TBSK News Blog
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Knowing the value of belonging to a paddling club I joined TBSK before my recent three week trip to Florida. I want to express my thanks to everyone I met on the four club outings (and meeting) during my trip. Very welcoming and enjoyable people to spend time with! Now I'm back in Wisconsin where we can walk (and drive) on our lakes (bummer). My wife and I will be back in FL this fall as snow-birds and VERY MUCH look forward to getting together with you again!
Special thanks to the club leaders I met. You know, we know...you are awesome for your contribution in making TBSK a great club!
Safety paddlers and ground crew needed for this years Frogman Swim off Gandy to Picnic Island. All proceeds go to help the families of Navy Seals killed in action. Contact is Kurt Ott at frogmanswim@g mail. Date is Jan 15th. Paddlers should be experienced in open water. Each paddler will be assigned a swimmer to escort . Ground help also needed.
A study by Florida International University of Dolphins in The Everglades and Florida Bay reveals the highest level of Mercury poisoning ever recorded and much of it is caused by leaves from mangroves that fall in brackish water and mix with bacteria. The mixture results in highly toxic Methylmercury polluting the waters dolphins swim in...The east coast has recently suffered a major dolphin kill but no word on if this was one of the causes. and no. . word on possible effect on humans who paddle in brackish mangrove water but an an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If concerned call the science department at FYI. They should have more details
Canoe and Kayak once a monthly then a bi monthly is now a quarterly magazine. The latest issue while fat and nice is actualy two issues and includes the once yearly Gear Guide Issue. If you want to see how much sea kayaking has declined this is a good example. Numerous boat makers..including NDK and Valley are no shows and when it comes to paddling gear only MTI and Level Six answered the call. Bottom line: Canoe and Kayak is on the same stream that killed SeaKayaking Magazine because without support from the industry it cannot continue to exisit . This issue 's main article is house written and those great photographs are probably alot cheaper to run then paying for articles written by outsiders. It's an old publishing trick...when you have space to fill run a photograph..With the loss of advertisers,C and K has alot of space to fill.
I don't know how many of you read Terry Tomalin in the Tampa Bay Times (aka the St. Pete Times). He was an avid outdoors person who loved to hike, fish, kayak and write wonderful stories about his adventures--you name it, I think he had done it. He suffered a heart attack earlier this year and passed away, and Bill Jackson's is sponsoring a memorial paddle in his memory on Sunday, Dec. 4. I am planning to paddle--anyone interested in joining me? (I'll be doing the 7.5 mile paddle from Picnic Park in Tampa, but there are also 3-mile and 1-mile paddles from North Shore Park in St. Petersburg (where the Picnic Park paddlers will come ashore). This web site has more info:
New member and the first trip with the club.
Had a great time and met some real nice people, the trip was very well organized with great tour guides and enjoyed the mangrove Trail. Looking forward to more trips with club.
Thanks Cynthia for a nice summer time paddle!
As a brand-new member (since Friday afternoon) I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Veterans Park. Fortunately, John spotted me wandering around and introduced himself. He sent me off to meet Tom so I could sign up for the “Edging and Turning” class.
I'm very new to kayaking and really needed this instruction.
There were about ten students and two instructors – Tom and Eileen. The class was extremely well done and I was very glad I had come. They covered edge turning, forward and reverse sweep strokes, turning in place, paddling backwards, and emergency stops. During the hour and a half class we had sufficient time to practice while Tom and Eileen coached us.
A couple of incidents enlivened the morning. One of the students, while paddling backwards, managed to capsize. Tom used that as an opportunity to demonstrate a partner rescue with a stirrup. Then Tom got a little overenthusiastic demonstrating an emergency stop and he capsized – which allowed him to demonstrate how to roll upright.
About 10:40 they called an end to the class – which suited me just fine. Any more would've been too much to take in. But we weren't finished.
Eileen led six of us—those with sit-inside kayaks—on a short cruise. We paddled up Long Bayou, under a couple of bridges, and over to the KOA campground. The tide was still on the ebb and we had to make our way through a tidal race moving at about 2 knots. Eileen wanted to take us through some channels along the shoreline but the tide was too low; we turned back. We crossed Long Bayou by weaving between the islands until we reached the mouth of Cross Bayou. Then we turned south and made our way back to Turtle Crawl Point.
Along the way we encountered plenty of wildlife, including a mother dolphin and her calf.
I got to practice the lessons I'd learned in the class. At one point I edged the wrong way to avoid a piling—and was very glad I knew how to do an emergency stop!
We finished in a little under an hour. According to Google maps our route was 3.75 miles. We arrived back at the kayak launch simultaneously with the advanced paddle tour. There was a bit of a traffic jam.
The festivities concluded with good food and conversation. The day was far more instructive—and fun—than I had anticipated.
Save the Manatee Club is offering a free public awareness banner for Florida boaters. The banner, which reads, “Please Slow, Manatees Below,” is designed to alert other boaters to the presence of manatees in the waterways. They are available, in limited supply, by contacting Save the Manatee Club.
The bright yellow banner, which also features a large drawing of a manatee on it, was the idea of Barbara Birdsey, a Martin County resident and former member of the Save the Manatee Club Board of Directors. “My husband and I wanted to try to warn other boaters about manatees in the area,” she explains. “We took our homemade, cardboard signs, went out in the Jupiter/Hobe Sound area on a few busy weekends, saw manatees, and held up the signs. To our delight, we found that oncoming boaters were very responsive. They slowed down, looked around, and even approached us for more information.” Those original homemade cardboard signs have been replaced by the new, attention-grabbing, plastic banner, approximately 1 1/2 by 2 feet in size. The banners are easy to handle and roll up for storage, and each end has a pocket where poles can be inserted to use for holding up the sign.
Save the Manatee Club is providing the banners to interested boaters in order to help protect the slow-moving animals. Watercraft-related manatee mortality continues to be the leading known cause of manatee deaths in Florida. The banners provide a way for boaters to play a pivotal role in manatee protection. They can quickly and easily communicate with other boaters wherever manatees are spotted. This is an ideal, hands-on opportunity for the boating public to get involved in helping manatees.
In addition, there are some good general guidelines boaters can follow to help protect manatees from injury or death:
Wear polarized sunglasses; they can help eliminate the glare of the sun and can help you see below the water's surface.
Stay in deep water channels and follow all posted boat speed regulations.
Avoid boating over shallow seagrass beds where manatees might be feeding.
Look for the manatee's snout, back, tail, or flipper breaking the surface of the water; a swirl or a flat spot on the water signals a manatee may be swimming below.
If you see a manatee when operating a powerboat, remain a safe distance away -- about 50 feet. If you want to observe the manatee, cut the motor, but don't drift over the animal.
If you spot an injured, dead, tagged or orphaned manatee, or if you see a manatee who is being harassed, call 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on your cellular phone or send a text message to Tip@MyFWC.com. You can also use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio.
To obtain one of the public awareness banners, Florida boaters can contact Save the Manatee Club by calling toll-free 1-800-432-5646 or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Please give your name and address and the area in Florida where you will be boating.
The Sauls family, who enjoy boating and kayaking on Citrus County waterways, often use their yellow banner to slow boaters down whenever they see manatees.
Notes from the 3/14/16 seminar on navigational charts by Steven Henkind, M.D, PhD, (Navigator and Navigation Instructor on board the Coast Guard’s training ship EAGLE), are posted on our Trip Planning page.