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, July 31, 2002

A message from your webmistress: I finally got my phone fixed, but now I'm leaving town for almost the entire month of August. In my absence, please continue to e-mail anything you want posted on this webpage to Fritz at

This means I will not be at the next club meeting, on Tuesday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club.

I usually prepare the monthly calendar of events based on announcements at the monthly meetings. Then I post it here and e-mail a copy to Gene to be forwarded to the entire club e-mail list. Because I won't be here for the next club meeting, somebody else will have to prepare the August calendar of events to be posted on this webpage (by Fritz) and e-mailed (by Gene). I'll bet Fritz or Gene could do this, but I'll also bet they wouldn't mind if some other club member offered to take notes at the meeting and type up the calendar!

See you when I get back,



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 E-mail to Fritz at when Julie is unavailable, as she will be for the entire month of August.

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


Reminder: 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.

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.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Time: 6:00PM
Contact: Fritz at 680-8928 or 990-5987
Comments: A recon mission found that Savage Ditch was too long a paddle for after work. See you Tuesday at Tensaw Eco Tours!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Until Further Notice
Julie's phone was struck by lightening, so if you need anything posted please contact me at or home at 990-5987.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Tuesday Night Paddle
Time: 6:00PM
Place: Pelican Point
Contact: Fritz Ingraham Cell 680-8928 or Home 990-5987
Comments: Exact paddle direction will be determined at the launch depending on group size and weather conditions. Bring lights and snacks. Dinner afterwards.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Gene writes to announce plans for a ------
Paddle: Overnight on the Styx & Perdido Rivers

Put-in on the Styx River midday Saturday. Spend Saturday night on a sandbar, maybe a 3-hour paddle away. There will hopefully be plenty of time to swim, explore, and perhaps do a little river clean up along the way. The worst trash should be within a short distance away from the put-in. On Sunday, paddle about 5 hours to a very small island campsite, past where the Styx River merges with the Perdido River, just below Black Lake. Should someone need to take-out Sunday, they can paddle up the Perdido for about ½ miles to Ruby’s Fish Camp. They will need their own transportation from Ruby’s, as I will continue on downstream with the main group. We will camp Sunday night on the island. This is an incredible campsite with high ground, a sandy landing/swimming area, cleared tent sites, and the breeze from the river. If it is already taken, I looked at two alternatives.

The take-out in a moderate 45 minute kayak paddle from the island. So, someone should be able to paddle to the take-out by Sunday afternoon if needed. On Monday, there is plenty of time for a swim, and exploration of the area. I plan a noon lunch on a shaded beach and then very short paddle to the take-out. This is intended to be a leisurely paddle that will afford time to enjoy the environment and the fellowship of the fellow paddlers.

Date: Sat. – Mon. July 27- 29

Put-In: Hwy. 87 bridge & Styx River

Meet at the Hwy. 87 bridge over Styx River at 12:00 Sat., or rendezvous with me at the new Robertsdale Post Office parking lot on U.S. 90 at 11:30. We can caravan to the Hwy. 87 bridge, drop the boats & gear there, then caravan to shuttle to the take-out at Hurst Landing (850 944-5496) Fish Camp in Florida where the Perdido River empties into Perdido Bay. Mr. Hurst will give us a special rate of no charge to take out and $1.00 to park each night. For those wishing to paddle only a day trip or one overnight), they can take-out at Ruby’s Fish Camp (850) 944-2537, ½ mile up the Perdido from where the Styx and Perdido converge. They will give us a special rate of $2.00 take-out and $2.00 overnight parking.

Eat lunch Saturday prior to rendezvousing or take it with you to the bridge. We could possibly plan to meet at a fast food restaurant in Loxley off of I-10 or in Robertsdale, if desired. I will probable eat at the Better Burger on Hwy. 59 in Robertsdale just south of the intersection of 104 & 59 in the Winn Dixie parking lot at 11:00.



From Hwy. 59 (the I-10 to Gulf Shores route), turn east on Hwy. 90 at the triangle (highway intersection) of flags. From the east end of the triangle, it is perhaps ¼ of a mile to the Robertsdale Post Office on the left (alongside Hwy. 90) and 8.6 miles to the Hwy. 87 intersection on 90. Turn left (north) on Hwy. 87 at the Texaco station. I have not yet measured the distance on 87, but stay on it until you go under I-10 and then get to the Styx River Bridge, thereafter. The bridge is unmarked, but is the first real bridge over a river. Pass over the bridge and immediately turn left on a dirt road to drive under the bridge. Stay in the hard dirt. The plan is to unload everything, including spare people (to watch the boats). This is a popular local hangout and you will be able to guess why we will not want to leave out cars here overnight. I have felt comfortable with everyone I have met there, once I got to know them


From here, we will retrace the route on 87 back to Hwy. 90 at the Texaco station. At Hwy. 90, we will turn left (east) onto 90 and cross the Styx and then, the Perdido Rivers. Ruby’s Fish Camp is approximately ½ mile on the left, off of 90, past the Perdido, at the first road to the left, called Ruby’s Fish Camp Road – can’t miss it. Anyone wishing to take out at Ruby’s can leave their car there. We will then continue east on 90 for a couple of miles to where Hwy. 90 splits: left on alt. 90 to Milton and right, Hwy. 90 (south – the way we want to go) to Pensacola.

In a couple of miles, turn right (south) on Hwy 99. Hurst Landing is at the terminus of 99. This is a 35-mph road, and should be. Go straight through a 4-way stop onto Hurst Hammock Road. This is not marked, but there is a sigh noting that there is no outlet. The speed limit here properly drops to 25. The boat ramp is at a bend in the road, marked by a "boat ramp" sign. There is limited parking. Mr. Hurst asked that we park (after dropping off the boats), in the vacant lot to the left of Hurst Landing Road. Note the clockwise direction of travel on the loop drive to the boat ramp. There are restrooms! Hold the handle down a little longer than you might be accustomed to , to complete the process.

The shuttle is still being worked out. Volunteers willing to drive people from Hurst Landing to the Hwy. 87 bridge are encouraged to contact me. I may have enough help already, but could use a back up.

Expenses: launch fees, and possible donation to the shuttle for gas.

Paddle Coordinator: Gene Boothe, H = (251) 928-1107, C = (251) 422-7451, e-mail =

I plan to take members of my high school Sunday school class and anyone else that would enjoy going. I think of this as being an intermediate level paddle due to the length. Except for the length and expected hot weather, beginners should do al right. The days should be hot with possible rain. Yellow flies may be a problem. I am guessing that the first day will be about a 3-hour paddle with the next two being 5-6 hours of moderate paddling with frequent swim stops along the way. I want to take it easy and enjoy the trip. This includes the so called Indian mound (if we can find it), paddling through the tunnel (long culvert) into Black Lake, Blackwater River, Reeder Lake, Alligator Bayou, looking at flowers, an osprey nest, etc.

I have paddled the entire distance except for the second day (last sandbar on the Styx to above Black Lake), but will try to do so before the trip. If anyone would like to accompany me on this exploratory paddle – a day trip, please let me know. I paddled from Hurst Landing to Black Lake by myself yesterday. This included landing several times to swim, and explore possible campsites. No particular danger concern was noted. Obvious precautions for heat, snakes, etc. should always be observed wherever you go at this time of the year, but I had no problem paddling, wandering through the woods or wadding along the shoreline.

There are numerous twists and turns in the rivers, along with many islands, bayous, etc. Navigation is important, but not that difficult. I have excellent charts for the whole way. It will be important to stay with the group unless you feel confident you know the route. I will take volunteers to alternate running sweep for us. The topographical charts I use are: Elsanor, Seminole Quadrangle, and Lillian Quadrangle.

There was a noticeable downstream current on the bottom part of the Perdido, which will favor us.

The first campsite will be the last sandbar on the Styx south of I-10. The second is a small island just south of Black Lake.

Bring: own canoe/kayak & gear (paddles, lifejacket, etc.) or coordinate with others to share, trash bags for as much of a river clean up as we can, and perhaps a trash gabber.

Camping Supplies: tent with bug screen, sleeping gear (mat, covers-sleeping bag), garbage/dry bags to seal sleeping gear & change of clothes in to keep dry), optional: grown cloth for tent, long extension chord for hair dryers

Clothes: paddling clothes (swimsuit, long sleeve shirt for me), sleeping clothes, possibly a change of clothes for camp wear if others get wet, wide brim hat), rain jacket, water shoes

Food: breakfast Sunday & Monday (at campsites), lunch Sunday (somewhere along the way) and Monday (shaded beach), supper Saturday & Sunday (campsites), snacks for trip.

Water: Take enough to drink and cook for 2 ½ hot days. We should be able to resupply half way down at Ruby’s Fish Camp near Hwy. 90 on Sunday, if needed.

Misc.: flashlight, yellow fly spray/ointment ("Repel", from Wal Mart is recommended by the proprietor of Hurst Landing), sunscreen, small first aid kit, medicines you may take, TP & a small garden type hand shovel (I’ll explain if needed). These are just ideas. You may need other stuff. Those wishing to may leave emergency information with me with such information as who to contact in case of emergency, medications on and allergic to, family physician, car tag number, and any other information the emergency personnel might want to know, are encouraged to do so. Children should obviously be chaperoned.

I may go a little overboard on instructions and precautions, but have been a Boy Scout leader, platoon commander in the Marine Corps, a school teacher, and have found it expedient to be prepared for emergencies.

Also, I have been use to going into detail in giving instructions to my mentally handicapped students, before shifting to the gifted program. So, I hope that you will forgive my wordiness. Please contact me concerning any information you might need help with. Do contact me if you plan to paddle and need or can share gear.

Be conformable, but think light & compact. As we get a roster, we can think about sharing camping gear, canoes, etc. Gene Boothe

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Friday Night Flash Paddle
Time: 6:00PM
Contact: Bob Andrews Cell 367-4144
Meeting Place: Public Launch on the Causeway next to the Texaco Station
Comments: This will be another attempt to circumnavigate Chacaloochee Bay since the Tuesday Night Paddle was rained out!

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Tuesday Night Paddle
Time: 6:00PM
Contact: Fritz Home 990-5987 or Cell 680-8928
Meeting Place: Public launch on the Causway next to the Texaco Station
Comments: We will attempt to circumnavigate Chacaloochee Bay depending on water level and weather conditions. Paddle length, about 5 miles. Easy to moderate pace.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Tony Kramer writes us:

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to tell everyone I enjoyed meeting with the Club on my last trip down to Fairhope. Thank you for the hospitality!

I will be making another trip down for classes in August. I will hope to see you guys when I come back down! My trip to Sand Island Light house was great! Parking at Fort Morgan was not a problem at all. In fact, I was able to park right at the boat launch on the front row next to the beach. There was a big crowd at the Fort to catch the tall ships, but we were able to slip by the crowd and in the water, paddling in no time.

My paddling partner, Shorty, had never done any type of off shore paddling before. So this was a new and exciting experience for her. She normally paddles a Perception, Prism. Not the boat you would want to paddle to the light house in! So Jack West at Middle Bay outfitter put her in a Wilderness Systems, Freedom.

The Freedom is a sit-on-top, but with more of a faster touring hull and better maneuverability. I've been looking at using the Freedom or the Tarpon in my fleet, for those paddlers who just want to do some day touring and get claustrophobic in a sit-in kayak. I must say I was very impressed with how the boat handled the conditions we found on our trip!

Paddling out to the light house we were in one to two foot sea's and the tide was in our favor. Although we were facing a steady 10 to 15 knot wind.
Shorty's paddle stroke was strong, but she has one speed - slow!

The trip out took us about two hours, so at that speed we were really just riding the tide out while paddling to keep our position in the wind.
After skirting the shoreline at Navy Cove and coming to point on Fort Morgan, we headed out to the light house staying well to the east of the shipping channel. The wind was out of the west-southwest, so we had to ferry to the island by keeping our bows pointed west of our destination.

Buy the time we arrived at our halfway point to the channel, the Coast Guard, Eagle was making it's way into the bay and past the light house. It was an awesome site! I had my camera at the ready and HOPEFULLY got some good shots as it past by the light house. I will share them with you guys if they turn out ok.

The boat traffic in the bay was not quite as bad as I thought it would be, provided the festivities. But the shipping traffic was the busiest I have ever seen! While on the paddle out, there were many service boats headed out to the rigs. And while on the island at least three tankers passed through the channel.

One thing I will say if you ever want to paddle to the island and explore the light house: be sure to pull your kayak well up on the rocks or even to the landing at the base of the tower.

It is a treacherous haul up the rocks with a fully loaded kayak slung on your shoulder. But if you leave the kayak on the rocks at the water, you will be in for a shock when the first tanker goes by. It¹s an awesome site to sit and watch the huge tankers slip by the island, but more so when you turn around to see your kayak floating out to sea!
The swell created by the passing ships will wash the best placed kayak away in a heartbeat. I will carry my kayak to the highest point if I have to. Just so I know I will have something to paddle home.
As the afternoon wore on we watched the storms began to move into the bay from the north. I knew we would get afternoon storms and had come to the light house prepared to bivy if the conditions were to warrant a stay.
Looking back to the north, the tall ships had anchored off Fort Morgan. We watched as the lightning flashed across the sky creating a orange glow back drop behind the fleet. It was a wonderful sight!
I began to wonder if we would have to spend the night, but by 8:30 the storms had died off and I knew we could make it back with no problems. Waiting the storm out also put us in better conditions with the tide. Now we could ride the tide in just as we did going out. Yeah right!
Although the tide was in our favor, the wind was not. Waiting the storm out also meant a 180 degree change in wind direction. We were now facing a 20 to 22 knot head wind that kept us paddling in one spot for about an hour. And with a northerly wind on an incoming tide, the surf had kicked up two to three foot seas.
Because of the heavy shipping traffic, I picked a course from the light house that would get us across the channel and out of traffic as quickly as possible. But this also put us on top of Dixey Bar. Dixey Bar is a shallow sand bar due south of the fort and it makes a good path for kayakers because no large boats can cross it. But it can also be a challenge in high wind because the surf hitting the shallows of the bar will create large breakers. It takes some skill and nerve to negotiate the breakers in the dark.
I felt sorry for Shorty. This is the only down fall to paddling a sit-on-top, or any boat that is not designed for high wind and sea conditions. In a blowing wind, the high profile of sit-on-tops make the boat one large sail. Added to that was Shorty's large paddle blade. Her paddle is designed for powerful strokes while paddling a recreational type of kayak. But now, it too was a large sail keeping her in one spot. For a painfully slow hour!
Did I say I felt sorry for Shorty? Not only was her boat and paddle a sail catching every ounce of wind and pushing her back, but also her stroke - One speed. Slow! She got though the bar like a champ! And with no worries! At least she said she wasn't worried. I'll ask her again some time. Needless to say, by the time we made it back to shore it was 11 p.m.!

Before crossing the shipping channel I had turned on my marine radio to listen to boat traffic and alert any ships that might catch us unprotected in the middle of the channel. Shorty wore my strobe and I had my headlamp on as a back up signal to any ships. The radio soon became a buzz of activity as the first ship came up well off starboard. He was out to the south of us when he began to pick something up on radar. "A faint hit," he said. When he caught sight of the strobe and my headlamp, he hit us with his light.
"Where the hell did yall come from?" came a crack over my radio.
"Cuba," I said.
"Damn, you came a long way didn't cha?"

From there on in, even while we were well out of the shipping lane, all ships coming in or out of the bay just had to check us out! Everyone wanted to get a hit on our position. I was thankful that we were being watched out for, but it is very hard to make any headway paddling while talking on the radio.

I can hear those Captains now, as they sit around the bar telling stories of their journeys - and those damn kayak fools paddling from Cuba!

The Sea Kayaker
Tony Kramer

Monday, July 08, 2002

Tuesday Night Paddle
Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Buzbee's on Hwy 225 north of Spanish Fort
Contact: Fritz Home 990-5987; Cell 680-8928
Comments: Easy after work paddle. Bring snacks, plan on dinner afterwards at one of the local eateries

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Thanks to Tony Kramer for the presentation tonight on sea kayaking. You can e-mail Tony at


Wednesday, July 3: Paddle to Sand Island
Contact: Tony, 404-376-9160
Comments: Tony is going out to see if he can get some photographs of the tall ships. (We are prohibited from paddling close to them.) Expect 3-4 foot seas and a rocky landing. (Advanced paddling skills may be required.)

Thursday, July 4: Family Day at FYC and Fireworks Paddle
Please see Gene's message for details, which is posted below.

Thursday, July 4: West Florida Canoe Club's Escambia River Paddle
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Hardee's in Flomaton
Contact: Miriam 937-8417

Monday, July 8: Gulf Shores Paddle
Contact: Bob h/w: 344-8664 cell: 367-4114
Comments: Contact Bob for time and place.

Every Tuesday: Fritz's After-Work Paddles
Contact: Fritz home: 990-5987 cell: 680-8928

Sunday, July 14: Matt's Surprise Paddle
Contact: Matt home: 343-1196 work: 341-1712

Monday, July 22: Little Dauphin Island
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Meeting Place: at the ferry landing on Dauphin Island
Contact: Lisa home: 471-2050, cell: 689-3934
Comments: Bring lunch.

To be scheduled:
Gene plans to do two overnight paddling/camping trips this month: one on the Styx to the Perdido, the other on the Perdido. Please stay tuned to your e-mail and this website for further information.

Next meeting: Tuesday, August 6


Check out this link for the University of Sea Kayaking:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MONTHLY MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!

The next meeting of the Mobile Bay Canoe & Kayak Club will be today, Tuesday, July 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. We will have a guest speaker talk about paddling techniques. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

Gene writes us:
Glorious 4th Family Day and Fireworks Paddle

Our friends at Fairhope Yacht Club have again generously invited us to join them in their day long family day activities. In general, this is a laid back sit in the shade, play in the water, let the children play in the space walk and then get a sno cone, cook on the grill, etc. type of activity.

There will be some kind of kayak / canoe activity in the evening. It will be a little of a stretch to call it a race, at least for most of us. I am in charge and plan to hold it somewhere around 5:00. Like last year, I will have numerous prizes and will try to think of ways to give them out. No junk, this is good stuff. Those wishing, can watch the fireworks from the FYC beach.

I will lead our annual Fireworks paddle from the FYC beach to the sand bar on the north side of the pier, between the pier harbor and the beach. There, we will listen to the Baldwin County Pops Orchestra as we picnic and then watch the fireworks overhead. Both of these are tremendously inspiring. The main orchestra begins at 7:00 p.m. and the fireworks at 9:00. Last year, I could also see the fireworks over Mobile and Daphne from this site.

The plan is to depart from the beach at 6:45 and paddle into the music. I think it best if we go as a group and not some take off early. There are going to be so many boats, that there will be no best spots for early birds to claim on the sand bar. Boats will be all over everywhere. There is also a kind of an adrenaline rush to have that many canoes and kayaks take off together, see if you don't also think so. I would like to give the signal to start, in my kayak, just off the beach, by the south gazebo, by raising my paddle and pointing to the municipal pier. This will not be a race, but a group paddle - probably strung out for about 1//2 mile. We will paddle just off the end of the piers where it is too shallow for power boats to go, all in probably no more than around waist deep water.

Lights are mandatory, as is all Coast Guard required gear. Beware of putting ice chests on top of the kayaks. That didn't work out too well last year. Expect to be wadding around the boats in shallow water. I plan to bring a small anchor, just in case. In thinking about your picnic, remember that there will be no ground to set things on, just your lap and boat. I don't know about lawn chairs.

I would like some volunteers to paddle on the sides and back of the group, as there may be several beginners with us that may need some assistance. At any point, anyone should be able to wade a short distance to the beach if bad weather hits. Everyone will be responsible for making their own decision about what is best for them to do, as far as possible bad weather is concerned.

For further information, e-mail Gene at