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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Flash Paddle: Buzbee's Landing on Highway 225, 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Lotus may be in bloom. We'll paddle for about 2.5 hours, then indulge in fine drinks and food at a nearby restaurant. Bring snacks and drink for mid-point raft up. We will be out after dark, so bring a single white light. Please email Lisa if you plan to attend,

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Paddle Report: Escambia River Paddle - Gut-Busting Log Jamming and Clay Chutes
by Frank Laraway

Jan Hart of the West Florida Canoe Club, led a paddle camping trip on the upper Escambia in Alabama on the weekend of June 21-23. She was kind enough to let me come along, though I had never paddled with them before.

After traveling the 70 miles from Fish River, I rendezvoused with the five others of our group at the Flomaton exit on I-65 north. From there we drove 5 miles further north, turning west at Barnett Crossroads, then on to a bridge put-in on the Big Escambia. The shuttle of cars was very complicated. Several of us drove back to an I-65 restaurant to leave our cars parked, while another car was driven down to the take out some 15 miles down river.

We all got off from the put-in about 2:00 p. m. We floated in relatively low water but in a swift current. All of the others had canoes, loaded down with cargo. They traveled in luxury: tables, chairs, grilles, uncooked foods, big tents and ice chests. My kayak carried the minimum: tent and mattress outside on the top deck under the elastic cords. My food stocks consisted of water in small soft drink bottles, tucked in the narrows of the boat hull, sandwiches, crackers, trail mix and cans of fish and beans. There is obviously a big difference in camping life style of the canoeist and kayaker, due to their differences in cargo capacities.

The most common characteristic of this river all the way down is the gravel. There is gravel everywhere, even sometimes five feet up on the bank. This creates a lot of gravelly, shallow places that do not channel easily in a flood, so there is a lot of bottom dragging by our boats. Between the low water and the gravel, this creek is very wearing on both our boat hulls and our paddles.

Then there are the log jams. They are particularly numerous where the land has been denuded by clear-cut logging. Generally all the pines have been taken all the way to the bank, if they have not already fallen across the stream. The few evergreens that are left along the bank are naked to winds and then they also go over into the water, encouraged by eroding flood waters. So we had some thirty challenging log jams to get heavy canoes through, over, around and across, all the way down the nine miles to the I-65 bridges. It was hard going to that point.

The first night, we stopped well above I-65 to camp on a gravelly sand bar. Most of the others had free standing tents so they camped on the gravel. I was forced to camp up on the higher bank where I could drive my stakes for my small tent. We had plenty of fire wood to make a nice bonfire to sit around and talk into the night. There were no mosquitoes but there were several light rains in the night.

For birds, we were seeing herons, vulture, crows and some song birds. Tanagers were scarce, heard but not seen. Leading well ahead of the crowd with a more agile and fast kayak, I also saw one turkey.

The trees on this section of the river were mainly magnolia, gum, poplar and various oaks. The pines had all been cut, except for those that had fallen across the river, and these were particularly troublesome to cross with our heavy cargoes. White cedars were scarce also but some were in the log jams. At times, some of us attempted to cut them out of the jams to get across but it was difficult sawing near and in the water.

The geological sequences of the coastal plane can all be seen as we pass down river: limestone at the top, then gravel, then silty clays, then red clays and then white potters clay. It had sometimes turned to rock where it occurred high on the banks and thus was exposed to the air. Potters clay became the most prevalent feature of the river bed for the last five miles of our run.

On Saturday, we had a leisurely breakfast and got off the gravel bar about 9:00. The log jams finally ceased to occur just below I-65, the stream got deeper, the gravel became less bothersome and the clear cut banks ceased, so the woods were prettier. In this lower part of the river, the ty-ty and white cedars dominated along the banks as they do in lower Baldwin County. Everything was prettier and more inviting.

About two miles below the I-65 crossing, we came to the Sardine Bridge Landing where County Road 45 crosses the Escambia. This is a popular swimming hole for many, especially teenagers. They are all over the beaches, out on the clay shoals and up on the sandy banks. One of our group decides to take out at this point and wait for a later pick up to go back to his car.

While three canoes go on down river, I lingered awhile at this swimming hole to swim and to swing-dive from the rope swing with the boys. The others have got ahead of me by about half a mile so I go on down river as fast as I can. This area of the stream is full of clay chutes (about 6 feet wide in some places) providing a rapid push down stream. Catching up with the others, I find them body surfing the clay rapids in life vests. We linger at this lower chute for a while to swim. There is much more trash of all sorts on this portion of the river.

Another couple in our group, go on down river to the take out and thus end their paddle after the first day. They will take Jan's jeep back to their car on the expressway and return it to the take-out, on their way home.

Three of us went on down river, searching for a suitable camp site for the night. We find a site not far above the river crossing of the gas line and the take-out. I set my tent up on the bank under the trees and the women camp on the gravel beach. We have grilled hamburgers, rice and other foods under the tent in a drizzling rain. Later, we get a camp fire going out on the gravel bar. Rain again visits us during the night but our tents keep us dry.

Next morning I go back in the woods to hike and explore several miles up and down river while the women sleep in. We all help each other to break camp and get our stuff to our boats, getting off the bar about 10:00 a. m. We come to the take out in no time at all. It is a very large gravel/sand beach high above the river. Jan drives her jeep down almost to the beach and we load all our cargo and boats on the vehicle. We put the two canoes and the kayak on the roof and tie them down in several places.

We then take a fast but convoluted route back to the restaurant on the expressway, where our other cars are parked. We pass over the Sardine bridge and the swimming hole that we stopped at with our boats. After our boats and equipment are reloaded to our separate vehicles, we have a late breakfast at the restaurant and then head our different ways home.

This paddle location and the put-ins are about 70 miles from Fairhope. The leg from the Sardine bridge down with its clay chutes is worth the drive but not the portion above I-65. Lifting boats over thirty log jams is a fatiguing gut-buster. It was a good trip nevertheless.

Fish River, Alabama

Monday, June 24, 2002

Flash Paddle: Ladies' Paddle From Buzbee's

Date: Wednesday, June 26
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Home Depot in Daphne
Contact: Barb 447-0003
Comments: It's Freddie's Birthday. We'll put in at Busbee Fish Camp. It will be a very relaxed paddle, which will go as long as we feel like being out.


Please see the calendar of events, below, for other paddles that have already been scheduled.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Upcoming paddles:

June 22, Saturday: DELTA DAWN PADDLE
DATE: Saturday morning, 6-22-2002
TIME: 6:00 a.m. (You won't have to paddle in the dark - the sun will already be up and warming the air by 6:00 a.m.)
WHERE: Explore Black Creek Tributary
LAUNCH: Meet and launch at Chickasaw Boat Ramp (south side) (3/4 of a mile south of Highway 158 and Highway 43 - just south of Saraland).
RETURN: Same as above.
COST: $3 Launch Fee
MEALS: Bring your own snacks & fluids to keep you nourished and hydrated for most of the day.
LEVEL: Intermediate, Advanced. It is at least a two hour paddle to get to the tributary, longer if Mobile River current is against us or if we have to detour due to a log jam. Also might have to detour if a 14 foot alligator and her mean husband won't let us pass (serious grin).
ROUTE: Chicksaw Boat ramp through Pumphouse canal (if it is open), to Mobile River, up to Bayou Sara, and down Black Creek to a tributary & back.
DIST: 14-15 miles. An extra mile detour (each way) will be necessary if the pumphouse canal is still log jammed.
PLAN: Plan to get back between 1-4 pm.
GEAR: Mobile River can get choppy. Bring usual safety equipment, sunscreen, fluids, and bug repellent.
LEADER: Rob Nykvist
PHONE: (251) 653-9064

DATE: Sunday morning, 6-23-2002
TIME: 8:00 a.m. (in water & beginning paddle)
MEET: Meet on the east side of Fort Gaines (near where the road ends), along the edge of the road around 7:30 a.m. so we can check surf & bay conditions before launching.
LAUNCH: Dauphin Island, east end near the ferry rest rooms.
RETURN: Same place.
COST: Launch is free.
MEALS: Bring snacks & refreshments to meet your own needs.
LEVEL: Anyone wishing to cross Mobile Bay should have some open water experience and be able to self rescue in seas that caused you to tump-over in the first place. A kayak with a rudder or skeg is highly recommended.
NOTE: Weather conditions are subject to rapid change. Calm weather does not necessarily indicate smooth paddling when crossing the Bay. It is possible that currents, or waves could alter the planned route, either before the start, or during the paddle.
TIDE: High tide expected between 9 & 10 in the morning. Currents should be not very strong. Wave conditions will depend on Miss Windy.
ROUTE: Launch by the restrooms near the ferry. Paddle approx. 4 miles across Mobile Bay to north side of Fort Morgan beach. Take break. Paddle from Ft. Morgan back to Dauphin Island. The route takes us across the Mobile Bay ship channel.
DIST: 8 miles of open water. It is about an hour of steady paddling over, and about an hour back, plus or minus 15 minutes.
PLAN: Plan on leaving at 8:00 am and getting back between 11:00 - noon.
GEAR: This is a bay crossing - bring safety gear - that includes paddle float, pump, and spray skirt, plus sunscreen and fluids to hydrate. 345 of the Alabama's 397 bird species have been seen on Dauphin Island - binoculars will zoom in on those birds.
LEADER: Rob Nykvist
PHONE: (251) 653-9064

July 4, Tuesday: Tall Ships
We plan to paddle Tuesday morning - noon to see the tall ships come in. This is still being planned. Check for more information.

July 4, Tuesday: Fireworks Paddle
We will depart the Fairhope Yacht Club a little before, paddle close to shore to the Fairhope Municipal pier to picnic in the sand bar and watch the fireworks. We had about thirty boats last year and expect more. More information soon.


Please see the Calendar of Events, below, for additional paddles during the month of June that were previously scheduled (at the last monthly meeting).

Friday, June 14, 2002

A message from your webmistress:
I (Julie) am going to the woods (again) for a few days. If you want to post a "flash paddle," Fritz can do it for you if he's in town. 990-5987, Lots of people are scheduling "flash paddles" that weren't announced at the last meeting, so stay tuned to this website if you're looking for paddling companions. I'll see you at the club paddle on Boiling Creek on Monday (see details posted in calendar of events, below).
Rob Nykvist offers TWO Flash Paddles this weekend:

Flash Paddle: Explore No Name Creek
Put-in/Take-out: Byrnes Lake in Baldwin County
Date: Saturday morning, 6-15-2002
Launch time: 8:00 a.m.
Rendezvous: Not sure where Byrnes Lake launch is? Meet at the Food World parking lot, NE corner of Hwy 31 & Hwy 225, at 7:30 a.m. and Rob will guide you to the put-in. (If you would rather meet at the put-in, the entrance to Byrnes Lake is LEFT, about 8 miles north of Hwy 31 off Hwy 225. You can't miss the big green entrance sign.)
Expenses: Boat launch is free.
Meals: Bring your own snacks, food, and fluids.
Paddle Level: Intermediate to advanced
Route Info: Brynes to Gravine Sandbar to No Name Creek, back to Gravine Sandbar back to Byrnes.
Distance: 10-12 miles round trip.
Time: 6-8 hours depending on length & number of stops. Plan to get back between 2-4 p.m.
Preparations: Expect a fresh, breezy morning and lots of sun all day. The Tensaw River may be choppy. Bring usual safety equipment, plus sunscreen and bug repellent if you need it. Bring enough fluids & snacks to last 6-8 hours.
Coordinator: Rob Nykvist
Telephone: (251) 653-9064

Flash Paddle: Paddle the Sunny Beaches & Cross Mobile Bay, Twice!
Date: Sunday morning, 6-16-2002
Launch time: 8:00 a.m.
Rendezvous: Meet on the east side of Fort Gaines, along the edge of the road near the end of the round, around 7:30 a.m. so we can check out surf and bay conditions before launching.
Put-in/Take-out: East end of Dauphin Island, near the ferry rest rooms.
Expenses: Boat launch is free.
Meals: Bring enough snacks, food, and fluids to last the day.
Paddle Level: Rob expects anyone wishing to cross Mobile Bay to have some open-water experience and to be able to self rescue. A kayak with a rudder or skeg is highly recommended.
Advance Warning: Weather conditions are subject to change. It is possible that currents or waves could alter the planned route, either before the start or during the paddle.
Forecast: Low tide: morning. High Tide: late afternoon. Variable wind 5 to 10 knots, becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay waters smooth. Mobile River currents will be fairly strong, so there will be some current to contend with crossing the bay.
Route Info: Launch by the restrooms near the ferry. Paddle about 4 miles across Mobile Bay (open waters) to Fort Morgan beach. Take break. Paddle from Fort Morgan to Sand Island, another 4 mile trek (another hour) across wide-open bay waters. Bring your stereo and headphones if you want to paddle to the cadence of music across the open waters. Then spend a couple hours exploring Sand Island hunting for shells, lying in the sun, eating (bring a folding chair), kayak surfing (bring a dry change of clothes), practicing rolling, drinking (ice down your favorite beverage), swimming (bring your bathing suit), bird-watching (bring your binoculars), taking photos (bring your cameras), and fishing (bring your fishing pole) - whatever you want to do along the 3 mile coast of Sand Island. Then paddle back to the launch area after a day of sun and fun in the surf.
Distance: 15 mile loop, 8 of it across open water, the other 7 along the beaches of Sand Island & Dauphin Island, where you will never be worried about finding a place to get out and stretch your legs.
Time: You are free to go back anytime you want, but I plan to make a day of it, getting back between 4 p.m. and sunset. It is always nice to glimpse an island sunset.
Preparations: Bring usual safety equipment, plus plenty of sunscreen. Bring enough fluids and snacks to last you through the day.
Coordinator: Rob Nykvist
Telephone: (251) 653-9064


Please see the monthly "calendar of events," posted below, for additional paddles.



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. (In other words, paddle at your own risk.)

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, June 11, 2002

Notice of Paddle

Note: It is always good to let the paddle leader know if you are planning to participate as they will have a better understanding of who to look for or notify in case of a change of plan.

Place: Lower Styx River
Date & Time: 7:00 AM Friday, June 14
Rendezvous: At Exxon Station on U. 90 & Hwy. 71 NE of Robertsdale. If in Robertsdale, then proceed north to U.S. 90 (the triangle where all the flags are), go east on 90 for around a mile to the first blinking light. This should be where Hwy. 71 intersects 90. We will rendezvous at the service station (which I think is an Exxon station) at the intersection of 90 & 71. The put-in will be on 90 at Styx River, N.E. of Elsanor Elementary School, under the bridge. Paddling up or down the Styx will be decided at the put-in. Bring a snack/lunch. The take-out will be the same as the put-in, in the early afternoon – possibly around 1:00 PM.
Contact: Frank Laraway, at 945-5504, for more information.

Larry Mickelsen, Sr. writes us
Re: Race support at the Pelican Point Triathlon:

Just for the club's information, there were eleven kayaks at the race to support of the swimming phase of the race. The Florida Club had about five or six kayaks show, there were more of them than us! We need to see that that does not happen next year.

Red Boat Mickelsen.


Editorial note:
Larry, the good news is that them are us, and us are them. It's getting hard to tell who is "the Florida Club" and who is the MBCAKC. I guess that's probably because we are all such nice people. (And because we all share a beautiful region of waterways.) I think I am articulating the sentiments of everyone in the MBCAKC when I say that we LOVE to paddle with the folks east of us.

(But if competition promotes participation, all the better!) (IMHO :-)

Sunday, June 09, 2002

June 11, Tuesday: Tuesday Paddle
Contact: Fritz Ingraham Home 990-5987 Cell 680-8928
Time: 5:45 PM
Place: Busbee's Fish Camp Hwy 225 north of Spanish Fort
Comments: We will paddle wherever tide and time allows. Beginner friendly paddle. We welcome those of you from the West Florida Club!

Wednesday, June 05, 2002


June 5, Wednesday: Camp Rappahope
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664 cell: 367-4144
Comments: We will take kids who are recovering from life-threatening illnesses paddling.

June 6, Wednesday: Beginner paddle at FYC
Contact: Lisa, 471-2050, cell 689-3934
Time: 9:45 a.m.
Place: Fairhope Yacht Club
Comments: Lisa is taking some friends paddling who have never been out before, and you're welcome to join them.

June 8, Saturday: assist at Pelican Point Triathlon
Contact: Jeff Pollock, 621-3908
Time: EARLY -- get to the Pelican Point parking lot by 6:30 a.m. to get a parking space.
Comments: Three of us assisted at this event last year, and it was a very enjoyable experience. Basically, the triathlon organizers need kayaks and canoes to get out in the Bay to support the triathletes during the swim portion of the event. The swimming course is horseshoe-shaped in open water, and we paddlers will be in the middle of the course. Paddlers help the swimmers stay safe and on-course: If a swimmer gets tired, s/he will signal you to paddle over so s/he can rest while holding on to your boat. If you see a swimmer falling behind, you can approach to be sure s/he is okay. You won't be asked to perform any first aid or rescue -- there will be plenty of search-and-rescue professionals and life guards there to do the important stuff.

This is a big event -- capped at 300 triatheletes. The triathletes will leave the shore in waves of several dozen swimmers at a time. Four of us have signed up to help, and Jeff would like several more paddlers.

Paddlers who assist at this event are invited to the post-race party: Spaghetti and beer and fun.

Please call Jeff and let him know if you have any questions and if you plan to be there.

June 10, Monday: Rice Creek
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Stagecoach Cafe, Stockton, at the intersection of Highways 59 and 225
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664 cell: 367-4144
Comments: Bob's paddles, like anyone else's paddles, are ALWAYS subject to change. So phone Bob if you plan to come. Otherwise, you may be left waiting in the parking lot while everybody else is paddling elsewhere.

June 11, Tuesday: Fritz's After-Work Paddle
Contact: Fritz 990-5987
Comments: Stay tuned to this website and call Fritz for further details.

June 17, Monday: Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664 cell: 367-4144
Time and meeting place: Call Bob
Comments: This paddle is a club favorite. You will need a current recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base. Instructions for obtaining such a permit are posted below.

June 18, Tuesday: Fritz's After-Work Paddle
Contact: Fritz 990-5987
Comments: Stay tuned to this website and call Fritz for further details.

June 22 or 23: All-Day Paddle at Big Escambia Creek or Pigeon Creek
Contact: Mark, 458-7574
Comments: As of last night's meeting, plans had not yet been firmed up for this paddle, so call Mark. Bring lunch.

June 25, Tuesday: Fritz's After-Work Paddle from Byrnes Lake to Gravine Island
Contact: Fritz 990-5987
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Meeting place: the parking lot of Bruno's in Spanish Fort, at the shopping center at the intersection of Highways 31 and 225.
Comments: This will be the night after the full moon. Bring refreshments.

June 29: Lower Perdido River
Contact: Mark, 458-7574
Time: 9 a.m.
Meeting Place: Ruby's, on U.S. 90 at the Florida line. (Shuttle to put-in at Adventures.)
Comments: This paddle starts with sandy banks and a good flow through some ox-bows and swamps. Lots of wildlife. Expect to spend about five hours paddling 12 miles. Bring lunch. There will be launch and parking fees at both ends of this paddle. (The total should be less than $10.) There may be a West Florida Canoe Club camp-out that night, preliminary to their annual summer party on the following day. Contact Mark for details and to RSVP.


And already planned for July:

July 2, Tuesday: Monthly Meeting
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Fairhope Yacht Club
Comments: Our regular meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

July 4, Thursday: Fireworks Paddle
Place: Fairhope Yacht Club to Fairhope Pier
Contact: Gene Boothe 928-1107,
Comments: Every year, Gene leads us on a paddle from the yacht club to a sandbar by the Fairhope Pier that provides the perfect vantage point for watching the fireworks display and listening to the concert on shore. Contrary to the concerns voiced by some people, power-boat traffic is NOT a problem -- we paddle close to shore in shallow water where there are no power boats. Bring at least one white light. Red LED lights provide wonderful (and decorative) visibility as well. Bring snacks.

July 4, Thursday: Tall Ships Paddle
We don't know what we're going to do or where, but somebody is going to plan a paddle to join the tall ships sailing into Mobile.


In other news:

At last night's meeting, Harriet and Fritz told us about running into Philly Joe on his paddle around America. This is a great story, and he's reporting about it on line:

Some of you have asked about maps of the Delta in general and of the Bartram Canoe Trail in particular. Maps of the new paddling trail and the new platforms in the Delta are in the works right now, and we will post information about how to obtain same as soon as they are ready.

Permit for Boiling Creek

A current permit is required to paddle Boiling Creek in Eglin Air Force Base. The permits are good from 1 October to 30 September. They cost $5.00. You get a map along with the permit that is worth more than the fee.

Permits may be obtained from the Jackson Guard Office (Natural Resources Branch), located at Highway 85 North, Niceville FL (850) 882-4164. The mailing address is:

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

Request a "Recreational Permit," which is the one for paddling. 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.