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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002


Paddle update:

Frank Laraway has postponed his overnight paddle on the Sipsey River one week, from May 1 to the following Wednesday, May 8. See the calendar of events, below, for additional information.

In other news:

Ann and Larry McDuff are starting the Continental Divide Trail at the Mexican border Saturday, April 27. He'll again be writing columns on the hike for the Fairhope Courier and other Baldwin County papers. If any of you are currently not subscribers to one of these fine newspapers, he'll be glad to put you on the list to receive your copy of the columns via e-mail. They should also be on the web at www.trailjournals.com.

Monday, April 29, 2002


Flash Paddle: Bay Minette Basin
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: put in at Buzbee's on Highway 225, north of Spanish Fort, at the foot of the bridge
Contact: Lisa h: 471-2050 cell: 689-3934
Comments: Bring snacks and beverages. The launch fee is $3. We will probably paddle up into the Basin, but be on time at Buzbee's and/or RSVP with Lisa in case we decide to paddle upstream or elsewhere instead.

Paddle Report: Whiskey Ditch

Bruce and I paddled Whiskey Ditch from the Causeway today. We put in at about 1 p.m., as the tide was nearing high. As Bob reported during the last meeting, vegetation choked the Ditch at several points, but the water was high enough for us to get over the clogs without too much difficulty. We made it all the way to the lake, paddling over three clogs, one after the other, at about the midpoint of the Ditch, and then a fourth clog just as we entered the lake.

We also paddled over a couple of large-ish alligators -- much to the surprise of all concerned.

The blue flag and spider lilies are blooming abundantly. Unfortunately, the alligator weed is also abundant, and that is what's choking the Ditch.

Sunday, April 28, 2002

National River Clean-Up is scheduled for May 18, 2002. Click here for information about the Weeks Bay Watershed Project's clean-up of the Fish and Magnolia River areas. You are encouraged to register early. Registration is free, and your help is needed.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Bob Haskins, the Coordinator of "Keep Mobile Beautiful," wrote us a couple of weeks ago that he had discovered a small tributary of Three Mile Creek that is jam-packed with trash and debris from stormwater runoff. He is looking for volunteers with skiffs, small row boats, canoes, etc., to help with the cleanup. He has projected Saturday, May 11 as the cleanup day, starting about 8:00 a.m. or earlier and ending around noon with a picnic lunch. There will be plenty of drinks and snacks during the day.

This will be an exciting project that will make an immediate impact. Other local organizations will participate, and Bob hopes to have several dozen boats there, to make light work for everyone. Media coverage is also expected.

Bob's phone number is 208-6026.
E-mail to haskins@ci.mobile.al.us

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

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.

Thursday, April 18, 2002


Flash Paddle: Styx River
Date: Friday, April 19
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Place: Meet at the intersection of Highway 90 and Highway 59, in the parking lot on the east side of the road
Contact: Frank Laraway, 945-5504
Comments: We will put in at the steel bridge at 11:30 a.m. and paddle until about 4:00 p.m. Bring lunch. If you have a choice of boats, you might prefer to bring your shorter one, but long boats will be fine, too.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002


I see that our April Calendar of Events has "scrolled off" the main web page, so, for your convenience of reference, I have reposted below the information for the remaining paddles this month. None of these are new paddles; they have all been posted before.

April 17 and 24, Wednesdays: Bob's Surprise Paddles
Bob will plan these trips for maximum enjoyment of the spring wildflowers. One of these trips will be to Boiling Creek. You need a current recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base to paddle Boiling Creek. The information on how to get such a permit is re-printed below, for your convenience of reference.

April 19-21: Alabama Ornithological Society, 50th Anniversary Celebration
Place: Dauphin Island
Contact: Matt Darring W: 341-1712, H: 343-1196 iama@backpacker.com
Comments: Lectures and events. Matt advises that Dauphin Island during this third weekend in April is one of the TOP TEN migratory birdwatching venues in the entire nation. And there is some fine paddling to be done around the Island while you're birdwatching.

May 1, Wednesday: Sipsey River overnight
Meeting places and times: (1) Highway 287 and I-65 (exit 37) ramp NE of Bay Minette at 9:30 a.m., with additional rendezvous as follows: (2) Evergreen northbound rest stop just past Lenox @ 11:00 a.m. (3) Clanton rest stop above Montgomery on I-65 at 2 p.m. (4) Cullman Exit 308 to Highway 287 filling station east of expressway, north side of road at 3:15 pm.
Contact: Frank Laraway 945-5504
Put-in: Thompson Creek Bridge
Take-out: Road 60 bridge park
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 paddle about 34 miles. 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.

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.)

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.

Fritz' After-Work Flash Paddles
Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, so Fritz will be leading more after-work paddles. Stay tuned to this website for further details.

Regarding our e-mail list:
Our e-mail list is extremely large and keeps Gene on his toes. Lots of e-mails are bouncing back with invalid addresses. If you change e-mail addresses and still want to get the newsletter, please e-mail Gene and tell him what your old address was (so he can delete it) and what your new address will be. If you aren't getting the e-mail newsletter, please re-send your e-mail address to Gene -- the problem could be something as simple as a typo. Contact Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net

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

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.

Monday, April 15, 2002


Paddle Report: Bayfront Park, Daphne, Alabama to Battleship Alabama, Mobile, Alabama on Thursday, April 11, 2002

Larry Mickelsen, "Red Boat" Mickelsen, wanted to go across Mobile Bay. He and I had paddled the length of the bay from Daphne to Fort Morgan last year with Mike Predmore, Jeff Evans and Larry Jr.

We watched for a break in the weather and lucked out that we had a window of opportunity on a day with a neap tide. The neap tide reduced the tidal current flowing across our track.

We met at 6:30 a.m. at Daphne's Bayfront Park. To get there, find the intersection of Highway 98 and North Main Street in Daphne. Go south about 150 feet to Bayfront Drive which passes behind the old Delchamps store. Head west to the the water and park. This is the place where we started our trip to Fort Morgan last year. It is a good put in with a soft beach and a gradual dropoff. A birding trail sign showed pictures of the types of birds to look for in the area. Another sign showed a green square and text saying the bacteria level [in the water] was safe. Yancey Branch empties into the bay less than 100 yards south of the put in, making a nice sand headland which gives some shelter from waves moving up the bay.

We had foggy conditions initially, but as we put our boats and equipment on the beach, the fog lifted to become low clouds instead. Visibility was about one mile. By 7:10 a.m. we were paddling southwest for daymarker 16 and deeper water. Without a tide to raise the water, we chose to go southwest into an area that showed deeper water on the Topspot map. The Topspot map has several notes in the margins including one that reads "Note: not to be used for navigation."

From Daymarker 16 we sighted, using a compass, a fixed object on the heading we wanted to travel and paddled to it. Initially we saw vertical PVC pipes and an occasional piling. Later we used the remnants of duck blinds as our reference marks. This method kept us south of the Bayway and out of some shoals marked on the Topspot map (Note: not to be used for navigation). Larry pointed out and identified several kinds of birds along the way for me. I'm still learning to identify the local birds. We saw a small flock of Martins perched on the tips of reeds that made up an old duck blind. We saw various ducks on the water along the way too.

South of the Texaco station on the causeway, we could see Pier 4 and other buildings on the island. We could see Goat Island to the southwest and shortly we saw the outline of the battleship Alabama. A channel runs east-west toward the battleship. If you paddle too far south, the bottom comes up and you run out of water to paddle in. Been there, done that. But if you stay just off the end of the pilings near the Pier 4 restaurant, the water is more than a paddle blade deep.

We paddled up to the battleship, our goal, about 9:30 a.m. For those of you who have paddled completely around the battleship in the past, you can't physically do that anymore. A steel wall surrounds the ship. The wall ties into shore. A work barge was setting concrete on top of the steel wall. Two workers inside the steel wall surrounding the battleship told us the plan was to pump out the water inside the wall and perform repairs to the hull of the battleship. Additionally, the submarine Drum is out of the water with its hull repaired, and it rests behind the Aviation Museum.

We paddled south from the battleship to go see Mobile. We rounded the point of land and entered Choctaw Pass which has many pilings cut off at water level near shore. A passing crabber near the middle of the pass made a boat wake. We were alternately floating above the pilings and dodging them. We paddled into the Mobile River. The current was ripping pretty fast as we tried to cross over to the the west side. We were only making way across the river without advancing any upstream so we went back to Chocktaw Pass and had lunch on the bank.

By 11:30 the wind had shifted from 4 knots out of the northeast to 10 knots out of the southeast. We pushed off the beach into some choppy seas and made a quick exit out into the bay heading north towards the causeway. The seas were generally following seas and pretty comfortable. We traveled in the lee of the Causeway following PVC markers along the north shore of the Causeway into Pass Picada. We stopped for a rest at Jeff Evans' place: Tensaw Point Ecotours. Thanks, Jeff. From there we entered the Apalachee River.

Down the Apalachee we held to the east shore to avoid some of the chop and wind. We saw some spider lilies in bloom. At the I-10, we used the navigable water under the Bayway to paddle home. If you haven't done it, paddle under the Bayway. The optical illusion is fascinating. It looks somewhat like paddling in a concrete cave filled with water. The cylindrical pilings holding up the Bayway block the view of the water ahead, but not to the side. The underside of the roadbed completes the concrete cave effect. Out in the bay, the map indicated shallower water where we needed to go if we did not follow the I-10. From south of the the cove for Meaher Park, we could see the Daphne Bayfront Park, and we angled southeast for the direct line to the take out. Halfway there, the wind died and we had smooth water. We passed a raft of white pelicans near Turtle Pass. We were on the beach at 3:15 p.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2002


Looking for a paddle that's productive as well as fun? And somewhere you've never paddled before? Read on.

Bob Haskins writes us:

I'm Bob Haskins, Coordinator of Keep Mobile Beautiful. A couple of weeks ago I discovered a small tributary of Three Mile Creek that is jam packed with trash and debris from stormwater runoff. I am trying to plan an event that will get it cleaned up. I am asking several entities, including the Coast Guard to help with the cleanup. I plan to host a media event to highlight the problem and put the word out that we need volunteers to help clean it up. I think canoe clubs and individuals with small aluminum skiffs would be just the right folks to help. I would like to have a big Saturday cleanup later in April with a bar-b-que afterwards. We will probably start at 8, work a few hours and eat at 11 or 12. 50 - 100 volunteers will make light work for everyone.

I know you have your plans for the river cleanup in May so this would be an extra fun exercise for you guys. Since you have done cleanups before, you may have a few suggestions for this one. Maybe we could meet and I can show you the area.

Thanks for your interest.
My phone number is 208-6026.
E-mail to haskins@ci.mobile.al.us

---------

I have asked Bob to keep us posted on his plans, so stay tuned to this website for further information, and contact him personally if you want to help. As you can see from the above, Bob would love to hear personally from you folks who have led or participated in river clean-ups in the past. I recall that there is a standard list of tips and instructions for cleaner-upper's -- wear sturdy shoes you don't mind getting wet, bring food and water, etc. Bob needs to know this stuff, so get in touch with him.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

The flash paddle from Bayfront Park to the Battleship ALABAMA (which Bruce previously posted, below) will leave from Bayfront Park at 0630 tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Bruce and Larry say that they will not be "speed demons" so if you are late you should be able to catch up -- just head west. They plan to go on the south side of the Causeway unless the weather is sloppy (which it is not expected to be). This should be a easy paddle.

A personal note on the significance of this paddle: Larry and Bruce have already paddled the LENGTH of the Bay, from the Causeway to Fort Morgan. With this paddle, they will have paddled the WIDTH of the Bay as well! Cool!

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

NEWS RELEASE
Register now National River Cleanup Week 2002, scheduled for May 18, 2002.

Registration is free and groups that register their cleanups with National River Cleanup Week receive free official National River Cleanup Week trash bags.

From the inception of National River Cleanup Week in 1992, diverse groups have come together each year to scour the shorelines of their local waterways. Government agencies, paddle sports enthusiasts, outfitters, businesses, civic and conservation groups take part in the event. A variety of events occur as part of many of the community cleanups. Cookouts, canoe trips, raft trips, storm drain stenciling, and bank restoration are just a sampling.

An estimated 50,000 participants gathered trash and debris along 350 sites in forty-five states covering 8000 miles of waterways, during the tenth annual National River Cleanup Week, May 12-19, 2001. One of the largest groups, with an estimated 2000 volunteers taking part, The Friends of the Chicago River volunteered cleaning numerous sites in and around Chicago during its annual "River Rescue" on May 12. Other large groups included Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), the Peace River Cleanup Committee, Florida, and the Christina River Watershed Cleanup, Delaware. Cleanups range in size from five or ten volunteers to groups numbering in the thousands.

America Outdoors, a trade association of outfitters and guides is the founder and sponsor of National River Cleanup Week. The Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service have provided agency support. American Rivers, American Canoe Association, American Whitewater, and Professional Paddlesports Association are also supporters of National River Cleanup Week.

We would like to encourage everyone to participate. This year the cleanup will be held at LuLu's on Weeksbay at Hwy 98 Fish River bridge. We will again be giving away great prizes, such as the Old Town Kayak we gave away last year. Also new this year, we will make a minimum donation of $100.00 to the winning team's choice of school PTO, FEEF, or environmental charitable organizations. We will have a special guest musician appearing after the cleanup at 12 noon. Lunch will be provided by Weeks Bay Volunteers. Registration will start at 8:30 am at LuLu's in the parking lot. Krispy Kreme donuts will be provided to registrants. Mark your calendar Saturday May 18th, 2002!

For more information visit the National Web Site at http://www.americaoutdoors.org/nrcw/ or register early by Contacting Frank Leatherbury , Weeks Bay Watershed Project, FrankL2@weeksbay.com or cell phone 251-709-0109 or Local Web Site http://www.weeksbay.com

Help us spread the word ! Please feel free to copy and distribute this release.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Flash Paddle

Bayfront Park, Daphne to the Battleship ALABAMA
Thursday April 11, 2002 Contact : Bruce 625-2156 bzboater@earthlink.net

Monday, April 08, 2002

General Invitation

Lisa, Bob and some other club members are getting together tonight at Ed's Seafood Shed on the Causeway at 7:00 p.m. It's "Mullet Monday" and Bob's birthday. You're invited.

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

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.

Sunday, April 07, 2002


Paddle Report: Hollingers Creek

Four paddlers Frank, the trip leader, Chuck, Dean and Bruce showed up for this trip Friday April 5th about 11 a.m. We had three kayaks and a solo canoe. We met at Loves fuel stop at I-10 and Highway 59 north of Loxley, Alabama. From Loves we drove a short distance east to a T intersection and turned left (north) onto a two lane road. We drove a little past the Town of Loxley water tower where the road bends a little to the left. As we came out of this turn we took a right onto Truck Road 17 heading generally east. I took a late reading on the odometer after we left Loves so my distance measurement has a little uncertainty to it.

After the pavement ends on Truck Road 17 we were on a wide graded road. In spite of the recent rains the road was dusty, but firm, and we crossed just two places where water was flowing across the road. Passing over these rivulets was not difficult even for my little Saturn. Along the way we passed over 4 one lane bridges, two wooden tracks for the tires and wooden cross ties to support them. One of these bridges crosses the upper Styx River which is narrow deep and fast flowing.

We stopped at the fifth bridge which crosses Hollingers Creek. My rough odometer reading shows about 10 miles from Loves' to this bridge. We offloaded boats onto the upstream side of the bridge where there is a sand bank about 10 feet wide and 30-40 feet long. Soft sand above the bank provides easy footing for the carry down to the water. We were in the water about noon.

The plan was to paddle upstream from here. The current is quite variable in this creek. At the put in the creek is 15-20 feet wide and not quite a paddle blade deep. The flow is slow to moderate. We headed upstream through mixed forest. Trees were blooming, Titi I think. The air temperature was in the high 60's and the water was about the same temperature. The north wind made the tall trees sway quite a bit but we were deep in the forest and sheltered by the high banks of the creek.

We paddled through a few turns in the creek and beached the boats upstream of the first rock outcrop about 20 minutes after putting in. Frank led us on foot up the right (eastern) bank to the bluff 30 feet above the creek. The ground was level up there and we walked upstream a couple hundred feet following the edge of the bluff. The edge of the bluff is undercut so stay back. We passed two gullies with dramatic views below and stopped at the third gully which gave us a view of a pretty rock ledge in the clear, slightly green, water. We could clearly see rocks in the deeper portions of the creek. Frank pointed out the ironstone formations in the area and gave us a natural history talk.

We returned to the boats the way we came and continued our paddle upstream. We encountered low rock ledges along the way that made small waterfalls. The biggest drop was less than two feet and most of the drops were less than a foot high. We paddled over several of these drops, but in some places the creek narrowed which made the currrent too strong to paddle against. At these drops and four logjams we had to get out of the boats and walk it over the obstruction.

About 2:30 we stopped for lunch on the left (west) bank which was a white sand slope from the water's edge to the crest of the bank. At 3 we continued on for another half an hour. The creek becomes noticeably smaller from here. We passed a tributary with not much flow - it may have been manmade drainage. The rocks are behind us and the obstructions now are clay bumps in the bottom which soemtimes make a notch in the creek a little wider than a boat. No one got stuck in these narrows, but there was not room for boat and paddle in one of them. We beached on a gravel bar in shallow low volume flow where two small trees blocked the way. The trees were not a serious obstruction; we could have pulled over them more easily than any of the logjams below us. But the sun was getting near the tree line and the air was cooling. We stopped to look around and skip some rocks across the water. We started downstream looking forward to a fun ride.

The trip upstream took about 3 hours paddling; the trip downstream took 55 minutes. I counted 22 drops and 4 logjams. Nobody tumped over. Running those chutes over the drops was good fun. Remember to accelerate the boat before it gets in the fast current so you can steer for the deeper water in the drop. A short boat is advantageous to thread your way through the rocks, and these rocks will add "character" to a boat's finish.

We were out of the water and driving about 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 06, 2002


Flash Paddle: Savage Creek
Sunday, April 6, 12 noon
E-mail Lisa to find out where we will meet on the Causeway, to go flower- and gator-watching. ersmoore@bellsouth.net

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

Larry Sr. writes us that there is a moving sale at 302 Patlyn in Fairhope today that includes a surfing kayak.

Thursday, April 04, 2002


Kayaks For Sale

David Lucas 251.990.6673

PERCEPTION SHADOW, Length: 16’8", Width: 22", Weight: 58#, Has 2 hatches, adjustable seat back, spray skirt, Bending Branches 2 part wooden touring paddle, rudder, polyethylene, firecracker red, water bottle holder, bow-stern rigging, mint condition. $825. Kristy at Lkeub@aol.com

15' Perception (Carolina) kayak with rudder for sale. 900.00 dollars for boat, pfd, paddle, saddles for car, skirt. Price is negotiable. Contact Dennis at trailer-guy@juno.com
.
17' Sealoution for sale. Contact Dennis at trailer-guy@juno.com.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

APRIL CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 5, Friday: Hollinger Creek
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Meeting place: One block north of I-10 Loxley (Highway 59) Exit off I-10, in filling station parking lot across from the Flying K Truck Stop. Frank will lead us to the put-in at Steelwood Road and Hollinger Creek bridge.
Contact: Frank Laraway, 945-5504
Comments: Hollinger Creek is a shallow, swift-flowing stream with numerous rock outcroppings in the creek, and these same rocks on the high cliffs that border the creek. It is one of the most scenic areas of the county. Bring lunch. Shorter kayaks and canoes are better on this creek than touring kayaks.
Special directions for those coming from Pensacola and other points east: Travel west on I-10 to Wilcox Road exit north and drive north six miles to dirt road on left. Head west on this dirt road three miles to bridge put-in. Rendezvous at about 11:45 there, to paddle upstream.

April 5-7, Friday through Sunday: "La Louisianne" free-style canoeing clinic
Place: Mandeville, Louisiana
Contact: Gary may be able to give you more information about this, 473-1819

April 6-20: Hummingbird Banding on Dauphin Island
Place: check in at the Old Horse Stable at Fort Morgan
Contact: Matt Darring W: 341-1712, H: 343-1196 iama@backpacker.com
Comments: This is your opportunity to participate personally in banding migratory hummingbirds.

April 13, Saturday: Party for the Platforms
Time: Paddling from 1:00 p.m., dinner from 5:00-7:00
Place: Hurricane Landing. Take Highway 225 north from Spanish Fort to the four-way stop, turn left, travel one mile to the fork, turn right, travel to dead end at landing.
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-414; Aven 473-1819
Comments: This is a benefit for the Bartram Canoe Trail platforms in the Delta. The MBCAKC is taking the lead in this fundraiser, and it is important that we have a good turn-out to cover costs and contribute to the Sierra Club's improvements of the platforms that are being built with state-funded grants. There will be easy, guided paddles at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., with boats available for rental if you reserve one in advance. Or, bring your own boat and paddle whenever you want. There is a $3 launch fee. We have reserved the Bream Club for a potluck. Red beans and rice will be served for a $10 donation, and you are also asked to bring "potluck." Aven can advise as to what side dishes, snacks, etc., you can contribute if you are undecided. Please RSVP.

April 17 and 24, Wednesdays: Bob's Surprise Paddles
Bob will plan these trips for maximum enjoyment of the spring wildflowers. One of these trips will be to Boiling Creek. You need a current recreational permit for Eglin Air Force Base to paddle Boiling Creek. The information on how to get such a permit is re-printed below, for your convenience of reference.

April 19-21: Alabama Ornithological Society, 50th Anniversary Celebration
Place: Dauphin Island
Contact: Matt Darring W: 341-1712, H: 343-1196 iama@backpacker.com
Comments: Lectures and events. Matt advises that Dauphin Island during this third weekend in April is one of the TOP TEN migratory birdwatching venues in the entire nation. And there is some fine paddling to be done around the Island while you're birdwatching.

May 1, Wednesday: Sipsey River overnight
Meeting places and times: (1) Highway 287 and I-65 (exit 37) ramp NE of Bay Minette at 9:30 a.m., with additional rendezvous as follows: (2) Evergreen northbound rest stop just past Lenox @ 11:00 a.m. (3) Clanton rest stop above Montgomery on I-65 at 2 p.m. (4) Cullman Exit 308 to Highway 287 filling station east of expressway, north side of road at 3:15 pm.
Contact: Frank Laraway 945-5504
Put-in: Thompson Creek Bridge
Take-out: Road 60 bridge park
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 paddle about 34 miles. 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.

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.)

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.

Fritz' After-Work Flash Paddles
Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, so Fritz will be leading more after-work paddles. Stay tuned to this website for further details.

Regarding our e-mail list:
Our e-mail list is extremely large and keeps Gene on his toes. Lots of e-mails are bouncing back with invalid addresses. If you change e-mail addresses and still want to get the newsletter, please e-mail Gene and tell him what your old address was (so he can delete it) and what your new address will be. If you aren't getting the e-mail newsletter, please re-send your e-mail address to Gene -- the problem could be something as simple as a typo. Contact Gene at boothecg@bellsouth.net

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

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.