Archive for the ‘Calusa Blueway Expedition’ Category

imperial-river-boat-ramp-jeff-fabiszewski-sean-fitzgibbon-sweetwater-kayaksIts official November 1 – 3, 2013 Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski are guest speakers at the 2013 Calusa Blueways Paddling Festival.  The teaching line up is: Cutting Through the Hype, Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway, Practical First Aid, and Risk Management For All Paddlers. Join Sean, Jeff, and other notable coaches in Fort Myers-Sanibel for a rocking good time.

calusa blueway logoActivities are planned throughout Lee County from Friday through Sunday.  Come try a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard for free courtesy of Florida Paddle Sports and Gulf Coast Kayak, which are offering kayak and paddleboard demos and lessons. Food will be served noon to 2:30 p.m. It’s free to attend; food tickets available for purchase at event.  Evening events are at the Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Myers-Sanibel. Join with fellow travelers as we gather both evenings for a full evening of sharing paddling stories, networking, reviewing trail maps, drinks & dinner, live music, and “meet the authors” special programming from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  You’ll find the most demos, instruction and speakers on the Sanibel Causeway.

  • Friday November 1st
    • 2:00 to 3:00pm Cutting Through the Hype, on the Sanibel Causeway
    • 4:00 to 5:00pm Risk Management For All Paddlers, on the Sanibel Causeway
  • Saturday November 2nd
    • 10:00 to 11:00am Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway, on the Sanibel Causeway
    • 1:30 to 2:45pm Practical First Aid, on the water
  • Sunday November 3rd
    • 1:30 to 2:15pm Practical First Aid, on the water
  • Cutting Through the Hype: A boat, paddle, and PFD will get a kayaker started.  But there are other gear, materials, designs, and gadgetry; how does one decide what to buy, what/when to use, and what to wear when kayaking?!  This is a great opportunity to understand products: their development, the slick marketing, and the practical financial function.
  • Risk Management For All Paddlers: This session provides people with a lens to help identify and manage risk on and off the water.  The best safety is identifying problems before they happen.  The second best safety action is how to react when problems occur.
  • Thru-Paddling the Calusa Blueway: Tampa Bay, Fla.-area paddlers Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski, aka “Team Sweetwater,” departed on Oct. 19 for a 12-day, 190-mile paddle along the southwest coast of Florida, following the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. The pair did the trip to raise awareness and funds for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail — one of the best marked paddling routes in the world — as well as for the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island.
  • Practical First Aid: Minimal preparation prevents massive maintenance.  This intro on the water class provides commonsense tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions after a health problem occurs.  The demonstrations combined with realistic scenarios and mock patients are the next step in learning how to react.

Posted: 11/12/2011

By: Ellen McNamara By: Ellen McNamara

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A national champion surfer and superb kayaker has never let obstacles get in his way.

Sean Fitzgibbon feels at home on the water, especially when he is paddling.

“There is so much to see out here while paddling,” Fitzgibbon said.

In fact he just got back from a 200 mile trip in Lee County.

He and Jeff Fabiszewski completed the journey. A trip that St. Petersburg Limb and Brace helped make possible. It is a business, Fitzgibbon knows well.

“My mother was on a drug for morning sickness, I was born without the fibula in my right leg,” Fitzgibbon said.

Fitzgibbon surprises a lot of people when he gets out of his kayak.

At the age of three, his leg was amputed.

Despite being different, his family always pushed him.

“They did stuff just to make me feel like I was a part of everything and they didn’t baby me at all,” Fitzgibbon said.

As a kid, he fell in love with surfing, and today is a four time national amputee champion.

When he is not surfing, you will find him guiding tours for Sweetwater Kayaks because he wants to share his love of the sport with others.

“Survivors move on, victims get left behind, and as a survivor you have to own it,” Fitzbiggon said.

If you have an athlete that you would like to see featured on Emac’s Amateur Athlete, send Ellen an email at or go to her Facebook page. Click “like” and then leave a comment.



Read more:

Paddling for a Cause

190 miles on southwest Florida’s Great Calusa Blueway

By: dcostello | Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fitzgibbon and Fabiszewski during the 8-mile paddle to Bokeelia Island.

“Sometimes we forget how nice our backyard is,” Fabiszewski says. “Fresh water, salt flats, marsh, inner coastal, the Gulf of Mexico—and everything from mangroves to bamboo forest, to oaks … Florida has it all. And CROW is doing so much to save endangered animals, we wanted to do something to shed some light on that, too.”You can read more about their Calusa Blueway adventure or make a donation to either of the organizations on their blog,

Fitzgibbon and Fabiszewski will also be hosting a presentation on their trip at the sixth annual Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival & Symposium, Nov. 3-6, along the beaches of the Calusa Blueway in the Fort Myers and Sanibel area in southwest Florida. While you’re there, check out the first-ever Calusa Classic 10-mile race or the Calusa Dash, a 5-mile standup paddleboard race. With over $2,000 in cash prizes, it’s worth getting on the water, even if you’re a beginner. Add onto that three days of boat and equipment demos, new product testing with Canoe & Kayak, on-water clinics, evening paddler’s socials (with refreshments), and a Canoe & Kayak Mag Film Fest Night, and it’s bound to be a good time.

Copyright © 2011 GrindMedia, LLC. All rights reserved.

Mission Accomplished

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, Calusa Blueway Expedition, Expeditions, Florida Kayaking

At 1pm we completed our goal of being the first kayakers to paddle and explore all of the ancient trails in Southwest Florida’s Lee County where Calusa Indians once traveled.  It has been an interesting journey.  We discovered things about the beautiful waters of Lee County, things about ourselves, and about the kindness of others.  If it was not for our friends in Lee County this adventure would not have occurred.

In the upcoming days Sean and I will be writing several posts on out reflections and preparing for our presentation during the Blueways Festival.  Thank you for following us. – Jeff