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Disclaimer: This site provides general information & links on topics of paddling. Paddlesports can pose serious risks of damage to personal property & serious bodily injury including permanent disability & death. Anyone participanting in any MBCKC event or participating in any event mentioned on this website does so at their own risk and agrees to hold MBCKC harmless from any liability as a result of such participation or use of information contained herein.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Flash Paddle: Full Moon in the Delta
Date: Saturday, August 28, 2004
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Put in a Buzbee's Fish Camp, on Highway 225 north of Spanish Fort, under the southeast end of the the bridge over Bay Minette Creek
Contact: Bob Andrews 344-8664, cell: 367-4144
Special equipment: In addition to the usual PFD and drinking water, each boat is required by law to carry a single white light, but please don't turn them on unless Bob tells us to (white light ruins night vision)
Skill level: Beginner, with a slow to moderate pace
Duration: five miles round trip; we expect to be back at the take-out by 9 or 9:30
Comments: We will probably paddle out to the Delta via Yancey Creek and Gamewarden's Cut. Bring some food and/or drink to share as we raft up to enjoy the sunset and full moon rise. You don't have to call Bob to tell him you're coming; he will not cancel unless the weather is bad at the very moment we are standing in the parking lot by the put-in. If Bob is detained by business, Matt Darring will lead the paddle. This paddle will be so easy that even I (Julie) am thinking of joining in, despite the back injury that has kept me out of my boat for several months now. I will definitely be slower than you, no matter how slow you are!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Canoe for Sale
15' Michicraft, in excellent shape, with paddles, motormount, and a 1 1/2 hp Johnson motor. Asking $350. Call Paul Bernhard at 251-988-8024.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Flash Paddle: Overnight on Jug Lake Platform
Date: Saturday-Sunday, August 21-22, 2004
Time: put in at 8:00 am Saturday morning
Place: put in at Rice Creek Landing, spend the night on the Jug Lake Platform
Contact: Tom Mayer, 680-4445,
First Come First Serve: 3 people have committed to go. Although the platform limit is 8, Tom wants to limit paddlers to 6 until we see how crowded it will be once everyone spreads their stuff out. That means there are 3 more slots. First come, first serve.
Special equipment: Bring your own food and plenty of hydration. Insect repellant, sleeping cover (at least netting), dry clothes are probably minimal requirements to maintain a good attitude. Tom says grouches could get voted off the island, uhh platform.
Comments: Be the first one on our block to use one of the Bartram Canoe Trail platforms in the Delta. Tom Meyer has reserved the Jug (Fisher) Lake Platform for Saturday night, August 21, 2004. We plan to put in at Rice Creek Landing at 8:00 a.m. Saturday. We'll follow the Rice Creek-Briar Lake-Larry Island-Jessamine Bayou-Jug (Fisher) Lake route to the platform. We should be there by mid-morning. We plan to go on through to the Indian Mounds, walk in and eat lunch there. We'll have the afternoon to do-da pretty much anywhere within a few miles that we want. Getting back to the platform by say 5 p.m., or before, gives us plenty of time to settle in and do supper.
Tom writes us: The weather gods have decreed rain but I went out back, drew a circle in the dirt, burned some chicken feathers, and howled at the moon so we should be okay, even if it's a little wet. Hey! It keeps the mosquitoes down:) Part of what draws us to such a place is taking it on it's own terms, is it not? Anyway, it's a covered platform. I would be prepared to sleep behind netting. Return to the landing offers many options that will give us something to talk about Saturday night. This will be a leisurely lazy paddle where we intend to poke and snoop, mosey and meander, and just generally soak up one of the classic delta experiences. As a bonus, we get to tell the story about being the first ones to overnight on the platforms (legally).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Welcome to your new blog format. I'm not saying it's an improvement, but I had to make at least some changes because of some new blogger/blogspot/google features, and I've tried to make it as user-friendly as possible.

The good news is that, theoretically, you can now use the bar at the top of the page to search within this weblog's archives! If it works, that would be great! If not, at least we appear to have got rid of the banner ads.
We have received the following information from the state:

Interim Use Guidance
Bartram Canoe Trail
Prepared for Members of
The Mobile Bay Canoe & Kayak Club
The Mobile Chapter of the Sierra Club

This period of interim use is being provided to members of the two local organizations who originally worked to co-sponsor the effort to develop a platform-based camping system associated with the Bartram Canoe Trail. This trail-use period is being provided free of charge, and is intended to facilitate a review of the platforms and the Bartram Canoe Trail webpage, such that any problematic aspects of their design and management can be worked out prior to opening the system for public use.

Interim Period of Use: August 20, 2004 to September 13, 2004

To reserve platforms for this trail-use period, contact Chris Smith by e-mail, or call 1-800-LAND-ALA and ask for Chris Smith.

Individuals making the reservations should be prepared to provide the following information: 1) date of use; 2) number in party; 3) platform to be used; 4) point of contact for information.

All parties making reservations during this interim period should be sure to provide a point of contact so that Lands Division staff can confirm their reservation.

Once the platforms are open for public use in mid-September, all reservations will be processed through the online web-based system.


Editor's note: We are further advised that there is a limit of eight persons per platform and that, after this free interim-use period by our clubs, there will be a charge of $20 per platform.
Bruce Zimmerman has written a trip report for us on last weekend's paddle to Heron Bayou. Read it at our separate website for trip reports,

I have also updated the index to trip reports.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Update on Heron Bayou: The meeting time for Juli Day's Sunday paddle has been changed from 8:00 a.m. to noon due to changes in the wind forecast.

We have also overheard some controversy about the commonly-accepted name for the destination of the paddle, which we understand to be intended for the body of water that straddles the Alabama/Mississippi State line. While we have heretofore announced this paddle as going to "Herron Bay," the NSGS maps call the water in this area "Grand Bay" and "Middle Bay," which apparently includes a small area called "Bayou Heron." (In point of fact, there are at least two "Grand Bays," at least one "Heron Bay," and at least one "Heron Bayou" between Mississippi and Florida.)

Whatever. We're going to Mississippi (not Florida) and the paddle starts at noon, not at 8 a.m., and we're going to somewhere Juli has been before but you haven't, so you need to go.

Here is the latest trip information:

Date: Sunday August 15th
Time: noon
Meet: Hwy 90 just south of I-10 Franklin Creek exit at Mississippi St line
Contact: Juli Day, 479-8368,
Directions: Go west on I-10 to the Mississippi state line which is just past our welcome center on the left and a truck scales on the left. Take the Franklin Creek exit (if you reach the Mississippi State welcome center you have passed it) and head south toward Hwy 90. Cross Hwy 90 and you will see Juli and her kayak. We will head toward one of the most pristine areas of our coast. This trip was inspired by Juli's trip this past weekend with Bill Finch. They did some hiking inland on the savanah and visited several beautiful areas out in the bay via boat.

Bring: The regular stuff, hat, sun screen (plenty of sun, very little shade), water, bug spray (one area does have yellow flies), snack, etc.
Chuck Holtz writes us:
I am leaving work now to go home and get my kayak to go back Buzbee's, hopefully to leave around 5 this afternoon. All I can say about where I'll go from there is that it will be on the water in my boat. We just don't have this kind of weather in August, and I hate to pass it up on a Friday afternoon. My cell is 610-8928.

Here are the updated details on the paddle Juli is leading in Herron Bay this weekend:

Place: Herron Bay

Date: Sunday August 15th

Time: noon

Meet: Hwy 90 just south of I-10 Franklin Creek exit at Mississippi state line

Contact: Juli Day, 479-8368,

Directions: Go west on I-10 to the Mississippi state line which is just past our welcome center on the left and a truck scales on the left. Take the Franklin Creek exit (if you reach the Mississippi State welcome center you have passed it) and head south toward Hwy 90. Cross Hwy 90 and you will see me and my kayak. We will head toward one of the most prestine areas of our coast. This trip was inspired by Juli Day's trip this past weekend with Bill Finch. They did some hiking inland on the savanah and visited several beautiful areas out in the bay via boat.

Bring: The regular stuff, hat, sun screen (plenty of sun, very little shade), water, bug spray (one area does have yellow flies), snack, etc.

Kayaks for Sale
Seda Dealer David McNeese of Lillian,, is moving to Colorado and has a lot of kevlar and fiberglass touring kayaks he needs to sell quickly. Some are new others paddled 1 or 2 times. They are Seda brand and come with the warranty. He also has paddles and PDFs for sale. You may be able to get a good deal. Contact at 251 961-7573,

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Gary Worob has written a trip report on the recent trip he led down Juniper Creek. You can read it at our separate website for trip reports,

Thanks to Gary, we are now paddling with some members of the Emerald Coast Paddlers club. I have added a link to their website,, to the club FAQs on our website. Check it out -- there's a lot of paddling going on over in Fort Walton.
Dr. Mimi Fearn writes us:
If you all are not committed already to a Coastal Cleanup site, we would welcome any of your members who can bring their canoes/kayaks to Dog River on September 18. The Dog River site is at Luscher (Navco) Park. The cleanup starts at 8 and lasts until noon. Dog River Clearwater Revival hosts a picnic starting around 11:00 for all volunteers. So join us! It's dirtier than the Dog Paddle, but fun in that you get to interact with lots of kindred spirits who care about our waterways. Phone: 251-460-7573 Email:

Monday, August 09, 2004

A note from your webmistress: I am receiving a lot of e-mails from old and new members and have fallen a little behind on responding to such e-mails and updating the club websites. Stay tuned -- I'll get to you soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Juniper Creek Paddle and Spa
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2004
Time: 9:30 a.m. at the put - in, ready to shuttle
Place: Munson, Florida just north of Milton
Contact: Gary Worob, 850-259-9337

Directions: From Daphne, take I-10 east to the first exit past Pensacola/EscambiaBay (after the bridge over the bay). This is Rt. 181/Avalon Blvd (first Milton exit) go north a few miles to U.S. Highway 90, go east/right a couple of miles to town and Rt. 87 north in Milton (stay in left lane) go left / north about a mile or so until Rt. 191 north (there is a gas station/subway at this corner) go right at 191/87 and proceed about 15 miles until you see a canoe sign at small bridge. This is the put-in. Drive in dirt road on right, and go a few hundred yards. Gary will try to leave his white van out on road and may be standing there to direct.

Comments: Gary Worob writes us:
It is important that you unload your boat and stuff immediately and prepare for shuttle.

Bring swimming clothes, lunch and lots of fluids. Cell phones generally don't work at the put-in, but mine is 850-259-9337. I will be camping at the put-in the night before.

This is one of the laziest and most beautiful creeks in the area that I know of. The water is crystal clear and has white sandy bottom with lots of white sandy beaches along the way. The trip is ten miles and very easy, with lots of stops for swimming and places to gather "spa clay" along the banks to smear yourself and bake those city blues away and then jump in thewater to be "renewed." While the trip is not long, I have never done it in less than 4-1/2 hours since there is so much good swimming to do and beaches to stop and snack at. So shared lunch is a good idea. This is one you won't forget if you love paddling.

Juniper Creek is not one of the tubing creeks. We may be the only boats on the water that day. Very rarely have I seen any other boats at the same time.

Dinner afterwards at local restaurant.

Some of us will camp in the area and may do a "screaming" bike ride on a designated trail for bikes only at Bear Lake in Munson. It is 6 miles of beautiful trail and lots of fun. There are great hiking only trails here also and lots to see if you don't want to bike. This is part of the extensive Blackwater Forest area above Milton, Florida, and only about an hour and 15 minutes from Daphne.

Note from Bruce: the State of Florida posts a simple map of the river area online at:

Heron Bay
Date: August 15, 2004
Time: TBD
Contact: Juli Day,
Place: Heron Bay, Mississippi
Comments: Sunday's Mobile Register had a front page article addressing the proposed oil drilling in this nature preserve on the Alabama side of the state line. Juli is leading a trip to enjoy this place before it is changed by the drilling rigs.


Tom Mayer writes us:
After hearing of Brent's unusual experience with a gator at the meeting, there seemed to be a lot of interest and concern on just what the risks of harm from gator encounters are. I told the group to watch out for the following article. I wrote it several years ago so the statistics are a bit stale. Nevertheless, it gives a bit more objective perspective and may help sooth some jangled nerves.

Summer’s here and it’s hot! To cool off, many of us are drawn to the water’s edge. Swimming, fishing, skiing, and just hanging out can be a reason to be around one of our area’s many aquatic settings. For quite few of the legions of sub-tour, super-par hackers, even golf can be a reason to get their feet wet. Most will never even consider that they have entered the realm of an ancient dragon, a truly primal and dangerous predator.

However, just let the word alligator pop up in a conversation and most would be quick to offer what they "know", or have heard, or seen, or feel, yet few would be able to contribute more than rumor, myth and rampant imagination. So lets take a look at the risk to our health and well being posed by this formidable beast. Lets see if the beast really lives up to the reputation we are so quick to give it. Lets see if the risk lies with the beast or ourselves.

Believe it or not, it was a couple of scientists from Utah State University who have taken the closest look at alligator attacks on humans in the United States. In 1997, Michael Conover and Tami Dubow published an article in the journal Herpetological Review which examined, in detail, the recorded history of gators gobbling humans in the U.S. The results will probably surprise you.

Since 1948, there have been a total of 236 recorded attacks of a human by an alligator, 218 in Florida. Of that total, 234 happened since 1972! Only 8 attacks were fatal, 7 were in Florida. Can this information be right? After all, by all accounts, the gator population has exploded since 1970. At the same time, concurrent explosions in waterfront residential development, water recreation, and the human population of the gators’ home territory must certainly have resulted in a veritable "all you can eat" buffet of tasty people nuggets.

It’s pretty well certain that, if you’ve gotten close to, or in fresh water in the South, you’ve given a gator a chance to chomp you. Now, how many times has this happened for the last 30 years? Probably millions -- no, make that hundreds of millions -- more likely a billion or so. Only 236 attacks? A measly 8 fatalities out of over a thousand million chances to chomp? What kind of fearsome beast is that?

Of course, if you are the one getting chomped, the odds of it happening and the fearsomeness of the monster take on a whole new meaning. But lets look at our side of the attack. Conover and Dubow listed a brief description of the human’s activity prior to the attack. here are just a few of them: "feeding alligator," "wading, kicked alligator," " forcing alligator from shore," "moving alligator from utility room," "picked up alligator in yard," "walked up to alligator on road," and "jumped on alligator in water." Now, I ask you, should the gator get the blame for the attack when the human’s activity is described as feeding, kicking, moving, picking up, walking up to, and jumping on the gator? My favorite tidbits (yes, actual tidbits) from this article are the 24 golfers attacked trying to retrieve golf balls.

All jokes aside, it’s obvious that we put ourselves at risk when it comes to getting chomped by gators. The alligator is no doubt a formidable predator, capable of inflicting great harm, even death. But they are shy, fleeing at the approach of humans. They will only lose this shyness with deliberate encouragement from humans. In the vast majority of "attacks," the human has gone out of his or her way to aggravate the situation.

So leave the poor ferocious dragon beasts alone and they’ll likely leave you alone. Your health and well being will be the better for it!


Editor's note:
For what it's worth, in the years I (Julie) have been paddling with this club, I have observed that all new paddlers are afraid of alligators, and no experienced paddlers are afraid of alligators. We respect them, yes, but we aren't any more "afraid" of them than we are of wasps, snakes, meteors, or any other rare hazard to be avoided.

The more time you spend around gators, the more you respect, admire, and enjoy them. I have seen hundreds of gators while paddling and have never had a problem with one. I have accidentally tapped a small alligator with my paddle and startled it. It went away -- end of story. I have never paddled over a gator, like Brint did, but it has happened to a lot of us, and it certainly sounds like a thrill, but then they go away -- end of story.

I can generally tell if a gator has been fed by (stupid) humans, because it is more likely to approach me. I paddle away from the gator -- end of story.

Never poke at alligators with your paddle, or otherwise harass alligators.

Never, never, never feed alligators.

Steer clear of alligators, and they will steer clear of you.


Thanks to Cathy Barnette, Alabama Coastal Foundation executive director, for her presentation at our meeting last night. Alabama Coastal Foundation and local volunteers make possible the Alabama Coastwatch to monitor water quality at public swiming areas. The results show up in the Friday weather page of the Mobile Register. With other volunteers they do habitat restoration along the shores, with cypress tree planting and other work such as the Mon Luis Island Restoration in a five-acre marsh. Their Living Reef project has the goal of restoring oyster reefs with oyster shells from local restaurants and harvesters. Through an Eagle Scout project they establish nesting platforms for osprey and eagles in the Fowl River area. They educate and recognize outstanding performance in our youth. They hold Amnesty Day to provide communities a safe way to dispose of household hazardous waste with local collections set up in various communities in lower Alabama. Well done!