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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Tom Fink invites us on a flash paddle at Bayou La Batre, as follows:

1. Led by Tom Fink on Monday July 5, 2004.
2. Meet at 8 AM at Bayou La Batre. We will meet at the mouth of the Bayou La Batre (in the town of Bayou la Batre, further references refer to the water Bayou!) in the sand parking lot uphill and across the street from the paved boat ramp. We will load from the Mississippi Sound side and not at the paved boat ramp. There is a small park on the Miss. Sound side that no longer has bathrooms!
3. Paddle facts:
1. We will run a shuttle first, leaving most cars at the Bayou.
2. One mile crossing to Isle aux Herbes (Coffee Island).
3. Paddle south 3.2 miles down Isle aux Herbes, stopping briefly at middle to fish and walk around. We will stop at southern most point at the “sand beach” and look at birds.
4. Less than 2 mile crossing east to Marsh Island.
5. Continue east to Cat Island. The crossing here is only 0.5 miles. Look at nesting birds. We must all stay together and walk mostly in water to avoid disturbing birds.
6. Leave Cat Island and proceed east, with one-mile crossing, to Barton Point.
7. Barton Point to Heron Bay cutoff and out. Will involve some slogging through mud and reeds.
8. Complete shuttle.
4. Length of paddle: About 12 miles, more of course if we go crooked!
5. Duration of paddle: This will take a good day.
6. Difficulty of paddle: Intermediate based on distance, and perhaps potential wind and waves. However this is a fairly protected locale, but be prepared for stiff winds and small waves.
7. Boats: You should have a sea kayak and be capable of say 2.5-3 miles an hour (leisurely but steady pace).
8. Equipment: You must have a working skirt and life jacket (and wear it unless the water is like glass). You should have about a gallon of water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, poncho or rain coat (for our almost daily thunder showers), food, no impact bathroom stuff (pack out toilet paper in a ziplock bag), spare paddle, paddle float (or be able to roll reliably, or stay with a buddy for assisted rescues), pump (or good sponge, or bailer). If the water is rough all should secure skirt at or near shore. You might want to bring insect repellent, but insects will probably not be a problem during the day.
9. Purpose of paddle: Sightseeing, slight fishing, bird watching, exercise by default not by design (i.e. we are not preparing for the Phat Race!).
10. Money: Bring $5.00 in case we are diverted to Cedar Point Pier area and need to use their boat ramp. The cost is probably less, and we should not have to use it, but heck I live in Louisiana and things might have changed here.
11. How to get there: Most of you will be coming from the east. Head south to Dauphin Island on Route 193 and make a right (west) on Route 188 at Alabama Port. You will cross over Fish River, cross over Coden Bayou (lots of cool Shrimp boats). Once over the Coden Bayou make a left on Railroad Street, then left on Shell Belt Road (going south to Miss. Sound), bear right west on Shell Belt Road proceeding along the water. Take Shell Belt Road to the Bayou la Batre and make a left at the intersection and stay on Shell Belt Road (now heading south again, the Bayou is directly across from the intersection, you can’t miss it, lots of big Shrimp Boats). Follow road to end make a right on State Docks road (just follow road it will take you right to the ramp on the Bayou). If you mess up and stay on route 188 just watch for Alba elementary school on the left, then watch for Shell Belt Road on the left, immediately before the huge lift bridge on the Bayou la Batre in the middle of the town of Bayou la Batre. Make a left on Shell Belt Road and follow it all the way to the boat ramp. It is a cool drive with lots of pretty shrimp boats and fishing life scenery. Also lots of boat building. A really cool drive.
12. How to contact me: Saturday and Sunday I will be in Chickasaw, Alabama (10 miles north of Mobile) at 251-457-0325 or tomjfink@comcast.net. I should be leaving Monday morning about 5 to 6 am to eat breakfast and then arrive early at the Bayou. Note:I will only see the e-mail starting Saturday late in the day.
!!!!!!!!!MEETING REMINDER!!!!!!!!!
The next meeting of the Mobile Bay Canoe & Kayak Club will be on Tuesday, July 6, at 7:00 p.m., at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Meeting are held on the first Tuesday of each month, same time, same place.

I am sending this meeting reminder a few days early this month to give you time to prepare for our First Annual Mobile Bay Canoe & Kayak Club Swap Meet.

Gather all of that old or new unused paddling equipment and bring it with you to the July meeting, which will be held at the Gazebo at the Fairhope Yacht Club. Maybe you have that special treasure that someone else is looking for. After the usual club business, we will have our first annual swap meet!! If possible, email Fritz Ingraham at phritz@bellsouth.net to give him an idea of how much gear space we will need and what you are planning to bring!!

Keith Gauldin will also be at the meeting to tell us about the locations of the new platforms in the Delta.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Susan Kinsey writes us:
I am new to kayaking and would love to be involved with the July 4th festivities. I do not have my own boat, just today got enough information to decide on the type I wanted(thanks to the very patient folks at Fairhope Boat). I would like to participate this weekend. If there is someone with an empty seat on a tandem, I am available. I do make fabulous cole slaw and a killer chocolate cheesecake if that helps. I keep tabs on how you guys love to eat. Just e-mail me at sdkinsey@bellsouth.net
Thanks,
Susan

Flash Paddle: Mobile River Paddle
(Training paddle for the PHAT Mississippi River Race Paddle)

Date: Saturday, July 3, 2004
Time: 2:00 pm (In water and beginning paddle)
Launch: Exxon Station (Old Texaco Station) on the Causeway
Distance: 18 Miles
Level: Experienced Speed Kayakers.
Pace: Fast (4-5 mph) (We should be back about 6:30-7:00 pm.)
Route: Up Spanish River, down Mobile River, and back up Spanish River by the Battleship.
Caution: On this paddle, you will experience strong Mobile River current (2-3 mph) which will add to your speed going down river, and on the last mile or two, you will be punished by having to fight the grueling Tensaw/Spanish River current upstream to get back. We'll be going under Cochran Bridge and by the State Docks, Convention Center, Cooper Park. There will be big ships, barges, and tug boat traffic to contend with - they have the right-of-way. Paddlers MUST stay at least 100 yards away from Naval vessels (paddle on other side of the river of Naval Ships) due to security issues.
Mandatory gear requirements: Life Vest, Paddle Float, Pump, Spray Skirt and Light. It will likely be hot - bring plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact: (251) 460-4646 (daytime)
rob.nykvist@mobilepe.com

Monday, June 28, 2004

Flash Paddle: Post Fireworks Paddle
Date: Sunday, July 4th, 2004
Launch: Already in the water near the Fairhope Pier.
Time: After the fireworks. If the bay waters are not choppy, as the main paddle group returns back to the Fairhope Yacht Club, I will lead a 2-3 hour night time paddle in the other direction - from the Pier to Point Clear and then back to FYC. I do this every year to avoid the traffic hassles while enjoying flickering lights dancing on the waters and seeing more fireworks set off by shore residents.
Distance: About 9 miles.
Pace: Slow leisurely pace.
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact: (251) 460-4646 (daytime)
rob.nykvist@mobilepe.com

Gene Boothe has sent us the following reminder of his
Glorious 4th Fireworks Paddle:


Activity: 1. Paddle to the Fairhope Municipal Pier at dusk on July 4th. 2. Listen to the Baldwin Pop Orchestra as we approach the pier. 3. Beach on the sandbar on the east side of the marina on the pier. 4. Eat potluck off the boats. 5. Watch the fireworks overhead. (The Mobile fireworks at the battleship and Daphne’s are also visible from location.) The display is absolutely awesome from this location. 6. Finally, paddle back to the yacht club (lights on) just off the end of the piers along the shore – where powerboats do not seem to travel at night. This has been one of the most heavily attended events for the club in the past and I look forward to a wonderful time this year.

Time of fireworks: According to the Eastern Shore web site, both the fireworks and the Baldwin County Pops Independence Day Concert begin at 7:30.

Put-In (and take-out): Fairhope Yacht Club

Departure Time: begin paddle to the Fairhope Municipal Pier at approximately 6:00 p.m. Come earlier and play on the beach or in the water with the family and friends. This is a family event. You can depart when you want. Late is OK. However, for the fun of it, it is spectacular for a large number of boats to start together, from the end of the yacht club pier. The signal will be a wave of a paddle. This is no race, just a start and then a leisurely paddle.

Food & Drinks: Bring something for yourself and extra to share if you desire. In the past, this event has turned into a buffet. Plan A is to eat off the boats on the sandbar, if there is enough of one to use. The tide will be falling from a high tide at 12:47, so I expect it to be ok. If not, we can eat at the Yacht Club. If it is the sandbar, Bob will have his war canoe again which can be used as a table. Use discretion with beverages on the sandbar, as alcohol is not allowed on either the beach or pier (which we will not be on). There is no one to coordinate the food, so this will be potluck. Extra line or an anchor may be useful, especially if there are a large number of boats.

Special Concerns: Make sure and take all Coast Guard required safety equipment, including a safety light. The weather is unpredictable at this time of the year. Storms, high winds, rain, and waves are always a possibility. Each boater must decide for themselves whether or not to participate. The water should be about waist high on adults for most of the paddle and anyone should be able to wade ashore if desired from any point on the paddle. The return paddle will be at night with a very large number of powerboats in the area. However, I have never encountered a powerboat in the shallow water just off the beach on the route of the return paddle we will take on this event. Everyone should turn at least one light on during the return paddle. Everyone should watch out for the very young or elderly in their party, as there are expected to be too many people for me to effectively watch out for at night and also since people tend to depart on their own.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Request for volunteers:
To all: Able-bodied volunteers are need on Wednesday, June 30 for an ongoing wetlands-restoration project at Weeks Bay Reserve. The area was burned and partially dozed this Spring to help knock out non-native invasive plant species (popcorn trees, Chinese privet, Japanese climbing fern). Manual labor is now needed to continue with eradication of destructive non-native vegetation. If you can help, please email me at au90grad@hotmail.com or Eric Brunden, project coordinator, at
ebrunden@dcnr.state.al.us Thanks, Allison Thompson-Graves

[Editor's note: May I suggest that we wear our club t-shirts and/or caps as we help with this important community effort? We want wonderful organizations like the Weeks Bay Reserve to know that the MBCAKC appreciates and supports their work.]

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Former ardent paddler would like to fill empty seat in a double kayak. I became severely ill last year from Lyme Disease and rarely get on the water any more due to the continuation of my illness. I dearly miss kayaking and my kayak friends. If anyone has an open seat on an organized club paddle, I would love to fill it. I probably will not be able to contribute much to the paddle effort, but I will bring good food. If you would not mind a front seat guest on an early evening paddle, please e-mail Lisa Moore Haywood at ersmoore@bellsouth.net.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

We have received a thank you note:
We'd like to thank the Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak Club for supporting the 2004 Grandman Triathlon! The kayakers were immensely helpful in preserving the safety of our triathletes and keeping them on course. Thanks again for your support!

Erika and Jeff Pollock
Race Directors

[Editor's Note: This year's Triathlon t-shirts were very cool -- as usual! The MBCAKC is proud to support the Grandman Triathlon (and to wear their cool shirts :-) ]

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Kayak Wanted
Claire English would like to find a used Jocassee by Perception. english4@datasync.com

Monday, June 21, 2004

Flash Paddle: Conway Creek Paddle
Date: Sunday, June 27, 2004
Time: 8:00 am
Launch: Texaco on the Causeway
Distance: 10-12 Miles
Level: For kayakers looking to work on their speed and paddling techniques for upcoming kayak races.
Pace: Fast (3-5 mph), with breaks so no one gets left behind.
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact: (251) 460-4646 (daytime)
rob.nykvist@mobilepe.com
_____________________________

Kayak Race Announcement
Date: Saturday June 26, 2004, 1:00 PM
Where: Mississippi State Games, Meridian, MS, Bonita Lakes (upper lake).
Info: Races begin at 1:00 pm. Events include an olympic 500 meter sprint, a
long course and a short course race. There is a $25 entry fee for 1 event, $35 for 2 events and you get a T-shirt.
Who: Recreation and novice paddlers especially welcome.
Note: Even though the web page says you must be a resident of Mississippi to
participate, the kayaking event coordinator said, "Any one from any where can join us."
http://www.stategamesofms.org

______________________________

Don't forget DRCR's 3rd Annual "Dog Paddle" features kayak, canoe, and
rowboat races for the serious and non-serious paddler.
http://www.usouthal.edu/geography/fearn/DogPad04.html

______________________________

Kayak for Sale
Randy Bullock writes us:I have a Wilderness Systems Alamax for sale, a sit-in. You have to be able to roll this boat, which is not hard once you learn. It is designed for waves and has fins in the back. It is in excellent condition and comes with everything you need. Spray skirt, paddle, really nice paddling life jacket. $400.00. The boat is a lot of fun, I just don't have time to enjoy it.

I also have Yakima roof racks in excellent condition to carry any kayak for $300.00.

I can be contacted at 850-429-2008.
Gary Worob has written us some trip reports about his recent exploits in the Delta and on Boiling Creek. He also proposes a Juniper Creek paddle and a bicycling expedition. Read all about it at our separate website for trip reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

________________________________________
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 less than 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 your ISP does not deliver club e-mails (due to ISP “spam filters” or whatever), that’s between you and your ISP – there is nothing we can do about it.

3. We regularly post “want ads” for individuals seeking and selling used boats. E-mail a description of the boat desired or for sale (type, make, model, length, weight, age, condition, accessories included, etc.) to Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net and she will post your “want ad” to the website and e-mail it to the club membership in the next regular club e-mailing. We get a lot of inquiries about where to buy a used boat – the answer is that if we know about a used boat for sale, we post it on the website. If it’s not posted, we don’t know about it.

4. Apart from “want ads” from individuals, we don’t advertise. We mention a few businesses in these FAQs because those businesses actively support our club, are owned by and employ club members, and/or are the only local sources we know about for particular paddling products. The banner ads at the top of the club’s web pages are generated by our free web host, “blogger.”

5. People frequently ask “where is a good place to paddle?” The answer is “just about anywhere.” The best single source of print information about put-ins and paddling trips in this area is this club’s separate website for paddle reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com. The best way to get acquainted with local paddling destinations is to come paddling with us. Keith Map Service in Mobile is the most comprehensive source of maps and charts, but Fairhope Boat Co. and Pensacola Kayak and Sail also carry some maps and charts.

6. Another FAQ is “where can I buy or rent a boat?” Sunshine Canoes in Mobile and Tensaw Eco Tours on the Causeway rent kayaks and canoes. Fairhope Boat Company and Pensacola Kayak and Sail sell and rent boats.

7. 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.

8. We have over 200 people on our e-mail list and receive dozens of inquiries from newbies and journalists via e-mail each month about our club, where to paddle, where to buy a boat, etc., so please be patient with us if we can’t respond in detail to every e-mail we get. But if whatever you need to know is not in these FAQs, please feel free to e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net with any additional questions you may have. If Julie doesn’t know the answer to your question, she will try to find somebody who does.

9. 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. Each person is responsible for their own decision about whether to participate in each event. The leader of any given paddle can tell you about the expected paddling conditions, duration, level of difficulty, etc. 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.)

10. You should always contact the trip leader for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to join the paddle and to get directions to the meeting place and/or put-in. 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.

11. What should you bring? You should bring a PFD and drinking water on every paddle. You should also bring whatever you think you’ll need in the way of snacks or meals, if anything. If we will be on the water after dark, you are required by law to bring a single, white light. (But don’t turn it on unless you need it for safety and/or the trip leader tells you to. White lights ruin night vision.) We also appreciate paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect litter 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.

Click here to go to the website of the West Florida Canoe Club.

Click here for maps of the Bartram Canoe Trail.

Click here for maps from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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 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 other identification card (e.g., passport) 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 (although 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.
Brint Adams has written a trip report for us about his recent paddle from Bay Minette Creek to Blakely State Park. You can read it at our separate website for trip reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com

Friday, June 18, 2004

Flash Paddle: Boiling Creek
Date: Sunday, June 20, 2004
Time: 9:00 am
Place: southeast side of yellow river bridge parking area on Highway 87 below Milton, Florida. To get there, take I-10 east to Highway 87 South (a Milton exit). Go south several miles till you come to the big bridge over the Yellow River. Take a quick glance and see if sturgeon are running, then go past bridge to parking on left side.
Contact: 850-259-9337(cell phone)
Comments: You must have an eglin pass to paddle or pay the fine or worse. Joining us will be be a small group from Louisiana and another from the Navarre area in Florida. If you have not paddled Boiling Creek and you do have an Eglin permit, you will be in for one of the 8 wonders of the world -- easy paddling, crystal clear waters, great, great visuals and plenty of good swimming and a chance to cool off.
Bring sun screen, beverages and lunch or snacks. Plan for 3-4 hour paddle and maybe something afterwards locally.
George Borne's Summer Solstice Bonfire will take place this Saturday, June 19, at his farm -- where it usually takes place. Food will happen at 7:00 and the fire will happen at dark. Bring a dish and your own beverage. Contact Tate at 605-4735 for directions etc.
Flash Paddle: Savage's Ditch
Date: TODAY, Friday, June 18
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: put in at former site of Riverdocs on Causeway
Contact: Bob Andrews, 251-367-4144
Comments: About a six-mile round trip. Moderate pace. Get back to the take-out around dark. Dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Flash Paddle/Co-paddle: Buzbee's
Gary Worob writes us:

I will be (weather permitting) leading a trip from Buzbee's on Saturday, June 19 at 10:00 am. I was asked to lead this by the Adventure Club of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida and Bob Andrews. I am a member of that club (no dues and lots of do's) and they would like to see some of the Delta.

You are all invited to come along. This crew is very active and if you get on their list you will be amazed at how busy they stay. Most are retired (it is not exclusive, but 50 and over -- no one ever rejected for wanting to join in). Some of their trips include biking, hiking, touring (Peru, Belgium, Holland and anywhere to do something). Last year they biked and river-barged through Holland.

I live in Fairhope now, but I keep my Florida cell phone: 850-259-9337. No need to call if you are coming -- just show up!

On Sunday, we may do Boiling Creek on Eglin Reservation ... more later.

Gary Worob
Training Partner Wanted
Susan Garlow is looking for a training partner for the Mississippi PHAT River Race. Weekends are best. Call or an email: 307.690.0914, susangarlow@hotmail.com
Kayak wanted
Kelly Mosteller writes us:

I am looking for a sit-on-top tandem kayak. I am not yet specific as to the make/model. I currently have a Wilderness Systems Riot. This is a sit-on-top kayak, single seater. It is mostly green and in good condition. I would be willing to consider trade or purchase. kmosteller@usouthal.edu

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Sierra Club invites us to join them on their Summer Solstice Sail, Monday, June 21. Pack a picnic and meet at Blakley State Park on the longest day of the year, as we board the Delta Explorer for a 1-1/2 hour tour of the Tensaw River. We'll see a variety of wildlife and interesting vegetation as we explore
this unique river system at sunset. Enjoy your picnic on board. Adults:$20, Children 6-12:$10, under 6: free. Departing at 6:30pm. Space is limited. For reservations contact Kevin at 251-928-6231.

____________________

Courtesy of Brint Adams, here is a schedule of events for the 2nd Annual Ocean Springs Kayak Festival to be held at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club in Ocean Springs, MS on June 19, 2004:

8:00AM- 9:00AM Koffee & Kayaks - Intro to the sport of kayaking
9:00AM on Art & food booths open (all day)
9:00AM-11:00AM Kayak lessons - basic and advanced instruction (no charge)
11:00AM on Volleyball tournament begins
11:00AM-2:00PM Kayak demo's - test drive a variety of models
2:00PM-4:00PM Kayak race - approx. 1-1.5 miles (no charge, low-key, family-oriented)
Kayak challenge - approx. 3 miles with a self-rescue thrown
in (no charge, will be competitive)
4:00PM-6:00PM Live music & volleyball finals
5:30PM Awards ceremony

For more information, call: 228-818-9255

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fay Roberts writes us:
My name is Fay Roberts and I live in Perdido Beach. I read your report about launching at Palmetto Creek and your suggestions for others to use it. If something doesn't happen fast there will no longer be a public access there. Dr. Faulkner (Birmingham) on the south side and the people who live on the north side who have a lot of political pull are trying to get the county to vacate that right of way so that these two people mentioned can buy it. Dr. Faulkner has bought a wetland at the end of Cedar Street on Soldier Creek he intends to "give" the county for a boat launch. If you have ever seen this place you would think it would be a good scene for a horror movie. I am trying to set up a discussion site on this issue. You might consider buying the Baldwin County Onlooker tomorrow, located in the south part of the county.

The people on the north side of the access are alway's having parties for Volkert and Assc. That property that they live on was once wetland, and they had it dredged and filled in. Wonder how they got the permit?


If any of your members have any pictures of the area around the boat ramp before the houses were built could they please scan them to me. We would be very grateful for your help.

Thanks,
Fay Roberts
ragley@gulftel.com

[Editor's note: As Bruce and I have reported to you in the past, there are several county accesses on Palmetto Bayou, only a couple of which are decent put-ins. In contrast, there is only one decent county access on Soldier Creek that hasn't been encroached by adjacent landowners. So it's hard to tell without further information whether the proposed trade is good, bad, or indifferent from a paddler's perspective, but I wanted to let you all know about it so we can get educated and get involved. As a club, we take a strong interest in protecting our county accesses, so we don't want this issue to go by unnoticed, as so many encroachments and abandonments have in the past.]

Monday, June 14, 2004

Rob Nykvist informs us of a
DOWNRIVER paddling event on the Mississippi River:

The "PHAT WATER Kayak Challenge" will be held on October 9, 2004. The race egins at Grand Gulf and concludes at Natchez Landing, Natchez Under-The-Hill, in historic Natchez, Mississippi. The race is approximately forty-five miles long and will take most paddlers from five to seven hours to complete. An after race party and awards presentation will be hosted by the UNDER-THE-HILL-SALOON. Canoeists as well as kayakers are welcome.

http://www.kayakmississippi.com/custom/webpage.cfm?content=content&id=84

______________
[Editor's note: Bruce and I stopped at the Under-the-Hill-Saloon last fall, before starting a driving trip up the Natchez Trace. The bartender and barflies told us in entertaining detail about this annual paddle. It truly sounds like a blast.]
Nancy Milford has written a trip report on her recent paddle up Hurricane Bayou, and Brint Adams has written a report on the recent crossing from Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan Island. Read both at our separate website for paddle reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com

Friday, June 11, 2004

Club Party

Frank Laraway says the party is ON. The conditions are fine and the river is nice. See you there.?
Kayak for Sale:
Bill Richards writes us:

We have a kayak for sale. 4 years old, like new, seldom used, dry storage, paddles and skirt included. Necky Zoar Sport, 14', 25" beam, 57 lbs., skeg, orange, $650.00. Bill Richards 251.990.0973
Flash Paddle: Douglas Lake
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2004
Time: 1:30 PM
Contact: Brint Adams- office (251)661-7490 ext.102, cell- (251)583-9919
Place: Meet at Bruno's in Spanish Fort, Hwy 31 & 225
Comments: We will travel up Hwy 225 past Stockton and put in at Bryant Landing. There is a $2 fee. Douglas Lake is a remote, beautiful paddle with striking cypress, flowers, and hidden creeks to explore. The trip will be about 6 miles and is suitable for beginners. We will return to Bryant Landing and for those interested, will stop at the Stagecoach in Stockton, for dinner.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

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 less than 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 your ISP does not deliver club e-mails (due to ISP “spam filters” or whatever), that’s between you and your ISP – there is nothing we can do about it.

3. We regularly post “want ads” for individuals seeking and selling used boats. E-mail a description of the boat desired or for sale (type, make, model, length, weight, age, condition, accessories included, etc.) to Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net and she will post your “want ad” to the website and e-mail it to the club membership in the next regular club e-mailing. We get a lot of inquiries about where to buy a used boat – the answer is that if we know about a used boat for sale, we post it on the website. If it’s not posted, we don’t know about it.

4. Apart from “want ads” from individuals, we don’t advertise. We mention a few businesses in these FAQs because those businesses actively support our club, are owned by and employ club members, and/or are the only local sources we know about for particular paddling products. The banner ads at the top of the club’s web pages are generated by our free web host, “blogger.”

5. People frequently ask “where is a good place to paddle?” The answer is “just about anywhere.” The best single source of print information about put-ins and paddling trips in this area is this club’s separate website for paddle reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com. The best way to get acquainted with local paddling destinations is to come paddling with us. Keith Map Service in Mobile is the most comprehensive source of maps and charts, but Fairhope Boat Co. and Pensacola Kayak and Sail also carry some maps and charts.

6. Another FAQ is “where can I buy or rent a boat?” Sunshine Canoes in Mobile and Tensaw Eco Tours on the Causeway rent kayaks and canoes. Fairhope Boat Company and Pensacola Kayak and Sail sell and rent boats.

7. 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.

8. We have over 200 people on our e-mail list and receive dozens of inquiries from newbies and journalists via e-mail each month about our club, where to paddle, where to buy a boat, etc., so please be patient with us if we can’t respond in detail to every e-mail we get. But if whatever you need to know is not in these FAQs, please feel free to e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net with any additional questions you may have. If Julie doesn’t know the answer to your question, she will try to find somebody who does.

9. 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. Each person is responsible for their own decision about whether to participate in each event. The leader of any given paddle can tell you about the expected paddling conditions, duration, level of difficulty, etc. 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.)

10. You should always contact the trip leader for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to join the paddle and to get directions to the meeting place and/or put-in. 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.

11. What should you bring? You should bring a PFD and drinking water on every paddle. You should also bring whatever you think you’ll need in the way of snacks or meals, if anything. If we will be on the water after dark, you are required by law to bring a single, white light. (But don’t turn it on unless you need it for safety and/or the trip leader tells you to. White lights ruin night vision.) We also appreciate paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect litter 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.

Click here to go to the website of the West Florida Canoe Club.

Click here for maps of the Bartram Canoe Trail.

Click here for maps from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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 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 other identification card (e.g., passport) 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 (although 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.
Kayak for Sale
Used, 15' Nantucket, 2 dry hatches, asking $350. Call Trey Martin, (251) 455-0040.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Flash Paddle: Hurricane Bayou
Nancy Milford writes us:
I will lead a “Ladies/Beginner Paddle” on Saturday morning, June 12, 2004. We will meet at Bruno’s parking lot at 8:15 am and then drive up to Hurricane Landing. I think there is a $3.00 fee at the landing. You may want to bring exact change (one dollar bills) because if I remember right there is a box to put the money in. If the weather looks too challenging we will cancel. Snacks are always welcome and nice to have along, even in the morning. This will be a short paddle along a beautiful creek at a relaxed pace. Men are, of course, always welcome, but you must be on your feminine side because no competition is allowed.

Contact: Nancy Milford milford@cityofmobile.org

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Club Party

Paddlers in the Mobile / Pensacola Bay region are invited to attend a potluck picnic on Fish River near the home of Frank Laraway on Saturday, June 12, at 2 p.m. Please verify by phone (251) 945-5504. Bring whatever dish and drinks that you wish, along with eating utensils, grills, etc. All hot dishes should come prepared and cooked. Some lawnchairs and tables will be at the site. Bring repellents.

The activities may include swimming, kayaking (small boats best) and possibly volleyball on the river. The river here is relatively shallow (like upper Styx River) and sandy with stobs and log jams. It is free of jams above and below the site for about 1000 feet.

Blueberries will be ripe - bring a container if you wish to pick them. Small blueberry plants as well as other small plants such as loquat or fig may be had for the taking if you bring your own containers.

The picnic will be postponed if the day is threatened by rain or infestations of biting insects. Recheck the website or check by phone (945-5504) at the last minute if the weather looks bad.

Driving directions will be sent to club members via e-mail. If you have not received driving directions via e-mail, please e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net and she will be glad to e-mail them to you.
Flash Paddle: Gulf Islands National Seashore/Perdido Key
Date: TODAY, Tuesday, June 8
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Gulf Islands National Seashore
Contact: 251-367-4144
Comments: Call Bob for details.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Flash Paddle: Big Boy Double Crosser for Sea Kayakers
Date: Saturday Morning, June 12th, 2004
Time: In water and beginning paddle at 7:00 a.m.
Launch Fee: Launch is Free.
Dehydration: Bring snacks and plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Paddle Level: Warning! We could face confused seas and swift currents in a few areas, so please, this trip is only for paddlers with open water experience. You must also have self-rescue experience.
Route: Launch by the restrooms near the Ferry. Paddle approx 4 miles across Mobile Bay (open waters) to Fort Morgan beach. Take break. Paddle back to Dauphin Island.
Distance: About 8 miles.
Gear Check: There will be a pre-trip gear check for life vest, working paddle float, working pump and spray skirt - all mandatory gear for this trip. You'll also probably want to bring sun glasses and sunscreen.
Post-Trip Plan: Lunch to replenish lost calories at the Island Seafood Galley.
Leader: Rob Nykvist
Contact: (251) 460-4646 (daytime)
rob.nykvist@mobilepe.com

_______________________

Paul Nettles writes us:
I would like to encourage all your members to attend the 2nd Annual Ocean Springs Kayak Festival. The festival is on Saturday, June 19th, to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, and all things summer. The location is in Ocean Springs, MS on front beach at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club, and there will be kayak related happenings going on throughout the entire day. The events are suitable for all skill levels so bring the whole family. If there are questions or for volunteer opportunities please call (228)818-9255.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Photos:
Carl Hlavenka has sent us links to pictures from a couple of his recent trips. Click here to enjoy photos of the most recent Boiling Creek trip with Brint, Linda, Bill, and Carl. Click here for some pix of a Horn Island trip with Carl and Friends.

Excellent stuff, Carl! You always did know how to have a good time. Thanks for sharing.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Susan Garlow writes us:
I have a pair of very nice top of the line binoculars for sale: Brunton 7X42, never taken out of the box, retail $450, asking $350 obo.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Kayak for Sale
Bill Richards writes us:

We have 2 kayaks for sale. 4 years old, like new, seldom used, paddles included. Perception Captiva, 16', 25" beam, 58 lbs., rudder, red, $700.00. Necky Zoar Sport, 14', 25" beam, 57 lbs., skeg, orange, $650.00. Bill Richards 251.990.0973

Thursday, June 03, 2004

To our new members:
E-mail volume is very high since the article in the Mobile Register. Please forgive me if I am slow to respond to e-mails. Be sure to read the FAQ's posted below, then if you have any further questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them.

Welcome to the club :-)
________________________________________
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 less than 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 your ISP does not deliver club e-mails (due to ISP “spam filters” or whatever), that’s between you and your ISP – there is nothing we can do about it.

3. We regularly post “want ads” for individuals seeking and selling used boats. E-mail a description of the boat desired or for sale (type, make, model, length, weight, age, condition, accessories included, etc.) to Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net and she will post your “want ad” to the website and e-mail it to the club membership in the next regular club e-mailing. We get a lot of inquiries about where to buy a used boat – the answer is that if we know about a used boat for sale, we post it on the website. If it’s not posted, we don’t know about it.

4. Apart from “want ads” from individuals, we don’t advertise. We mention a few businesses in these FAQs because those businesses actively support our club, are owned by and employ club members, and/or are the only local sources we know about for particular paddling products. The banner ads at the top of the club’s web pages are generated by our free web host, “blogger.”

5. People frequently ask “where is a good place to paddle?” The answer is “just about anywhere.” The best single source of print information about put-ins and paddling trips in this area is this club’s separate website for paddle reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com. The best way to get acquainted with local paddling destinations is to come paddling with us. Keith Map Service in Mobile is the most comprehensive source of maps and charts, but Fairhope Boat Co. and Pensacola Kayak and Sail also carry some maps and charts.

6. Another FAQ is “where can I buy or rent a boat?” Sunshine Canoes in Mobile and Tensaw Eco Tours on the Causeway rent kayaks and canoes. Fairhope Boat Company and Pensacola Kayak and Sail sell and rent boats.

7. 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.

8. We have over 200 people on our e-mail list and receive dozens of inquiries from newbies and journalists via e-mail each month about our club, where to paddle, where to buy a boat, etc., so please be patient with us if we can’t respond in detail to every e-mail we get. But if whatever you need to know is not in these FAQs, please feel free to e-mail Julie at jrobber@worldnet.att.net with any additional questions you may have. If Julie doesn’t know the answer to your question, she will try to find somebody who does.

9. 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. Each person is responsible for their own decision about whether to participate in each event. The leader of any given paddle can tell you about the expected paddling conditions, duration, level of difficulty, etc. 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.)

10. You should always contact the trip leader for any paddling trip to let them know if you plan to join the paddle and to get directions to the meeting place and/or put-in. 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.

11. What should you bring? You should bring a PFD and drinking water on every paddle. You should also bring whatever you think you’ll need in the way of snacks or meals, if anything. If we will be on the water after dark, you are required by law to bring a single, white light. (But don’t turn it on unless you need it for safety and/or the trip leader tells you to. White lights ruin night vision.) We also appreciate paddlers who choose to carry a trash bag to collect litter 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.

Click here to go to the website of the West Florida Canoe Club.

Click here for maps of the Bartram Canoe Trail.

Click here for maps from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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 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 other identification card (e.g., passport) 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 (although 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, June 02, 2004

JUNE CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June Monet Paddle: Bay Minette Basin
Date: Sunday, June 6, 2004
Time: 4 p.m.
Contact: Matt Darring, iama@backpacker.com, work - 341-1712, home 343-1196
Place: Put in at Buzbee's Fish Camp, on U.S. 225 north of Spanish Fort,under the south end of the bridge over Bay Minette Creek.
Comments: Just as Monet painted the same bridge each month to capture the changing seasons, Matt has decided to lead a paddle to the same destination each month. This month will be a Sunset Paddle Paddle and Potluck, so bring a dish to share. $3 fee to launch.

Sea Turtle Class
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2004
Time: 6 p.m.
Contact: Sharon Vreeland or Claudia 540-7720 Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge
Place: West 13th Street beach access, Gulf Shores
Comments: Sea turtle nesting season is coming. Volunteers needed. Learn how to keep watch over known sea turtle nest sites to help the hatchlings survive their scramble to the sea.

Grandman Triathlon (formerly Pelican Point)
Date: Saturday, June 19
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Contact: Jeff and Erika Pollock 251-621-3908 or email carotop111@aol.com
Place: Fairhope Municipal Pier
Comments: 12 - 15 volunteers with kayaks are needed to post themselves along the swim portion of the course.

Here is the info we have received from Jeff and Erika Pollock, who are the organizers of the triathlon:

We are planning on having the kayaks park in the far northern section of the park near the Duck pond. We will need to keep the road clear during the race so you will be trapped until the bikers all finish (~8:30). The start line will be near the duck pond. The swim finish will be near the boat ramp. We hope to start on time at 7:00 and would like to have everyone there by 6:30 and on the water by 6:50 at the latest. The swim should be finished by 8:00 am and the race should be over by 10:00 am.

Everyone really appreciated you guys being there last year! You really helped a lot of people!

If the members wish to contact us directly (we are keeping a list) our phone # is 621-3908. I think we have 4 who have said they are planning on coming. ~10-15 would be great. Parking isn't as big a deal this year so you guys can make a party of it if you like! The more the better! Of course all volunteers get a shirt and can come to the
post-race party.

Kayaks will not be responsible for lifesaving (search and rescue will be there). We need you to be there to spot those in trouble or to let them rest for a minute and worst case be pulled so they can touch bottom. Thanks again for your support and please let us know if you have any questions!

Jeff and Erika Pollock
251-621-3908
carotop111@aol.com

__________________________

And already scheduled for July:

Independence Day Paddle
Date: July 4, 2004
Time: TBD
Contact: Gene Boothe
Place: FYC to Fairhope Pier
Comment: Each year Gene Boothe has led a paddle from the Fairhope Yacht Club to the municipal pier. As of this writing Gene is on the Appalachian Trail hiking and camping. Stay tuned.

Third Annual Dog Paddle
Date: July 24, 2004
Time: TBD
Contact: Mimi Fearn mfearn@usouthal.edu
Place: Beachcomber on Dog River at Dauphin Island Parkway
Comments: This year's dog paddle is still in the final planning steps. Last year's doings are at the website http://dogriver.southalabama.edu


___________________________

Inn:theStyx
The owners of this riverside lodge came to our meeting to tell us about their place to rent overlooking the Styx River sited on six acres of cedar and cypress. The house has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 stories and a thousand square feet of porch.

web site: www.innthestyx.com
e-mail: relax@inthestyx.com

_____________________________

The hats are in. Contact Harriet to pick up your club ballcap: (251)928-4568 - home or (251)604-3741 - cell.

At some point Harriet will place another order for hats, if she gets enough requests. BUT, she needs people to notify her that they want hats, so she can keep a log and know when she has enough to meet the minimum-order requirements.

Include your name, phone number and/or email address and color and number of hats you want.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Brint Adams has written trip reports on the recent paddles he led on the Styx River and Whiskey Ditch. You can read them at our separate website for trip reports, www.paddlereport.blogspot.com.