To post information to this website or for further information about this website, just ask Tracy at
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.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

!!!!!!!!MEETING REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!

The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Regular monthly meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

Pre-Meeting Sunset Paddle: Tuesday, April 2, 2002
Think simple. Put-in at the FYC a little before sunset, around 5:30, and paddle a little ways out into the bay - far enough to get away from the shore noise, and watch the sunset. Then paddle back in enough time to put the boats up prior to the meeting. Coast Guard regulations require that small boaters carry at least a flashlight if operating on water after dark.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Flash Paddle: Hurricane Creek
Date: Tuesday, March 26.
Call Bob Andrews for information at W/H= (334) 344-8664, C= (334) 367-4144.

Paddle Just Announced: Sunset & Full Moon Fundraiser Delta Paddle
Date: Thursday, March 28. Sponsored by the Sierra Club
Place: Meet at Busbee Fish Camp on Hwy. 225 just north of Spanish Fort at 5:30 pm.
Comments: We’ll paddle for approximately 2 hours enjoying both the setting sun and the full moon. Funds raised will be applied for to our efforts to establish platforms as part of the overnight Bartram Canoe in the Mobile – Tensaw Delta. $10.00 per person, $5.00 if you bring your own boat. Larger donations are also accepted. For more information, contact Kevin at 25928-6231 or Bob Andrews at h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144.

Paddle Reminders

March 27, Wednesday, Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: A club favorite, on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. You must have a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin for this paddle.

Traditional Sea Kayaking Course, including Greenland Style Techniques, with Mark and Becky Molina as instructors. The course will be conducted on Saturday, March 30, from 9AM to 4 PM, at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Try to be on site by 8:30 to unload boats. You need to bring your own sea kayak The cost is $75.00 for ACA (American Canoe Association) members, and $80.00 for non-members. Contact the Molinas at 561-595-9793, 888-Canoe90, or .

March 29-31, Friday through Sunday, Okatoma River
Contact: Mark, 458-7574
Comments: This is near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about a two-hour drive from here. You can camp in the campground by the put-in/take-out, or you can show up by 9 a.m. each morning to join the daily paddles. This is a "pool and drop" paddle, with safe opportunities to play on the drops.


In other news:

Surfing Kayak for sale: seen at yard sale in Fairhope by Larry Mickelsen, Sr., who reports: "This thing looks like a surfboard with three fins and a shallow seat, with the straps, and a cheap paddle. He was asking $200. He claimed he paid $1200 for it I looked at the name but never heard of it so I didn’t try to remember it. This guy is located on the end of Patlin that is away from Gayfer on the left side as you look at the armory. I really think he may go lower as he is moving to Montana soon."

Wednesday, March 20, 2002



General Information:

1. We e-mail our monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it from Gene at 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

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, or want to post something on this website, please e-mail Julie at

Click here to go to the West Florida Canoe Club webpage.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Paddle Report: St Joseph Bay and St Joseph Peninsula

Seven paddlers took six kayaks to Florida this weekend. Bob Andrews organized this trip and had a full complement rather quickly. On very short notice Bob had an opportunity to rent a cabin at the Old Saltworks Cabins, a resort on the St Joseph peninsula north of Cape San Blas.

We were going for a four day weekend of paddling, bicycling and exploring on or near St. Joseph Bay, Florida.

We left Friday morning, March 15. Lisa and Jane took part of the morning to do some shopping at the Arts and Crafts Festival in Fairhope. Tom and Sandy went ahead of everybody in order to drop off some artwork in Destin. Bob met Julie and me at the Oasis on the Wilcox Road exit off Interstate 10 in Alabama. We all headed for the same place, the Old Saltworks Cabins.

We followed Bob east on I-10 past Eglin Air Force Base until we could get on US highway 331 to reach route 20 which we followed through the little towns of Bruce and Ebro. We took highway 77 south through Southport which has several businesses with humorous names such as the Buck and Ham Palace. A roadside stand had a big inventory of Plant City strawberries on Friday. We skirted the Spring Break traffic by taking 12th street in Lynn Haven to 389 south until it merges with US 98. We crossed the east bay on DuPont bridge that carried us onto Tyndall air force base. Bob planned to stop for lunch in Mexico Beach, Florida at the Fish House restaurant, next to the Hardware store, the tackle store and a laundromat on the end ( an excellent convenience center for shopping!). The lunch specials were quite good. The shrimp basket held about two cups of small tender fried shrimp, peeled and headed priced at $5.95.

We continued on through the Port St Joe area and headed south out towards the St Joseph peninsula. The BP station before you leave the mainland is one of the better supply points for stays on the peninsula. The road splits and we took route 30 westward to the Saltworks.

The Old Salt Works are named for a Civil War era facility that evaporated seawater to produce salt. The historical marker next to the driveway claims the works could produce 150 bushels per day. The cabins are modern structures which occupy the location of the old saltworks. Bob had rented the Captain's Quarters, which was the owner's residence until two years ago. The cabins are in a pine and palmetto forest on the bayside of the peninsula. A one lane dirt road gives access to the several cabins and houses in the resort. We spent the afternoon unpacking and exploring the area on fat tire bicycles. On the Gulf beach, the sand was firm enough to support not only our bicycles, but also automobile traffic. Cars with permits are allowed on the beach at various access points. During our stay we experienced thick fog from time to time, but always fresh clean sea air. I thoroughly enjoyed riding on the beach that first day.

While Bob was giving us our initial orientation ride, Tom and Sandy showed up and we returned to the cabin so they could join the ride. About 6 p.m. (motto: all times are local, all plans are subject to change without notice) we cleaned up anticipating going to supper in Appalachicola. Tom and Sandy were very familiar with the area and helped a lot with plans, navigation and recommending the restaurant, the Owl Cafe. Lisa and Jane found us with the help of several garbled cell phone calls and we met at the traffic light. Appalachicola has only one traffic light, a flashing red light near the waterfront. We had dinner outside; this cafe is so good the interior seating was booked for hours both Friday and Saturday evenings. The desserts (coconut cream pie, creme brule) were especially good.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Our plan for the day was to go explore the bay side of St. Vincent's Island by kayak and hike across the width of the island to the gulf side and back. We had breakfast in the Captain's Quarters then loaded up the vehicles with lunches and people. We had three vehicles, six boats and seven paddlers heading to the end of route 30B at Indian Pass.

The end of the road has a public boat ramp, a soft sand beach and adequate parking for a dozen vehicles. It has a concession stand, portalets and a ferry boat service to carry pedestrians and bicycles across the pass to St Vincent's Island. We put in at the beach and paddled out into the pass and some thinning fog.

The current was not strong at that point in time. We all crossed over to St Vincent's with no problem. Bob recommended that we stay close to the island to stay out of the wind. We had a fine view of the forest at close range. The pines, oaks, and palmettos dominated the view. We crossed over oyster reefs and sand bars which were jotting out from the shoreline. One racoon was out on one of these oyster reefs until he saw us; then, he turned around and waddled into the forest.

On the north shore the fog was clearing nicely as it yielded to Florida sun. We crossed over more oyster reefs. We beached at a small cove to get out of the boats for a few minutes. The cove where we were somehow reminded me of Gilligan's Island and we tried to remember the song lyrics to that show's theme song. From there we paddled on into Big Bayou where we saw dolphin at the surface, a Southern Bald Eagle cruising over head, and at our lunch point, we had the company of a 4-5 foot long 'gator which stayed in the water a couple hundred feet east of our landing at Big Bayou Road (road #4 on the Island ).

We had our lunch on two big white and red checked cloths under the shade of pines. From here, we hiked south on road 4 crossing other dirt roads at right angles. These roads were designated by letter from G which is parallel to the bayside to A which parallels the gulfshore.

On the trail southbound, we spotted a small slender alligator on the left side of the trail sunning itself by a small pond. It was a very pretty animal with shades of brown patchwork over its shiny four foot length. It froze in fright for a few seconds until we all had a chance to look for it. Then the gator dove into the pond and vanished. After that, no one wanted to go off trail.

At several places the water was moving with some speed as though it were spring fed. Inch long fish disturbed the water here and there. The forest had burned in several places which removed undergrowth. The new fresh plants were pushing up already. The pines came and went in broad bands alternating with open grassy areas as we walked south.

At the gulfside, we noticed a couple of things : seashells and tree stumps. This barrier island is doing the natural thing and rolling inland leaving behind dead trees in the Gulf of Mexico. Sea shells are plentiful in the tide zone. We saw a one to two foot tall ridge of shells, mostly coquina shells, piled up near the waterline. Sandy and Tom know shells as a hobby and they collected several good specimens and told us in detail what was especially interesting about each shell.

The hike back was considerably warmer. The fog was gone and the sun was beaming through a partly cloudy sky. The wind shifted towards the east, crossing the island lengthwise. We picked up some trash on the way back. At the boats, we could still see that alligator in the water and the eagle was perched at the top of a dead tree on the far shore of the Big Bayou. The paddle back was even nicer than the morning paddle since we had a higher tide to lift us over the oyster reefs. Mile after mile of wilderness passed by on our left. Across the bay, to the north, we could see tinges of red, Red Maples, in the treeline. We reached the take out about 1645 and loaded boats. Teamwork made the task go quickly and we returned to the Saltworks to enjoy Bob's Greek salad and Jane's red beans and rice for supper. Sandy and Tom brought CHEESECAKE.

Sunday March 17, 2002

As we did yesterday, we were getting up and making coffee about 7:30 a.m. The fog was in the forest and water dripped from the canopy of trees overhead. Today felt warmer than yesterday morning, but not much. The weather was already warm, humid conditions, definitely short pants weather.

The objective today was to explore the bayside in St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. We loaded paddling gear and drove past Cape San Blas which is an air force reservation with radar facilities. We drove on the two lane paved raod to the gate of the park. Admission to the park is just $3.25 per vehicle for a day pass. The put in was the north picnic site of Eagle Harbor on the bay side. Eagle Harbor is the narrowest part of the peninsula. From a wooden walkover one can see both the bay and the gulf.

Today we had a split in the group. The larger group went paddling up the peninsula. The smaller group went bicycling from the picnic area north to the beach access past the end of Cabin Road. Fat tire bikes gave us the ability to go from the parking area over a narrow (two way traffic!) road on a ridgeline. From the road we could see the colors in the bay water change along the way. We passed between a gate and a small tree and continued on for 200 feet to a wooden foot bridge that put us on a sandy trail to the beach. The trail is marked by snow fencing. The climb up to the dune crest was too soft for the bikes so we did this trail on foot and left the bikes chained together at the base of the dune.

At the crest of the dune we passed four hikers sitting on a bench. The view of the gulf from that bench is framed by high steep dunes of white sand. The gulf is about 60 feet down hill from there, quite an angle looking down! The trail marked by snow fence led off to the right on a ledge of sand. I kept thinking, This looks like a trail through snow pack. We hiked down to the water and went north on the high tide line. The beach sand is very clean and well packed. The beach feeds a healthy dune field to our right. The fine, windblown sand sweeps upward to fill in the low spots in the older dune which is anchored by roots. The new sand is hard and well packed in the dune. The whole beach is really quite clean and the only trash seems to be the little bit that drifts in from the water.

We returned to the bicycles and rode back to the start of Cabin Road. The road forks into Cabin Road and another road into a campground. This is a nice circular drive around tent sites and bath houses. It appeared to be fully occupied.

Back at the picnic area, we had lunch and noticed that some clever person had placed a complete horseshoe crab shell in the grass, not quite the place you would expect such a creature.

After lunch we put our kayaks in the water and drifted/paddled up the coast looking for the bigger group of kayaks. The water in the bay was clear and calm. We paddled in water 3-4 feet deep over live bottom. Looking over the side of the boat we could clearly see the grasses, shells, rays, starfish and live sand dollars on the bottom. We worked our way off the beach to the yellow glow of bare sand under clean seawater. Here the vegetation completely stopped and made the contrasting color we had seen from the ridgeline road. We met up with the rest of the clubmembers, who were paddling back to the takeout. They had paddled up to within a couple of miles of the tip of the peninsula and had lunch there. From there the water gets a little deeper, they said, but it is more of the same view.

On the return paddle the breeze picked up and felt nicely cool. We paid less attention to the bottom since the small waves ruffled the view downward and we looked more ahead and ashore. Some bufflehead birds were having a good time bobbing on the bay. A couple of seagulls stood on sand covered by just a couple of inches of water. It was just a joy to be paddling in such clean surroundings with a view of the mainland on our left and the peninsula on our right.

As we neared the takeout, a yellow kayak left shore heading outbound. He was not from our club, but we took notice at the take out of a small pickup truck with a Current Designs kayak, a small surf kayak, bikes and other water toys. Somebody else is having a lot of fun!

Back at the Saltworks, Bob made spinach salad and Lisa made lasagna with a side of Italian sausage and toasted French bread. Desert was the cheesecake Sandy brought that we did not finish last night. A candle centerpiece with sprigs of yaupon decorated the dinner table. After dinner we had our own Movie Review discussion.

Monday, March 18, 2002

We had to check out of the cabin by 11 so the morning was mostly packing up. We ate a lot of leftovers for breakfast and headed out. The gentleman who runs the place, Lannie Blair visited with us before we left. He is a swell guy and loves working to make the place better. He and his wife Rachel bought the Saltworks two years ago and made it their home. We often saw Rachel driving from one cabin to another doing chores. They are a hardworking couple. Many of the decorations around the place are realy cute. The bird houses are tiny models in the style of the cabins. One birdhouse has a tiny Santa and sleigh on the roof.

This was a superb trip. Kayaking the bays is first rate and the island time attitude is quite refreshing. Hope to see y'all on the water.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Paddle Update
St. Patrick's Day Paddle
Date: Sunday, March 17
Meeting Place: Texaco Station on the Causeway
Time: Noon
Contacts: Harriet @ 928-4568 or or
Fritz @ 990-5987 or
Comments: Because we will paddle in mostly open water, wind may become a major factor. There is a good possibility that we will have a stiff crosswind to contend with. Please notify one of us if you plan to attend, in case the wind, tide, or weather make it prudent to paddle elsewhere. Bring normal safety gear, snacks, fluids, etc.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Paddle Updates:

The previously scheduled March 17 St. Patrick's Day Paddle may be to Maple Slough. It will depend on the weather and tide. Contact Fritz for details, 990-5987,

The schedule for the Traditional Sea Kayaking Course with Mark and Becky Molina has changed slightly. The course will be conducted on Saturday, March 30, from 9AM to 4 PM, at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Try to be on site by 8:30 to unload boats. You need to bring your own sea kayak. The cost is $75.00 for ACA (American Canoe Association) members, and $80.00 for non-members. Contact the Molinas at 561-595-9793, 888-Canoe90, or Further information regarding this course was posted below on March 8.

See the full Calendar of Events for information about additional paddles that have been scheduled for March and April. The most recent, full calendar of events was posted below on March 7.


Kayak for Sale:

17-foot Sealution (sp?) for sale. Contact Dennis at

Monday, March 11, 2002

2 Old Town - Castines for sale @ $500.00 each
(perfect condition garage kept)

Contact: Sam email:

Friday, March 08, 2002

Traditional Sea Kayaking Course, including Greenland Style Techniques to be taught by Mark and Becky Molina, canoe and kayak instructors for over 20 years.
Time: March 30, 2002 (Saturday) from 8 AM to 3 PM
Tentative location: Fairhope Yacht Club.
Cost: $75.00 for ACA (American Canoe Association) members, $80.00 for non-ACA members.
Contact: Mark and Becky Molina at 561-595-9793, or 888-Canoe90, or (send checks directly to Mark and Becky Molina at 348 East Palms Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34982).

Maximum of 10 students.

What is Traditional Sea Kayaking?
An elegant and efficient form of the sport and art of kayaking
Developed over 5000 years by Arctic hunters, the inventors of the kayak.

What are the advantages of learning Traditional Techniques?
Increase your effectiveness and minimize your efforts on the water.
Reduce your risk of injury and muscle fatigue.
Develop grace, balance, and confidence that can enhance your performance in other paddlesport.

What exactly can I learn?
Traditional strokes, including efficient forward traveling strokes.
Extended paddle positions for turning and bracing.
Techniques for handling your boat smoothly in rough waves and wind.
A variety of Eskimo rolls for any condition or ability.

Who can learn Traditional Kayaking?
Any paddler, novice through expert, who wants to increase his or her efficiency and enjoyment.

What equipment do I need?
Any sea kayak. Other traditional gear, such as narrow-bladed paddles, will be provided.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Paddle Report: Maple Creek, March 6, 2002

Bob Andrews announced at the meeting his paddle trip to see the red maples along Maple Creek. The red maples have been in color around Daphne and Fairhope, so this seemed like a great time to go see them in the Delta.

Five paddlers and four kayaks met at the put in, which was the Texaco station on the Mobile Bay Causeway. We met after 1:00 p.m. Bob brought a tandem plastic kayak, Amaru, for him and Aven. Steve Delker brought his Pygmy wooden kayak which has a bright new coat, or coats, of varnish. Julie brought her Chesapeake 17, and I had my plastic Vizcaya.

The weather was very nice: Clear sky except for two smoke plumes north of the bay. Light air blowing 5-10 mph from the south; the tide was rising through the day and seas were less than one foot. Air temperature was 60 - 68 degrees that afternoon. The water felt chilly but I don't have a temperature for the bay water. We were all underway by 1:40 heading northeast under the I-10 Bayway. We generally followed a line of PVC pipes stuck in the bottom that mark the deep water channel across Chacaloochee Bay as we paddled toward the entrance to Big Bateau Bay. The southeast wind felt stronger out on the water causing a weather cocking effect on our boats. Julie's boat seemed determined to go to the Cock of the Walk restaurant southeast of us.

Once in Big Bateau Bay, the tidal current plus the southeast wind combined to give us a rather fast drift north into the bay. The reeds and grasses slipped by rapidly in this narrow entrance to the bay. Very little wildlife is out at this time of year. A flock of white birds resting on the surface may have been white pelicans. A few red wing blackbirds perched on the tall grasses from last year.

We paddled to the northwest shore of Big Bateau Bay in about 30 minutes. We found the waterway out of the the bay into the creek system. This waterway is not accurately marked on the 7.5 minute quadrangle map. The initial passageway is a narrow creek with low grasses on the left bank and tall green reeds on the right bank. In 300 feet or so, the waterway widens into a broad expanse of water that is not indicated at all on the map. We continued northwest bearing to the left past a blank wooden signpost that marked the mouth of another creek. From here we paddled on until we found a creek on the right, the entrance to Maple Creek.

In Maple Creek, the bank is steep and looks firm. The top of the bank is covered in last years vines and stems which have been beaten flat over the winter. Small grey feathered birds flit about from low branches. They may have been warblers. The creek has gentle bends and plenty of width for the boats to turn in. We continued into higher drier ground where the maple trees become plentiful. We paddled on past the remnants of a tractor trailer left there by Hurricane Frederick. One curve past that we stopped to beach the boats and have a rest on shore.

The bank here was dry because the crunchy branches and vines of last year's crop of plants held us up. We had to walk gently so we would not break through the dry crunchy top. Aven shared pumpkin bread (two kinds) and fruitcake she baked. We shared some stories and Steve did some really amusing imitations of Bulwinkle from the movie "Rocky and Bulwinkle."

The trip back was different due to the lighting. The Spanish Moss hanging from the maples was backlighted, and the water was sparkling in the lowering sunlight. We wove back and forth following the creek back the way we came. Once out of the trees we felt the wind, and it was stronger than before.

The water was still rising, but the tidal current was less. The wind was against us, and the seas were about one foot. Steering the boats into the wind was far easier than the downwind trip. We regrouped before we left the mouth of Big Bateau Bay. Several jet contrails in the western sky were growing wider in the upper air wind, becoming feathery in texture. We paddled to the southwest looking for the PVC pipes. At this stage of the tide, the water was adequate to float the boats - no problem. But unless we were in the channel, the paddles scraped bottom on every stroke. We neared the Bayway as the sun reached the Mobile city skyline. As the last of us (me) reached the take out, the sun set, making pink and red contrails overhead.

For those of you who want to make this trip to see the peak of the red maples, there is still opportunity to do so. The maples have not peaked in color up in the Delta. The trip is very pleasant, especially in Maple Creek. Plan the paddle for the second half of a rising tide and go for it!

March 6, Wednesday, Maple Creek
Time: 1 p.m.
Meeting place: public boat ramp next to Texaco Station on the Causeway
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: As of this writing, this paddle has already taken place. The goal of this paddle is an area of red maples up in the Delta that are bright red this time of year — you've doubtless noticed the red maples on area roadsides. They were not quite at peak when we paddled up there yesterday. We recommend that this paddle be repeated in a week's time to catch the peak.

March 17, Sunday, St. Patrick's Day Paddle
Contact: Harriet King 928-4568
Comments: Harriet has not yet decided where she will lead this paddle -- quite possibly Maple Creek again. Wear green.

March 27, Wednesday, Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: A club favorite, on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. You must have a CURRENT recreational permit for Eglin for this paddle.

March 29-31, Friday through Sunday, Okatoma River
Contact: Mark, 458-7574
Comments: This is near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about a two-hour drive from here. You can camp in the campground by the put-in/take-out, or you can show up by 9 a.m. each morning to join the daily paddles. This is a "pool and drop" paddle, with safe opportunities to play on the drops.


April 7, Sunday, Party and Paddle at Frank's on Upper Fish River
Frank Laraway will host a picnic and barbecue at his home on Fish River. Paddling (including slalom races) will begin at 2 p.m., and dinner will follow. Contact Frank at 945-5504, for further information and if you plan to attend.

April 13, Saturday, Party for the Platforms
The Sierra Club, the Audubon Club, and the MBCAKC will join together to paddle, eat, and raise money for the platforms in the Delta. Two or three guided and unguided paddles will be held during the course of the day, and boat rentals will be available. This will be easy paddling for the whole family on Hurricane Creek and Six Bits Creek. In the evening, we will each donate $10 and have dinner at the Bream Club, including potluck, so bring a covered dish. For further information, call Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144.

Approx. April 29 - May 1, Paddling and Camping in Bankhead Forest on the Sipsey River
Date: Last week of April. Dates can be adjusted to participant needs, depending on who wants to go. Date and time will be finalized as time approaches so keep in touch.
Contact: Frank Laraway at 945-5504,
Place: put in at Thompson Creek, enter Sipsey, take out at next bridge, 34 miles down river at the park. Specifics will be given later.
Duration: two nights, two days.
Cost: A $3/night parking fee is required for each car.

Comments: These creeks are down in a rocky valley with high cliffs on either side. We will take rest stops to eat and climb cliffs. Flowers and trees should be in bloom and bud. Tanagers should be in residence along with many other birds and wildlife. Black bears are around so storing food high should be prepared for. The creek is very shallow but pretty unless recent rain has occurred. Plan to disembark many times to pull your boat over shoals. Bow and stern lines are required for pulling and for tying up at night. There are many rapids but only one is of any consequence, with large boulders requiring agile maneuvers. There are overhanging walls, cliffs and large rock. Side paths through the forest are clear. Good camping spots with fire rings occur all along the river. This is an easy paddle but camping w/strangers is a learning experience. It is not bad, everyone gets to know each other very quickly.

Required Gear: Kayak or canoe with bow and stern lines, storage space, usual safety gear (water is mostly very shallow), tent (or waterproof bag), sleeping bag, compact mattress, waterproof bags for deck items, eating utensils, water (in half gallon plastic jugs and/or small plastic bottles), igniter or matches, food (suggest several bottles of trail mix, premade sandwiches, canned beans, hot dogs, buns, bread, soup, wine, cheese, crackers, fruit), thin rolled tissue, rain coat, jacket, towel, toothpaste, etc. HOWEVER, note that space is limited so make everything in compact form. Perhaps one person can bring a gas burner for those who want coffee and soup first class. Bring cell phones, satellite locators, mini radios, maps (trip leader will have maps too). We will have campfires at night. (Finding fire wood can be a challenge.)

Plan: meet at first I-65 rest stop (near Brewton) at 10:00 a.m. (about 3 hours out). It is absolutely mandatory that you to notify the trip leader, Frank, that you are coming and will be at the rest stop on time. Travel in convoy to Clinton rest stop. Exit at Clump and have late lunch at Ryan's buffet there. Travel west in convoy to turn at Rabbit Town, turning north. (Leave one vehicle at take out on side road bridge and public park.) Follow road into Bankhead forest. Stop at waterfall on way. On to Thompson Creek bridge. (Water level at this bridge is available on line.) Make camp at put-in. Get off next morning down river. Cross one bad log jam. Each shoal is a challenge of choice as to which passage to take. Watch the paddler ahead for best passage. Camp down river one night. Take out at bridge and park. Take paddlers back to their cars at original put-in to return to boats at bridge. Leave for home late in the afternoon, returning via Hwy 43 to avoid required detour on southbound Birmingham I-65. Expect to be home in about four or five hours.

Please call Frank and/or confer at the monthly meeting so as to ascertain interest, number of people, meeting places, dates, times, and schedules. If uncertain as to gear, etc. contact trip leader. Come at your own risk.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

The calendar won't be posted until tomorrow. Bob Andrews announced at the club meeting that he will lead a paddle Wednesday March 6 to Maple Creek in the Mobile Delta. Meet at the put in, the boat ramp by the Texaco station on the Mobile Bay Causeway at 1:00 p.m. Expect to be on the water until 5:00 p.m. The Red Maples in the area are living up to their name and Maple Creek has quite a few Red Maples. The red seeds show up before the leaves and the seeds are what give the vivid red color.
!!!!!!!!!MONTHLY MEETING REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our March meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.


Kristy writes us:
I have a 15-foot Perception Carolina for sale. It is almost brand new. Will sell for $700.00 with rudder. Kristy 990-8216

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Flash Paddle
Date : March 3
Time : 10:00 AM
Meeting Place : Stagecoach on Hwy 59
Contact : Fritz Cell 680-8928 Home 990-5987
We will paddle from upper Bryant's Landing to Bayou Tallapoosa depending on wind and weather conditions. Bring lunch . We will probably eat at the Stagecoach after the paddle also.