GASP! Gulf Area Sea Paddlers
There is commotion on GASP's email list when Dave Voiles of Pensacola, Florida, submits *two* trip reports after paddling back to back on two warm, sunny days in his area (January 14 and 16) while much of the rest of the country was still in the deep freeze. Both of Dave's reports (in Perdido Bay and near Paradise Beach) are followed up with a humorous reply to his balmy reports by Bob Griebel (aka Captain Bob). Three short submissions to the GASP email list that are a fun read.
My friend Justin and I couldn't let the 70 degree day with sunny skies and calm winds go without a paddle on the bay today. We paddled Perdido Bay and put in just east of the Lillian Bridge (hwy 98 that connects Florida and Alabama) at what's called Paradise Beach (Florida). We paddled east hugging the shore as the water was as low as I've seen it with a great view of the bottom even in water 3 feet deep. As we paddled we spotted over a dozen pileings laying on the bottom from where the hurricanes this past summer had torn up the docks that line the shore. Even now there is still much wreckage along the shoreline where docks and seawalls used to be. We also saw a couple of jon boats up in the woods as if just left to serve as a reminder that mother nature can do whatever she wants to.
We rounded north up to Double Point where the wind picked up a little but that was ok as it was at our backs and we just sort of floated on... watching the clouds change shape and pelicans glide by only a couple of inches off the water. At Double Point we scooted eastward again skimming old cypress stumps that seem to come out of nowhere...hiding just inches below the surface. As We approached Bridge Creek, we breezed right by a flock of about a hundred seagulls floating on the water...only bothering the ones on the edge of the flock. We turned into Bridge Creed and hadn't gone but 200 yards and came upon about 30 pelicans floating and eating. I'd never seen a pelican just scoop up a fish and then toss the ole head back and eat it while floating but we saw this happen several times.
We paddled on up to the bridge (hwy 98) and then turned around. The paddle back was more quiet as we just paddled side by side...steady and constant for about 45 minutes. As we headed west back to Paradise Beach the sun was getting lower and the breeze cooler and time seemed to stand still. The sound of the water and wind soothed the colors of the ski and shore and all four just blended so nicely.
The roughest part was standing up after sitting for four hours. Needless to say it was a very leisurely paddle as we covered about nine miles in four hours. Very relaxing to say the least.
We hope everyone else had a Sunday as nice as ours!!
Hello Again All,
Another 70 degree day and I was off so guess what?... you're right... into the boat and off we go. Calm to steady breezes and a light chop with lots of sun...couldn't ask for much better. I put in at Paradise Beach again and this time went west up to the Lillian Bridge and proceeded south along the Florida coast. By myself this time I decided to hug the shoreline just in case. The water depth ranges from one to five feet at 50 yards off shore, and with the water temp. in the 50's thought it would be best if I could wade to shore if I did spill. ( I don't have a wet suit or such.)
The views were just as nice as Sunday, with the main difference being that this part of the bay is much bigger and the wind can change the water's surface in just minutes. After rounding Nix point I cruised past the old Naval facilities where they used to train pilots of sea-planes during and just after WW2. Boy would those ramps make a super boat ramp. Massive concrete and 4 lanes wide. Leaving the ramps behind, I now was finding out just what "tidal flats" ment on the map. At 50 yards off the shore I was only in water 8 to 16 inches deep....beautifully clear too showing the little mounds of sand with a hole in the middle where there must have been a clam sleeping down below.
As I approached Du Pont Point, the wind started picking up and the waves were taking on a frosted look. At this point there is about 5 miles of open water to Inerarity Point, and it was mid afternoon so I turned around. With the wind at my back and having made good time (4 miles in an hours time) I decided to just take it easy going back. You know how when you relaxe and don't expect anything to happen something usually does????..... well, I was back over the tidal flats again in water only about a foot and a half deep when all of a sudden about 10 feet in front of me, a school of fish that had been sunning themselves all broke water and scattered. I was so startled that I jerked and almost tipped over. It was the last thing I had expected. But then so was beaching myself on a sandbar that far off shore...which I did right after trying to see if I could spot any more fish.
Needless to say, I had a good time out there today. The trip was about 8.5 miles and I covered it in about 2 hours. The rest of the week will be spent at work.....but there is always..... NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!
Take care everyone and have a good week.
MOBILE,ALA - A spokesperson for Gulf Area Sea Paddlers ("GASP") announced that more than 100 members of the elite paddling organization picketted GASP headquarters today, demanding the expulsion of fellow member Dave Voiles. Reportedly, Voiles aroused uncontrollable feelings of jealousy among fellow members by posting two reports about paddling the scenic Pensacola area in less than three days.
Orville Rudderpull, who drove 650 miles from Muncie, Ind. to walk the picket line, said Voiles description of 70-degree temperatures in the middle of January was completely uncalled for. An officer in his local Farm Bureau cooperative, Rudderpull initially threatened to spearhead a drive to deny shipments of summer corn to the Florida market.
Also picketing was Ingse Seiveskogl, who claimed he wouldn't have joined the line if there'd been any chance of being productive at work. "It's hopeless," said Sieveskogl, "I handled reading about his Sunday tour, but that report about paddling on a workday was too much. I won't be concentrating again 'til May."
GASP public relations director I.L. Tellall said a special meeting of directors took the picketters demands under consideration and voted to impose sanctions on Voiles, who will be prohibited from paddling until he takes the entire membership with him. GASP Enforcement Director Vito Ginovisuppi was instructed to monitor compliance.
Picketters appeared to accept the board's action in principal, though most said they wouldn't be willing to wait forever. Chinook Ugalook summed up his feelings with the words. "Ik sam soochluk twami. Meksorslup! Schlooch!"
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