October 2009 Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival


The nation’s premier canoeing and kayaking destination is set to explode with activity in mere days. The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is two weekends of happenings plus fun in between – Oct. 23 through Nov. 1.

Check it all out at www.CalusaBluewayPaddlingFestival.com


There’s something for everyone all week long.

Saturday, Oct. 24, free at Mound House, Fort Myers Beach:
10 a.m.: Theresa Schober, Cultural Resources Director of the Mound House – “Paddling through the Past” – Between the high rises and golf course communities of southwest Florida, another landscape is revealed which expresses the complexities of a society that occupied this area for at least 2,000 years. Archaeologist Theresa Schober will compare the built landscape of the past and present and interpret these cultural symbols on the land in terms of the social history of the powerful Calusa Indians who controlled these waters through Spanish contact.
11 a.m.: Gene Toncray, storyteller, A Pack of Great Tales – “Folklore and Legends of Florida’s Wildlife” – An exploration of our flora and fauna through the oral tradition of storytelling. Enjoy tales of How Possum Got His Skinny Tail, Alligator’s Rough Back, and much more.
Noon – Don McCumber & Mike Devlin of 21st Century Kayaks – “Step forward in history with 21st century kayaks” – Building a 21st century kayak kit frame in less than one hour. The history of kayaks and the building process.
1 p.m. – Ed Engel, paddle maker – “Greenland paddles … how to make and use” – Open discussion and demonstration on design, making, and using traditional kayak paddles.
2 p.m. – David Loger, kayak fishing guide with Adventure Kayak Fishing – “Kayak fly-fishing” – Focusing on fly-fishing including a casting seminar.
3 p.m. – Matt Keene, of the “Sunshine Expedition” – “Paddling around Florida” – A presentation on the first successful circumnavigation of Florida on the C.T., focusing on the successes and failures of the trip, lightweight gear and long-distance adventures.

Sunday, Oct. 25
, at San Carlos RV Resort, Fort Myers Beach… speakers/demos included with $19 ticket for food, music and more (Call 800-525-7275 to reserve your spot.)
2 p.m. -  Kayak Rescue Demonstration and Practice by Pat Owen, with the Southwest Florida Paddling Club and an ACA Level I Certified Instructor, will demonstrate/practice the paddle float rescue, stirrup rescue, 2-man and 3-man rescue.
3 p.m. – Kayak Rolling Demo by Rick Storsberg, an ACA open water sea-kayak instructor working for Sarasota County Parks.
4 p.m. – Doug Alderson presentation: Paddling from Orlando to Lake Okeechobee through the Kissimmee Valley, highlighting the restoration of the Kissimmee River. To learn more, log onto: http://www.dougalderson.net/new-dawn-kissimmee-river.html also a presentation by Ed Schessel on ‘Paddle Surfing the Web.’

Thursday, Oct. 29, free at Hilton Garden Inn, Fort Myers
6:30 p.m. – Terri Krass with the SW Florida Paddling Club will present her hands-on “Camping from a Kayak” clinic.

Friday, Oct. 30, a
t Up River RV Resort, North Fort Myers … $1 admission. (Call 239-543-3330.)
9 am. Speakers from E.C.H.O., Manatee Park, Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve and Paddle Creek Outfitters; followed by guided walking tour and/or paddle.

Friday, Oct. 30, at Tarpon Lodge, Pine Island … story telling and re-enactments included with $35 ticket for food, music and more. (Go to www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com to reserve your ticket.)
7:30 – 11 p.m. with Calusa Ghost Tours at the lodge and on the mounds of Randell Research Center by moonlight

Saturday, Oct. 31,
at free Randell Research Center
10 a.m. – Michael Wylde, Randell Research Center Manager – “Current Research at Mound 5″ – Discussion on the current excavations and research on Mound 5 of the Brown’s Mound Complex at the Pineland site.
11 a.m. – Bill Richards, of Paddle Florida – “Go With The Flow” – A review of the recently completed paddle event on the Suwannee River and a look at next year’s schedule of events for Paddle Florida here in SW Florida.
Noon – Don McCumber & Mike Devlin of 21st Century Kayaks – “Step forward in history with 21st century kayaks” – Building a 21st century kayak kit frame in less than one hour. The history of kayaks and the building process.
1 p.m. – Morgan Palmer, NBC-2 Meteorologist – “Weather of Southwest Florida” – A look at the hurricane season, the winter forecast for Southwest Florida, and your weather questions answered.
2 p.m. – Scott Hoffman, writer/photographer/film maker – “Kayaking the World” – In pictures, film, and music, Scott will share his stories of kayaking in Alaska, China, South America, and Siberia’s Lake Baikal among other locations.
3 p.m. – Dominick Greco, Pro Angler-Kayak Instructor-TV Host – Kayak Charters – “Kayak Fishing & Rigging” – Everything kayak fishing from advanced rigging to the most effective lures and retrieves used. New and innovative gear and how to use it. How to read water and find productive water for fishing.


Don’t miss out…
VIP Wristband – get extra value at 81 businesses and attractions plus keep the blue souvenir post-festival. $10 for all 10 days.
Paddlers Pig Roast Picnic – join kayakers and canoeists from the Florida Paddling Trails Association with live music, speakers and great food. $19; advance reservations only. 10/25 Sunday.
Calusa Costume Ball – dress as a conquistador or Calusa, enjoy food and drinks, win raffle prizes, including a new kayak. $35 in advance. 10/30 Friday.
Fish Fry – kickoff the blueway fest with southern charm. $15 in advance or at the event. 10/23 Friday.
Up River speakers’ series/tours – ever seen a manatee from a kayak? $1 in advance (or at the door if space available). 10/30 Friday.
Guided trips – paradise without a passport awaits you; let our blueway outfitters help. Various fees and times throughout the 10 days.
Hotels, motels, RV parks & campgrounds with special packages for festival attendees.


FISH: Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival catch-and-release kayak fishing tournament — $50; must be paid in full before Captain’s Meeting 10/30; fishing is 10/31.
RACE: Kayak races – we’ve got two for you to enter; both of them are challenging and fun. Varied entry fees; Imperial River Challenge 10/24 and Paddle of the Pass 11/1.
GEO: GeoPaddle Event – Come learn how to play in your kayak with your GPS. No entry fee but registration form required. 10/25.

Saturday, Oct. 24: Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival hub event. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mound House, 289 Connecticut St., Fort Myers Beach. Free. Speakers every hour on the hour. Vendors and informational non-profits. Kayak demos. Headline speaker: Matt Keene on “Paddling around Florida” at 3 p.m. Ethnobotany tours at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Guided paddles to Mound Key with local paddling clubs; guided tours on Mound Key for self-kayakers at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (239) 823-6335 or www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com.

Bonus: Saturday, Oct. 24
: Reception sponsored by Sea Kayaker and Canoe & Kayak magazines at Coconuts at Pink Shell Resort, Fort Myers Beach. Free. 5 -6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31:
Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival hub event. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Randell Research Center, 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland. Free. Speakers every hour on the hour. Vendors and informational non-profits. Guided paddles with local paddling clubs. Features Mote Marine Lab’s “Aquarium on Wheels,” a 1,200-gallon exhibit with touch tank and more. Kayak fishing tournament awards at 4 p.m. (239) 823-6335 or www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com.

Bonus: Saturday, Oct. 31: Reception and barbecue sponsored by Costco and Sun & The Moon Inn at Sun & The Moon, Matlacha. Free. 5-6:30 p.m.

And don’t forget Bluegrass for a Blueway – A Taste of Matlacha from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at Matlacha Park.

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