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.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Jane Agee has canceled the party and river clean-up previously scheduled for this Saturday (tomorrow).

Carl Hlavenka is postponing his overnight trip to Horn Island, previously scheduled for this weeked. The reason: winds are forecast. He'll try again next weekend, April 5-6, so if you're interested, get in touch with him at 604-7268 or chlavenka@hotmail.com.

Everything else on our schedule remains the same -- Boiling Creek with Bob on Sunday, and the meeting Tuesday night.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

There has been so much paddling activity to report on the Club's website that the March Calendar of Events has scrolled off the main webpage and into the archives. If that doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry about it :-) but it is my reason for reminding you that the following paddle was previously announced and is still scheduled for this weekend:

March 30, Sunday: Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w)344-8664 cell)367-4144
Comments: This is a club favorite. Boiling Creek is in Eglin Air Force Base near Milton, Florida, and you will need a current, valid recreational permit from Eglin AFB to paddle with us there. Information on how to obtain such a permit is always posted on the MBCAKC web page under "Frequently Asked Questions" ("FAQs").

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MEETING REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The next meeting of the Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak Club will be on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club at 7:00 p.m. Regular meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

I have not yet heard what the program for this month's meeting will be (after the usual paddle reports and trip-planning), but I'm sure it will be great and I'll post on this website if I hear anything further.

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Click here to read a paddle report by Matt Darring on his recent, exciting exploration of the area around French's Lake up in the Delta. It sounds like the creeks were running backwards that day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Carl Hlavenka writes us with two announcements:

First, Carl is going to the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston, SC April 11-13. If anyone else is interested in tagging along let him know. He plans to leave in the afternoon the Thursday before and return late the Monday night after. He will stay in north Georgia Thursday and Sunday night. Further information about this event can be found at http://www.ccprc.com/kayak03.html. If you are interested, get in touch with Carl at 604-7268, e-mail chlavenka@hotmail.com.

Second, Carl is planning on a kayak trip to Horn Island this weekend. He will leave early Saturday morning and return Sunday evening. This trip depends on last minute decisions on wind and weather. Confident paddlers are welcome. If you would like to join Carl or have any questions, contact him at 604-7268 or chlavenka@hotmail.com.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Flash Paddle: Whiskey Ditch
Date: TODAY, Friday, March 21
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: Meet and put-in at Tensaw Eco Tours on the Causeway to paddle Whiskey Ditch and back
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w) 344-8664 cell)367-4144
Comments: Bob expects the flowers will be in bloom. Easy, short paddle, and a club favorite.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

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 jrobber@worldnet.att.net, 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 and links:

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 jrobber@worldnet.att.net.

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 the website for the U.S. Geological Survey, where you can download free maps.

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.

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How to Get a Permit to Paddle 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 a photograph, your full name, current address (including zip code), current phone number, and date of birth. Specify the type of permit (recreational) desired. (As an alternative to a photo-i.d., you can send last year’s permit, if you have one.) 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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Flash Paddle on the Styx River
Frank Laraway (251) 945-5504 will lead a paddle on the lower Styx River March 20. Meet at the blinking light on US 90 in Robertsdale about 1 mile east of Highway 59, at the fuel station on the southeast corner. Follow Frank to the put in. Bring lunch.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

We have received still more helpful information from Jay Mengel of the Pascagoula River Alliance, who presented the program at the March meeting. He writes us as follows:

The following website shows the current river stage at Merrill: http://ms.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=02479000

As a rule of thumb:

Below 12" within two days at Merrill, anyone can canoe or kayak. The lower it gets the easier. Too low and you can't easily get into the bottomlands, but at any stage you can at least portage into the oxbows.

12' - 17' - Took my wife, who had never kayaked, and she had no trouble.

17'+ - I think I would pass and wait for lower water. I was on the river when it was at 24' , 80,000 cfs, and really moving. I think it would be fun for experienced kayakers.

If you are interested I could help you put together a trip over this way. There is a great B&B that could put you up for around $75/night/room and would provide transportation to and from the river for you and your kayaks. Let me know and I'll help you get it set up.

Jay Mengel
Cap'n Jay
weebegon@bellsouth.net

Thursday, March 13, 2003

To learn more about efforts to save the old "Monroe Park" site (a historically and ecologically significant green space on the Mobile waterfront) from development as an industrial container facility, check out http://www.fammed.usouthal.edu/Garrow%20show_files/frame.htm. This is a PowerPoint presentation that has been uploaded to the Web by the Committee to Save Historic Monroe Park. It takes forever to download if, like me, all you have is a modem, but it is worth the wait. And I imagine that those of you with faster "broadband" access will find it even more worthwhile to take a look at it.

Thanks to Allen Perkins, of the Committee to Save Historic Monroe Park, for sending me the link to this slideshow. He can be e-mailed at djuzan@earthlink.net if you would like further information.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

As you already know, the Grand Opening of Pensacola Kayak and Sail is next Saturday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Bayou Chico, 3009 Barrancas Avenue, Pensacola, Florida. I have just received the driving directions from Fairhope and Mobile from Bob, as follows:

Take Interstate 10 east to Interstate 110 south. Take the Cervantes exist, and turn right (west) on Cervantes. Travel 1/2 mile on Cervantes to "A" Street. Turn left on "A" the right on Garden Street. Bear left at the next light (Barrancas). Go over the bridge. Take the first left after the bridge, then left at the stop sign. Follow the road to the dead end. The store is on the right, at the marina.

For further information, contact Bob Andrews h/w: 344-8664; cell: 367-4144. As previously announced, 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.)

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Lionel Epp has a Wilderness Systems "Riot" for sale. He says the boat is one year old and is in like new condition. Asking price is $350.00. His phone number is (251) 981-4376, e-mail gulfbay2@gulftel.com

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Further information about the shelter that the Nantahala Hiking Club plans to build in memory of Ann McDuff on the Appalachian Trail can be found at http://www.aldha.org/annlean2.htm. As you can see from that webpage, the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association is also planning a memorial service for Ann in Damascus, Virginia, on May 18, 2003.
Flash Paddle: Arlington Point
Lisa Haywood will lead a flash paddle on Sunday, March 9 at 1:00. It will be an exploratory trip to Arlington Point. Arlington Point is on the west shore of upper Mobile Bay. Our objective is to enjoy 3-4 hours of paddling and to explore the former park's architectural artifacts from demolished historical buildings of Mobile. Anyone interested should contact Lisa at ersmoore@bellsouth.net or at 689-3934.
Click on www.paddlereport.blogspot.com to read a trip report by George Borne on his paddle to Pelican and Sand Islands.
Tom Fink writes us:

I got a nice reply from Jay Mengel who answered my reply on his rates. This info. would be good to post on the website if anyone wanted to have their kayaks transported to the barrier islands, including maybe even the Chandeleur Islands (one of my favorite places). I am sure Jan Mengel would be pleased to have his rates posted for potential future business.

And the enclosed e-mail from Jay Mengel reads as follows:

For day trips out to the islands, I simply charge by the hour. Since there is no difference in cost for one or several people, my $75/hour fee, spread out between several folks makes for a relatively inexpensive trip.

For drop-off and pick-up for folks who wish to stay a while or even camp for a while, the cost is $90/person with a $270 minimum.

I have taken a group of birders to the Chandeleurs. The trip out took about 4 hours as did the trip back. We spent several hours exploring the islands and went south far enough to see the black mangroves. These folks paid by the hour.

We would have to look at the kayaks to determine how many I could take out. The kayaks we have been using are short (12') and can all be tied onto the deck of the boat. Your longer sea kayaks my take some interesting engineering to figure out how to transport them on my 23' boat and still carry the kayakers. Maybe they would tow. We'd have to look at it. I'm sure we can figure out a way.
--(end e-mail from Jay Mengel)--

(As you know, Jay Mengel did a great presentation on the Pascagoula River Alliance and paddling opportunities in south Mississippi at our club meeting last Tuesday. His e-mail address is weebegon@bellsouth.net.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Sierra Club's Saturday Paddle Rescheduled

Larry Brough of the Mobile Bay Sierra Club writes us:
The Sierra Club paddle on the Bartram Trail, previously scheduled for March 8, has been cancelled due to high water. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 26. In the meantime, those who missed Keith Gauldin's presentation at a recent Canoe and Kayak Club meeting can catch him at the next Sierra Club meeting on March 18, at 7 pm at the Botanical Gardens. All are, of course, welcome.

Larry Brough
Chair, Mobile Bay Sierra Club

MARCH CALENDAR OF EVENTS

March 6, Thursday: Meaher Park to Bay Minette Basin
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: meet at the public boat ramp under the bridge near the entrance to Meaher Park on the Causeway
Contact: Carl Haywood cell: 689-3935 erscarl@bellsouth.net
Comments: Paddle upriver from the causeway to Bay Minette Basin and back. Level of difficulty will depend on conditions, in that the rivers are high right now and some of this paddle will be in open (or at least big) water. Call Carl on his cell phone if you plan to come and/or for further information.

March 15, Saturday: Grand Opening of Pensacola Kayak and Sails
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 MBCAKC member Tony Chavers' new store in Pensacola. We all know Tony as the owner of Fairhope Boat, 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.)

March 15, Saturday: Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program
Contact: Matt h) 343-1196 w) 341-1712 iama@backpacker.com
Comments: Leslie Hartman and Lee Yokel gave a much-appreciated presentation at our meeting last month 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 http://www.mobilebaynep.com. The best time to reach Matt is during business hours at his work number (Spoke N Trail).

March 22, Saturday: Fowl River Marina to Bellingrath Gardens
Depart Time: 12:00 Noon.
Return Time: Plan to get back around 2:00 -3:00 p.m.
Launch Site: Fowl River Marina which is on the NE side of Fowl River Bridge, about 1-1/4 miles south of Bayley's Restaurant on Dauphin Island Parkway (Hwy 163) and about 8.5 miles south of the Dog River bridge over Dauphin Island Parkway.
Launch Site Coordinates: North 30 degrees 26.69' West 88 degrees 6.85'
Take-Out Site: Same as Launch Site.
Launch Site Facilities: Fowl River Marina Restaurant with rest rooms.
Launch Fee: Usually free for kayakers even though there are launch fees. Bring a few dollars just to be on the safe side.
Trip Distance: Approximately 4 miles round trip.
Trip Route: We go southwest from the Fowl River Marina, down East Fowl River and around the corner to Bellingrath Gardens.
Trip Speed: Slow and leisurely paddle.
Recommended Paddler Level: Beginners will like the slow speed and short distance of this paddle.
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: Lightning storm cancels or delays paddle due to lack of tree cover. Call Rob to get the last minute conditions. Strong windy conditions could turn this short leisurely paddle into a challenging one. High tide will be approx 1:50 pm.
Caution(s): We will start out in a marina area and then paddle on Fowl River - less than a mile from the entrance to the Mobile Bay. Big boats are rarely a problem, but they do represent a potential hazard. Watch for their wakes.
Highlights: See Bellingrath Gardens from Fowl River. Depending on what is in bloom, this can be a colorful paddle. You can also see the House and Grotto from the river.
Post-Trip Rendezvous: Fowl River Marina Restaurant
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact Numbers: work (251) 666-2766 cell: (251) 455-4699

March 25, Tuesday: French's Lake Paddle Part 2
Time: 12:00 noon
Contact: Matt Darring, 343-1196(h) 341-1712(w) or iama@backpacker.com
Meeting place: at the Conoco at I-65 and Hwy 225 in Stockton, which is exit 31, then we will drive to the launch at French's Lake
Comments: Last month we paddled French's Lake going east. This month we'll go in the other direction, and see what's happening down there. This is a beautiful area to paddle. The location and the pace should be amicable to people beginners and up. Bring your camera.

March 29, Saturday: Jane's Party to Clear Magnolia River
Contact: Jane Agee, 251-965-7154
Yes, Jane will be throwing another one of her wonderful parties at her house on Magnolia River. 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, workers, and a power boat. Bring your willingness to get wet, help, and to party after we've made a path through the deadfall. It'll be fun, and the food will be good (as always). Click on http://baykayaker.blogspot.com/2003_02_09_baykayaker_archive.html#88918625 to read an explanation by Tom Fink of how to clear deadfall while causing a minimum of harm to aquatic life.

March 30, Sunday: Boiling Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews h/w)344-8664 cell)367-4144
Comments: This is a club favorite. Boiling Creek is in Eglin Air Force Base near Milton, Florida, and you will need a current, valid recreational permit from Eglin AFB to paddle with us there. Information on how to obtain such a permit appears at the end of this calendar of events, and is always posted on the MBCAKC web page under "Frequently Asked Questions" ("FAQs").

And already scheduled for April: 2-3 days on the Okatoma River
Date: Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6
Contact: Mark 458-7574
Comments: This trip will include some beginner whitewater. Mark proposes to camp one or two nights at the Okatoma Outdoor Post in Mississippi, which offers cheap campsites with few amenities, and do day trips of varying lengths from there. You can join Mark's group for day trips, without staying overnight, if you get there early in the morning.

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The next club meeting will be on April 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Regular meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.
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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Construction and dedication of shelter on Appalachian Trail in memory of Ann McDuff
You can imagine how pleased and happy we were when Larry McDuff told us after the club meeting last night that the Appalachian Trail Conference will build a shelter in memory of his wife, Ann. The shelter will be located north of Wayah Bald and south of the Nantahela Outdoor Center, near the junction of the Bartram and Appalachian Trails. Because the Ann McDuff Shelter will also be near a highway, through-hikers will not be the only ones who enjoy it; it can also be enjoyed by families on local day- or overnight-trips. If you would like to contribute to the construction of this shelter, contributions should be sent to the Appalachian Trail Conference, Post Office Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807. Please make your check payable to the "Appalachian Trail Conference" and BE SURE to write on your check that it is "for shelter to be built in memory of Ann McDuff."

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Thanks to Jay Mengel of the Pascagoula River Alliance for his presentation at last night's club meeting. To join the Pascagoula River Alliance (for free), please e-mail your name, e-mail address, phone number, and snail-mail address to Jay at weebegon@bellsouth.net. Jay's phone number is 228-497-5084, and his cell phone is 228-369-0901. Remember, Jay also offers tours of the bayous and Horn Island, can arrange shuttles, knows local outfitters and bed-and-breakfast owners, and is glad to share his knowledge and contacts to encourage our "eco-tourism" in the Pascagoula River area.

We, as a club, have a lot to look foward to, as we explore some of the areas Jay talked about last night.

In related news: the Pascagoula River in Mississippi is also the subject of an article in this month's Canoe & Kayak Magazine. At the same time, this month's issue of Sea Kayaker has an article on Appalachicola Bay and the St. Vincent's Preserve in Florida. Here we are, right in between two beautiful paddling destinations, with comparable, though perhaps (and fortunately?) less publicized, destinations in our own backyards here in Alabama.

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How to Obtain a Permit to Paddle 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.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

!!!!!!!!!!MEETING REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Our speaker for the March meeting will be Jay Mengel of the Pascagoula River Alliance. (Mr. Mengel also has a tour business and will deliver kayakers and their boats to Horn Island for an overnight stay, among other things.)

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It has been pointed out to me that the weather forecast for Mardi Gras Day looks good and that "somebody should organize something," e.g., presumably, a PADDLE!!! Stay tuned to this website . . . .