Archive for the ‘Giving Back’ Category

This post is to inform our readers on the final updates before Jeff and Sean leave for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail Expedition as TEAM Sweetwater on Monday Sept. 19th, 2011. I will also touch base on a few of the “Lost” minute thoughts that Jeff and I are having before we finish packing and loading of gear.

So we have most everything ready to go food wise and possibly even more than we will need. Dinners will be Mountain House and some fresh local fair along the way. Lunches – well lets just say we will be getting more than enough calories. Breakfasts will be fruit and oatmeal.

Lets not forget the coffee- Jeff has hoity-toity Starbucks Viva instant and Sean has made homemade Coffee BOMBs, yes coffee bombs (you will just have to check back regularly to see what those are).


As far as recent happenings we have sent out the Official Media Press Release as of 09/12/11 and it was sent to the local media in Pinellas County(where we are from) as well as media down in the Cultural/Paradise Coast area that encompasses the Lee County area where Jeff and I will be paddling.

We have been given the opportunity to stay at the Rock Lake Resort Cottages on Billys Creek, the Sun & Moon Inn in Matlacha , the Jug Creek Cottages on Bokeelia, the Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages on Sanibel Island, and have also been given complimentary campsites at Cayo Costa State Park, San Carlos Bay Campground, and last but not least Koreshan State Park. We will also be doing about 3-4 nights primitive camping on spoil islands along the way over the 13-14 day period. We will be taking advantage of these lodging partners as a way to promote the many options along the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.

The kayaks are ready & watertight and we have done the pre-packing game. We have all the necessary safety gear and have gone over our “pre-paddle” checklist. We are cleared for Paddle-Off!! I must say though that I still need to go get a “true proper chart” as we have done all the planning off the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail foldout maps. Jeff and I would just feel safer with true water depth and obstruction charts to paddle with as a safety precaution.

The Liquid Rhythm Kayaking Blog will be updated hopefully daily or as much as we can get KayakKev to write a quick days description of what we did and where we are. So check back regularly.

Jeff & I will also be volunteering for a half day at the Clinic for Rehabilitation Of Wildlife(CROW) on Sanibel Island so please do not forget they are our charity of choice and they desperately need donations and to please help them out if you can either with donations of money or supplies or by volunteering at the clinic. Visit the site from our link at the top of the page. HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

Jeff & I will be returning to the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival & Symposium on Nov. 4-6th to do a lecture on our 2 week paddling expedition and to teach a course on safety titled: Minimal Preparation prevents Massive Maintenance. Hope to see some of our readers there.

And now for Sean’s and Jeff’s Lost Thoughts:


  • Did we pack everything we needed?
  • Did we pack to much?
  • Where in the world is my tooth brush and did the Calusas brush their teeth?
  • When do I get to PET the American salt water crocodiles & do I have to wait till Estero Bay?
  • How many Bullsharks do you think there are in the Caloosahatchee River & can I PET them?
  • Do you think we will see any ghosts of Native Calusa Indians- I sure hope so.


  • 😉 less is more,…
  • I have a Power Point presentation.  I hope everything stays dry.
  • Mosquitoes…where is my DEET!?
  • I think…therefore we are ready to rock and row!

In closing we would like to acknowledge the following people & Sponsors who have worked hard behind the scenes to make the trip possible so far: GOD, Betsy Clayton- Lee County Parks & Rec., Nancy Macphee-FPTA, Russell Farrow – Sweetwater Kayaks, CROW of Sanibel, Jim Swope- Swope Public Relat., St. Petersburg Limb & Brace, All of our lodging partners, College Park Prosthetic feet & ALPS South, Kayak-Kevin Thompson & Peggy, and our Families & Friends who continue to support our paddling adventures. And our readers and supporters of LRK’s Journal. If we left anyone out let us know and we will add you to follow up posts.

Well we hope that our readers stay tuned and that you enjoy following along with us on our little adventure. Thank You for reading and as always: E’ Komo Mai’= You are Welcome Here!

– Jeff & Sean

Here it is Everyone!

TEAM Sweetwater has formed a unique partnership with CROW as our Chosen Charity for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail Expedition: Floating on Tribal Tides!! CROW stands for- Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife. They are one of the nations leading state-of-the-art wildlife rehabilitation clinics treating over 4,ooo injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife patients each year! They have clinicians, volunteers, first responders and a full time veterinarian that treat native wildlife with both Eastern and Western medicine. RIGHT NOW they are in need of our HELP!! As paddlers and outdoors people we need to give back to the waters and environment that we cherish sooo much!

That is why during our paddle expedition and on the blog/website we are asking for people to PLEASE donate to the link to the right! Anything will help and it does not have to be monetary- call them and see what supplies they might need or just tell someone about our cause! The more people that know about CROW- the more kindness/donations will FLOW!!

Which brings us to one more point to ponder before we end this post: Did TEAM Sweetwater aka Jeff and Sean choose CROW? Or did CROW and some un-forseen native spirits/force choose TEAM Sweetwater to deliver the message of the wildlife that was and ARE STILL SO IMPORTANT to the once Great Calusa Nation and the area surrounding what is now the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail? Jeff and Sean would like to think WE are the Chosen Ones! PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE DONATE TO THE CAUSE OR HELP US GET THE MESSAGE OUT!


At 5 am Saturday May 7, 2011I woke up, not because my son was calling me, nor for any emergency.  I woke up before the sun started to shine to meet Russell in down town Tampa Florida.  It was the morning of the Third Annual Sweetwater Paddle For the Cure.

The paddling event was set against the skyline of downtown Tampa. For the event all paddlecraft and standup paddleboard participants chose to either race five miles or enjoy a family fun two mile paddle to raise money for cancer research.


We began set up at the scenic Riverfront Park , downtown, on the Hillsborough River. There was a lot of volunteers helping move boats and paddle boards to the dock.  I took a moment to scope out the trophies for the winners of the five mile race.   And chat with Brody Welte owner of Stand up Fitness.  He supplying several SUP’s and gear for this event.  I think a few of his Paddle Fit students placed during the race.

Before 8am Ron, Chad, a few others, and I left the dock and headed down River to our assigned locations for the race.  I was at the marker next to Tampa General Hospital.  And I had the Jose’ Gasparilla Pirate ship to the east.

While I waited for the event to begin I did my normal on the water warm up and then enjoyed my breakfast.  I prefer to paddle backwards to warm and lengthen my back.

This morning I skipped my 60 grams of whey fruit smoothie.  It was too early to start up the blender.  And to wake my son…  I instead chose to not make a disturbance in the kitchen and eat a standard on the water kayaking dawn breakfast.   It consists of water, carrots, citrus, and beef jerky.  This time I tried a new beef jerky “Jeff’s Gourmet Jerky“.  In a single word YUM.

I will be writing a post about this new Jerky soon…

At 8:30am the five mile race downriver and into Seddon Channel and back.

The two paddle craft that were in front were an Epic and a carbon tandem kayak (I could not make out either model).  All but one participant went around the marker.  What I also noticed was how some people struggled with making an one-hundred-eighty degree turn.  Several paddlers in expensive kayaks would just kill them selves with short port side strokes.  Some people did use a sweep combined with edging.  It was the leaders of the heats used either a low-brace on the outside (port side) or a high-brace (on their starboard side) to turn.  Turning in a race like this made all the difference.

The 2 mile family fun paddle began at 10:00.  I saw more people on paddle boards during the family paddle than kayaks.  The attraction to using an SUP is easy for me to see.  A person can see more by giving a new dimension above the water.  SUP’s are light weight, easy to transport, and easy to store in and apartment or garage.  Granted I still prefer camping and paddling during small craft advisory days.  So I am not going to convert to the SUP just yet.

From what I saw on and off the water everyone had fun.  Everyone was a welcomed participant.  See, in a means to encourage everyone to sign up for the race and come out have fun and help BEAT CANCER WITH A PADDLE, the organizers offered the event to everyone.  No paddle experience was required for either event and rental kayaks and standup paddleboards were available.  If you get a chance mark you calender for next years event.  And maybe I will see you on the water – Jeff

Toxic Sludge

Posted: January 14, 2011 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Giving Back, Think Green

Last night Sean and I met with Russell and Ron at The Brew Garden.  It was a successful evening and we covered a lot of material.  But this post is not about the plans on our future paddle, the Sweetwater Symposium, the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival, or the Safety Class we are offering to our local MeetUp group.  This post is about a new brew.

I asked the bartender what the new tap beer was this month and she said “we just got ‘Toxic Sludge’ in…I don’t know anything about it…want to try it?”  I said yes and it was good.  It was so good that even Sean and Ron ordered a glass.  We were trying to figure out why it tasted so good.   It looked and smoothly flowed past my teeth like a stout but tasted like an IPA.  It had a lot of pine hop taste, a chocolate malty base, a tan stout like head, and a light burnt aroma.  No one at our table is a foodie or beer aficionado but we all thought that this new beer was a dark IPA but to our knowledge there is no brewery making a dark IPA.

Today I did a little research and discovered we were drinking not only a dark IPA but also that our beer drinking dollars were going to a non for profit cause.  Blue Point Brewing Company made and launched “Toxic Sludge” in August 2010 in response to the BP Oil Spill.   And 100% of the proceeds go to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research for their “Spreading Our Wings” Capital Campaign.  There are only three disappointing things about this great thing that Blue Point is doing.

  1. The oil spill was the muse for this great tasting Dark IPA.
  2. It is very hard to find.
  3. They have made a limited batch and when it runs out it will be gone.

All I can say is  I hope two things happen.  I am going to try to find some 22 ounce bottles for a rainy day.  And  I hope that there are so many people enjoying this brew that Blue Point decides to make “Toxic Sludge” a permanent addition to their list of well crafted beers.  – Jeff