boat ahead did not wait to show this obscure entrance) we all "gladly fired" Robert as sweep and then Gene Boothe became our new sweep.

This part of 8-Mile Creek and Chickasaw Creek are characterized by blackgums, sweet bay, red bay, red maple, swamp titi, black titi, wax myrtle, St. Johnswort, and other cool swamp plants. Paddlers especially enjoyed seeing the profuse white blooms of the shrub sized honeysuckle azalea. This shrub/small tree blooms in the heat of the summer from June to July. A few swamp lilies also caused some botanical fascination.

It was a little slow going for awhile, with losing our sweep person, and then having 2 reporters having to answer calls from their bosses at the Mobile Press (which I think is a good newspaper). Soon however the calls were done, and we then started to move at a very good pace. Before we got to the LST, there are several World War II boats awaiting the iron scrap pile. The LST 325 is just a little further east of the Route 43 bridge in Chickasaw, on the south side. This cool World War II landing boat is really much smaller than you might think after seeing pictures of it in the newspaper. It is also much much much much much rustier than you would imagine. Now I am impressed by anyone or any group that crosses any ocean in any boat. I am now more impressed by those old guys who commandeered an old poorly maintained rust bucket across a major ocean.

We then proceeded further east on Chickasaw Creek, passed a fuel unloading facility on the north side. As we went past they were pumping diesel fuel out of barges guided by a tug. This facility seems to be pretty good, in the years I have been here I haven’t noticed any spills.

Just beyond the fuel facility, is the old pumping house, which guards the west entrance of Pumping Station Canal. Luckily there is an opening that kayaks and canoes can squeeze through, but power boats can not (YEAHHHHHHH). Getting through the opening is easy, the difficult part is getting past the logs that jam against the east side of the pump house. We barely made it. I was very impressed by Lisa Haywood’s desire to "go where no person has gone before,,,,,,,,,,,,,,," even if it means badly scratching her new and incredibly beautiful glass Arctic Hawk on barnacles.

The Pumping Station Canal is a wonderful place biologically, although straight as an arrow and obviously man made, it is a mecca for wildlife. We saw an incredible number of yellow-crowned night herons, some osprey with fish, 3 or 5 wild turkeys, and gar (they grow to 4+ feet here). If it wasn’t’ dark (we entered the canal at sunset) our paddlers would have seen thousands of the fabulous lubber grasshoppers, and very many fiddler crabs of three species (the largest in our area Uca minax, and the much smaller Uca longisignalis and Uca spinicarpa). Of course we saw the ominous eyeshine of countless alligators. Some were so big we were afraid to estimate their length. One apparently hit Rebecca’s or Karen’s boat when it dived. Or was it a big gar?????,,,,, noooooooooooooooo because that wouldn’t make as good a story!! Rounding out the wildlife picture was one scared very large slider (turtle) that fell off a bank upside down and it took some time before it could right itself in the mud. We never did encounter the attack/killer alligator that Robert found on his trip a few days earlier.

Originally I had planned to just take people about half way up the canal (it is 2.15 nautical miles from the Chickasaw Ck. to the Mobile River), but everyone was so gung ho, that we went to the Mobile River and looked at 12 Mile Island to the north and the Africa Town/Cochran Bridge to the south. The bridge, paper company and other industrial facilities look pretty at night from a distance decked out in so many lights.

This group of paddlers still wanted more so I suggested we go back by way of Duck Lake, which is a curvy natural way back to the Chickasaw Creek. It added some to our trip mileage. This lake or really long bayou is curvy and very pretty during
the day. The first half is forested on the banks, while the latter half is dominated by lanceleaved arrowhead (Sagittaria lanceolata). This lake enters the Chickasaw about a half mile south of the Pumping Station Canal.

The rest of the trip wound its way down the main Chickasaw Creek. We finished at about 11:40 PM.

The success of any trip is due to the people who attend. We were lucky to have two very young and interesting Mobile Press reporters, Karen Tolkkinen and Rebecca Catalanello. The wife/husband team of Lisa and Carl Haywood attended. They are semi-retired from a chemical response clean-up company, very interesting business. Of course we (I?) were/was jealous since we/I have to work to at least 150 years old before retirement. Our groups was rounded out by two stalwart paddlers Robert Nykvist (a draftsman for roads) and Gene Boothe (a teacher with many cool gadgets).

Tom Fink