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Tuesday, July 02, 2002

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!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