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.

Friday, February 28, 2003

Kayaks for sale:

Jonathan Kaufman has a Necky Zoar Sport and a Wilderness Systems CapeHorn 17. The Necky is red, and the Wilderness Systems is yellow. They both have rudders and sealed hatches, and the CapeHorn has a third small hatch behind the cockpit (a "day hatch"). He needs to sell one, or both. He is asking $800 for the Necky, and $1200 for the Wilderness Systems, paddle included. Jonathan says the boats are in great shape, and have not been used very much at all. Jonathan can be reached by e-mail at, or at 251-747-0365.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I have just received the following from an ADECA staff member, asking for our input:

I am currently working with the Recreational Programs Division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. We are revising the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and we would like to include some of the issues that Canoers face in Alabama. Specifically the issue of minimum daily releases from some dams during times of drought . Or really any major issue that your organization feels should be addressed. While not all issues may be addressed we are working to include all forms of outdoor recreation in this plan and we hope to be able to address your needs, too.

If at all possible please send your issues as soon as possible, the deadline is the end of the month to have this section completed. I hope to hear from you soon.

Jessica Dent
ADECA, Recreational Planner
(334) 353-0288
Fax. (334) 242-3381

Friday, February 21, 2003

Carl Haywood writes us:

I have a 2001 Perception Corona for sale. The boat is 14' 8" in length x 22.5" wide. It has two hatches and a rudder. Color is yellow. The boat is in good shape and will make someone a good boat. I need to sell it so I can buy more materials to build myself another boat. (I love my wooden boat.) The price is $925.00. I checked online and the asking price used is around $950 plus shipping. The boat was $1295.00 new.

I can be reached by email at or by phone at 251-471-2050, cell 251-689-3935
Click here to read a very entertaining report by George Borne on his recent exploration of the I.P.Cooling Water Canal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Paddle Announcement: Maple Creek
Date: Sunday, February 23
Time: 12 noon
Place: put in at the ramp near the Texaco station on the Causeway (which is near the exit ramp off the I-10 Bayway)
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: The red maples are a harbinger of spring, and they are blooming early this year. The bud and new leaves make a brilliant red display, and there is a particular little creek (aptly called "Maple Creek" or "Maple Slough") up in the Delta where there is a particularly large and beautiful stand of red maples. It's hard to judge some years when they are going to peak, but this weekend looks very promising for both a maple-foliage display and for weather, so Bob wants to give it a try.

This is an long paddle, but easy to moderate depending on the wind. We will have to paddle across some open water, and that can be challenging in the wind, but if it is calm, it will be a piece of cake. Expect to be back at the take-out by 5 p.m. Call Bob for further details, and to let him know if you're coming.


Mark Your Calendars: Grand Opening of Pensacola Kayak and Sails
Date: Saturday, March 15
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Place: Pensacola Kayak and Sails, on Bayou Chico, Pensacola, Florida (driving directions will be forthcoming soon; stay tuned to this website)
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144
Comments: This is club member Tony Chavers' new store in Pensacola. We all know Tony as the owner of Fairhope Boat, and which serves as the phone contact for club information, and where information about our club and its activities are posted on the store's bulletin boards. Tony has a new business in Pensacola now, and this will be its grand opening. There will be representatives from and demonstrations by several kayak manufacturers. An ACA instructor will conduct a free class for beginners. You will need to register in advance for this class by calling Bob. (It's free, but Bob needs to know in advance how many students there will be so he knows how many classes of how many students he will need to arrange.)

General Information:

1. Our monthly meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Anybody and everybody is welcome to attend. There is no charge. The typical meeting lasts two hours. We start with a review of the previous month’s paddles, continue with plans for and announcements of paddles for the next month, and end with a presentation. Presentations may include slide shows of past paddling trips by club members, member reviews of paddling gear, and safety and skills presentations.

2. If you e-mail a request to, Julie will put you on the club’s e-mail list. You will receive a monthly newsletter, which includes a calendar of events, and e-mail notices of “flash paddles” i.e., club paddles that are planned and announced on short notice. (If you used to be on Gene’s e-mail list for the club and are wondering why you suddenly stopped receiving club e-mails, it’s because Gene’s e-mail list suddenly died. You need to “re-subscribe” by e-mailing Julie, if you want to get on the new e-mail list for the club.)

3. We are a group of people who enjoy paddling and sharing our experiences with others. We are not a formal organization. There are no dues, no application forms, no membership lists. All you have to do to "join" our "club" is show up at a paddle, come to a meeting, or just decide you're a member.

4. Our intention is for safety to always be the first priority. It is up to each individual to decide for him/herself whether the paddling conditions for each event are within their enjoyment and skill range. Everyone must be responsible for their decision whether 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.)

5. You should always contact the trip coordinator for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to attend. If they don’t know you are coming, trip leaders cannot contact you with changes in plans or cancellations, and you may find yourself waiting alone in a parking lot while the rest of us are off having fun somewhere else.

6. 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 would like to subscribe to the club e-mail list, or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this website, please e-mail Julie at

Clickhere to go to the website of the West Florida Canoe Club.

Click here to go to the website for the Bartram Canoe Trail.

Click here to go to the MBCAKC’s archive of “trip reports” on past paddles. This website ranges from the informative to the poetic, and sometimes includes links to maps. You are encouraged to submit trip reports of whatever genre, as well as your favorite links.


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.
Matt Darring is doing a terrific job organizing our participation in the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program, and he is calling for MORE PARTICIPANTS with the following message to all club members:

Derelict Crab Trap Removal, March 15, 2003

The MBCAKC is going to help out with the crab trap clean up next month. What they need us to do is to help the people in the power boats. We will work as satellites going into the shallower waters that power boats can't get into. We'll attach lines to the traps, and bring the lines back to the power boats, which will then haul them in.

How this is going to work is that you email or call me to tell me that you want to volunteer. You can help out in a kayak/canoe as noted before, or on shore at the dumpster, or on a power boat. When you contact me just tell me which of the sites you would like to work at. The sites are as follows: Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fowl River, Dog River, Texaco on the causeway, Meaher State Park, Fairhope Yacht Club, Weeks Bay, Oyster Bay, Ft. Morgan, Little Lagoon, and Wolf Bay. Our help is needed at all the clean up sites.

I am compiling a list for each site. I will give the names and contact info of all the volunteers to the organization that is heading each clean up site. I will also let you know how to get to the exact dumpster sites, and the names of other volunteers I know who are working that site.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and Alabama Marine Resources Department are very impressed with our enthusiasm to help. Let's show them how awesome we really are. I already have several volunteers, and I would love to get many more. I have contacted (or going to contact) other clubs including the Sierra Club, Sea Scouts, Mobile Bay Watch, Alabama School of Math and Sciences,and the environmental clubs at both Universities. If anybody has any suggestions about other groups I should ask to help, please let me know. If you have any other questions about the clean up, email me at, or call me at 343-1196(h) 341-1712(w).

Matt Darring

Monday, February 17, 2003

Click here to read a report by Matt on yesterday's paddle from French's Lake up Majors Creek.

We had some folks from the Sierra Club with us on this paddle, who are planning a paddle in a different direction from the French's Lake put-in, to be led by Jeff Gauldin and a colleague of his from DCNR. You may remember that Jeff did a presentation at one of our recent club meetings about the DCNR's work on the Bartram Canoe Trail. If you'd like to have Jeff as your tour guide on the trail he helped create, here's your chance to do so with our friends at the Sierra Club. Here are the details:

March 8, 2003, Saturday: A Day Paddle on the William Bartram Canoe Trail in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
Jeff Jordan and Keith Gauldin, naturalist, both of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Lands Division, will be taking us on a beautiful day trip along the canoe trail. We put in and take out at French's Lake at 9:00a, returning by 3:00p approx. Pack a lunch with beverage. Canoe rentals will be available. To reserve a boat, call early, but no later than February 28, and for directions, call Lou 626-4012. $2 fee per person will be donated to the fund to improve the trail network.

(Editor's note: Very clear, written directions to the French's Lake put-in can also be found at the end of Aven's trip report on the "Dedication of the Bartram Canoe Trail" on our separate website for paddle reports:

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Carl Hlavenka writes us:

I had a fabulous trip to the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades 2 weeks ago. We spent 4 nights on the gulf and 3 nights on the 'inside' of the Glades. We saw tons of dolphins and gators. The mangrove trees were surreal. We had several beautiful sunrise paddles to catch the tide. The bugs weren't too bad. Having deserted islands for beach camping was nice!

My friend took some digital pictures and put them on a website. To view John Hoyt's (my friend's name) pictures at Shutterfly, simply click on

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Jet Ski Alert

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is being petitioned to open its waters to personal water craft (jet skis). The Superintendent of the park is taking comments via e-mail and snail mail until the end of February. They will then decide if they should allow PWC's with restrictions, without restrictions, or maintain the ban.

The American Canoe Association is asking us to send comments to the Superintendent urging him not to change the present ban. The Superintendent's e-mail address is Snail mail: Superintendent, National Park Service, Gulf Island National Seashore, Att: PWC Scoping Comments, 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.

This is a national issue, so please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think might be interested in supporting the ban.


A word of caution about clearing deadfall, from our friend and club member Tom Fink, who is an expert on aquatic insect life:

Just a quick note and comment about logjams (deadfalls, etc.). Please let paddlers know that a moderate amount of logjams are very beneficial for aquatic insects and fish in our streams. Logjams are especially important in the southeast where floating logs are the ecological equivalent of rocks. Many species of mayflies, stoneflies, megalopterans, dipterans, and other aquatic insects and crustaceans really need these logs for habitat ("homes"). Often in our southeastern streams many aquatic insects are limited by hard material to hang onto and to feed off of. Think of our rivers prior to stream side houses and zillions of boats. Logjams were much much much much much more common than now!!!!! Therefore populations of aquatic insects are certainly impacted compared to historical levels.

These insects of course are important as fish food. Also the logjams provide cover and shade for fish.

So when you start chainsawing in a river, do it with moderation. Leave the logjams by the side of the river where they are not in the way of boat traffic. Try to leave in place the large logs which have lots of surface area, pits, and are decaying. These old logs are especially good aquatic insect habitat. Leaving as many logjams as possible will reward you with a more ecologically healthy, interesting, and dynamic river. In some "sterilized" (all logjams removed, or riparian land cleared) rivers "planting" logjams would be beneficial.


When I e-mailed our thanks back to Tom for this useful and timely information, I noted that when we've "cleared" deadfall before, we have cut a gap in a fallen log near the bank just wide enough for kayaks and canoes, and not wide enough for power boats. :-) We thought we were being selfish, but it sounds from Tom's e-mail like we were actually doing the right thing for the river itself!

We are lucky to have so many people in our club who know so much about so many different aspects of our area waters.

Monday, February 10, 2003

!!!!!!!!!!!!!PADDLE CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matt Darring changed the date of his paddle to French's Lake, as described in the calendar below, from February 23 to February 16.


Technical difficulties: My ISP has decided apparently decided that it doesn't like the February newsletter, and refuses to e-mail it to anybody or to give me a reason why it refuses to send it to anybody. All other e-mail is going fine; it's just the newsletter that's disappearing into cyberspace. I hope to spend some quality time on the phone with my ISP's tech support and solve the problem as soon as possible. (If you have, in fact, received one or both of my two efforts to e-mail the newsletter, please let me (Julie) know at So far, nobody I have talked to has received it.)

Now you see, this is why we have a website AND e-mail -- and why you should read this web page often! Whenever one form of telecommunications goes on the fritz (no offense, Fritz), we can generally count on the other one.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Check it out:
The West Florida Canoe Club's new web page is on line at

Wednesday, February 05, 2003


Safety note: There will be a bass tournament this weekend. If you are planning to paddle this weekend, be careful and avoid the high-speed bass boats.

February 8, Saturday: Choctaw Point Tour
Contact: Gene 928-1107
Comments: Monroe Park used to the end of the trolley line and the beginning of an entertainment area like none other. Set on the coast of Mobile Bay, it would make the perfect area for recreation, but the State Docks wants to turn it into a container facility. The local Sierra Club has made keeping Monroe Park one of their main issues over the last several months. Now the State Docks is offering a tour of this area, as well as Choctaw Point, and it's a great opportunity to not only view this endangered piece of greenlands property, but to also have a chance at talking to those involved in the fight over it.

The visitation dates are Thursday, January 30, 2003 and Saturday, February 8, 2003. The tours will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The tour will assemble at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of the International Trade Center, located at 250 N Water Street; parking is available in the Trade Center's parking lot. Reservations are required; contact Mary Mullins at or 433-3993 (ext 201) to reserve your space. Mary has also said that if spots fill up too quickly, they will make more tours so everyone can go.

The Sierra Club has chosen to visit on the 30th; the Community Earthians are planning a tour on the 8th. Gene will go out on February 8; call him if you would like to join him.

February 11, Tuesday: Planning Meeting for Derelict Crab Trap Removal
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: NEP offices
Contact: Matt h) 343-1196 w) 341-1712
This is the planning meeting for the derelict crab trap removal project that will take place on March 15. Matt Darring has kindly volunteered to take a leadership role in this project, but he is not sure he will be able to attend this planning meeting on February 11. I'm sure he would appreciate hearing from anybody who would be willing to attend with him or instead of him, so give him a call if you can help.

February 20, Thursday: Roll, Rescue, and Skills Practice
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Place: Homestead Village
Contact: Bob Andrews 344-8664
Comments: Bob Andrews and Jeff Breit will teach you to roll, or any other paddling skills you ask them to teach you. These guys are experts, and they donate their time and skills to the club for free. The fine folks at Homestead Village charge us for the use of their heated pool, though (and it's very much worth the nominal cost, because the Homestead pool is a very comfortable place to practice skills). How much each participant in the class pays depends on how many people participate.

If you are new to kayaking, you should come and at least watch this skills class, even if you do not want to roll. Anybody who paddles a kayak should know how to do a "wet exit" (which is a technical term for falling out of your boat) (without hurting yourself), and get back into it at sea (without hurting yourself). Even better (and actually easier, with practice), you should know how to roll. If you are an experienced paddler, then I don't have to explain to you what a good opportunity this is to practice, learn, and share skills. So come watch or come play -- either way, you will pay a minimal fee, and you will learn a LOT.

If you don't have a rollable boat, rollable kayaks will be available for you to borrow during the class.

Please pre-register by calling Bob. Bring or wear clothes to get wet in (changing rooms will be available). We will have to clean our boats before we get in the pool. Dirty boats make the pool dirty and make our club unwelcome by our hosts at this ideal pool.

February 22, Saturday: Causeway Texaco to Little Bateau
Depart Time: 12:00 Noon (In water & beginning the paddle)
Return Time: Plan to get back around 4:00 -6:00 p.m.
Launch Site: Public Boat ramps East of the Texaco Station on the North side of the Causeway
Launch Site Coordinates: North 30° 40.766 West 87° 59.537
Take-Out Site: Same as Launch Site.
Launch Site Facilities: NO restrooms. Nearby Texaco Station has snacks & drinks available.
Launch Fee: Free
Trip Distance: Approximately 11-12 miles round trip with several options to make it longer or shorter depending on the mood of the group and the average paddle speed.
Trip Route: Launch by the triple boat ramps on the north side of the Causeway, East of the Texaco Station. Cross Chacaloochee Bay, go up Conway Creek, branch off north to Little Bateau. Exit Little Bateau, back out to Conway, North on Conway to the Tensaw River. Down the Tensaw and back to the Launch Site. There are options.
Recommended Paddler Level:Can you paddle comfortably for 4-5 hours with a break or two? May not be for beginners.
Food/Snacks: No picnic planned. Bring your own fluids & snacks to meet your energy needs.
Gear: Usual safety equipment, such as life jacket, paddle float, spray skirt, pump, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
Conditions: Call to see if there are last minute route changes due to poor weather conditions. Sunset will be at approximately 5:46 p.m. High Tide will be at approximately 4:31 p.m.
Caution(s): Open Chacaloochee Bay and can get choppy during strong winds. As we travel down the Tensaw River, we will be flowing with the current, but due to the wide open waters, it too can get choppy in strong winds. Bring a spray skirt just in case! Note for the sun sensitive: there is very little shade available on this trip.
Highlights: Freedom of paddling across open waters. See the Mobile Skyline in the distance, along with the Battleship. Paddle by the real goat island. Perhaps see a colorful sunset not long after the paddle ends.
Post-Trip Rendezvous: Original Oyster House or Eds Seafood Shack
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact Numbers: w) (251) 666-2766 cell: (251) 455-4699

February 23, Sunday: French's Lake
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: meet at the Conoco station, at the Stockon exit off I-65 and Matt will lead us to the put-in
Contact: Matt h) 343-1196 w) 341-1712
Comments: This was the dedication site for the Bartram Canoe Trail, and some very nice things were said about it at the meeting last night. This will be an exploratory paddle (which is another way of saying Matt doesn't have a clear idea yet of exactly where we're going).


March 15, Saturday: Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program
Contact: Matt h) 343-1196 w) 341-1712
Comments: Leslie Hartman and Lee Yokel gave a much-appreciated presentation at our meeting last night about this project. The Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD) and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program are joined again to clean Alabama coastal waters. On Saturday, March 15, 2003 all crab traps within 500 yards of the shoreline will be considered marine litter and can be removed and disposed of by volunteers in dumpsters provided by Mobile Bay NEP. Taking of a crab trap at any other time or location can be considered theft of property unless authorized by the Alabama Marine Resources Division. Many of the traps are in water too shallow for powerboats to reach. However, canoes and kayaks would be able to reach these traps in shallow water. The most efficient crew would be a team of one boat and several canoes or kayaks to pick up these traps in a designated area.

Matt Darring has kindly volunteered to coordinate the MBCAKC's participation in this project. If you would like to participate call or e-mail Matt at the numbers listed above, and for further information, see

March 29, Saturday: Jane's BYOC Party
Yes, Jane will be throwing another one of her wonderful parties at her house on Magnolia River. BYOC means "Bring Your Own Chainsaw," because we will be cleaning up some deadfall at the top of the Magnolia River, near Jane's house. This is going to require a mix of paddlers, waders, chainsawers, and a power boat. So even if you don't have your own chainsaw, just bring your willingness to get wet and help. It'll be fun, and the food will be good (as always). (And stay tuned to this web page for the scheduling of a clean-up of the Fish River headwaters near Frank Laraway's.)

The next club meeting will be on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Regular meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.


There will be a delay in e-mailing this club calendar out to individual members this month.