Posts Tagged ‘Fort Desoto’

Hows It Paddlers,

A couple of weeks ago I went for a paddle at my favorite close paddling destination, just to relax a little bit. I left the house with my Kayak, Paddle, PFD, and a dry bag that contained my MSR stove and gas canister and a cooking pot. I also had a Pasta Pak and extra rotini noodles. I decided that I would paddle for about 2 hours then go to an Island in the Inter-coastal waterway and cook and eat my lunch on the beach under the Australian Pines; then paddle in with a new state of mind.

Well the paddle was absolutely wonderful and it did refresh my soul!! BUT, lunch turned out to be an adventure in itself. I got to the island, pulled out my stove and pressurerized it. Got it lit and put my pot of water on to begin boiling it. All was going well when with the water beginning to boil; I discovered I had completely FORKED MYSELF!! I had forgotten to bring an eating utensil,UGGHHH!! On top of that the Mosquitoes found me and began their own feeding ritual– minus any type of eating utensil. Ah, ha!! I had an idea!

So as a Seasoned Kayaker and Survivalist, I did the only thing I could– I improvised!!! Found my trusty safety whistle on my PFD, and used it as a shovel to get the Pasta out of the pot and into my mouth. As I did this another boater was watching me on the beach, finally I looked over and said ” I forgot my Fork, that is why I’m shoveling and flipping noodles and sauce into my gaping mouth like a STARVED PELICAN feeding on a large school of small fish!!”
The boater laughed and said “as the Checkers commercials go– You Gotta Eat!” He had been wondering what I was doing, and was glad I explained it to him- We both got a good laugh from the situation! After lunch I took my time paddling back and reflected on a short, but enlightening days paddle.

I know this is not a very informative post, but I thought it was worth blogging about. Just goes to show you that as paddlers we need to remain flexible and think outside the box. Watch the animals and surrounding area- Nature might just be the inspiration/supplier you need to survive the situation. As an experienced paddler I am always amazed at what every trip out paddling makes you learn to appreciate or teaches us in some way. Well get out there and go Paddling!!

Constantly Learning, Sea Turtle Sean.

mmag00441_0000_1_P.S.—- Don’t forget about the Saturday, August 22nd Paddling Trip- we will be circumnavigating Mullet Key/Fort Desoto!! Check out the Trips Section of the site. Hope to see you there!!

We had a great time Saturday on the water. Two paraplegic veterans and their families participated in the paddle. The participants, their families, and local kayaking enthusiasts enjoyed their time paddling the mangrove trail around Fort Desoto.

ttrr-ft-desotoSaturday was the first day we used a special outfitted Kestrel 120 OC by Current Designs Kayak. The Kestrel 120 OC accommodates a specially designed seat that supports paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes.


It is also easy to outfit the stern of the Kestrel with a set of pontoons to inspire confidence in the guest.


I will elaborate about this boat and its adaptations in a future post.

I would also like to offer a special thanks to Kokatat, and Werner Paddles, for their help in supplying the Team River Runner Tampa Chapter with gear.

The waterway was low with a slow incoming tide. This concentrated the fish into deep holes that allowed some of our participants to test their fishing skills. Several got fish to hit their bait. Unfortunately, no one landed a fish.

After the paddle, we enjoyed a barbeque and discussed ideas for future kayaking.

In January 2009, I will teach a kayak rescue class for the Tampa Team River Runner volunteers. Several volunteers have never paddled with an amputee or a person with limited movement due to a spinal injury. Therefore, this class will become a necessary tool for the safety of the participants as well as the volunteers in the event of an unplaned capsize.