Paddling for a Cause

190 miles on southwest Florida's Great 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. It wasn’t entirely a casual multi-day paddle through tranquil turquoise waters, though. 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.

“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, Liquidrythmnkayaking.com.

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.

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