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Sunrise paddle to be held in February

January 3, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Join the Ocean Tribe Paddlers next month for the first sunrise paddle departing from Causeway Island A.

Sanibel Sea School Outdoor Education Coordinator Walter Cheatham said the sunrise paddle will be great because it's at a time in the morning when not many people are out on the water. With that said, it's the perfect time of the day to be on the water, watching the sunrise from the water.

The sunrise paddle will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. This paddle follows the Jan. 2 full moon paddle, an excursion through the mangroves.

Article Photos

Join the Ocean Tribe Paddlers Club Saturday, Feb. 10, at Causeway Island A for a sunrise paddle at 6:30 a.m. 


"It's kind of spectacular being out there," he said of the moon shadows in the mangroves. "Mangroves are already kind of prehistoric and other wordily. You add a moon cast to that and you are in a different world."

Cheatham hopes that there will be a certain kind of misery tied into the paddle in February. Everyone is going to be sitting there exhausted, he said, as they rub away the wee morning hours of the meetup.

"Suffering builds community," he said, adding that everyone who meets up for the sunrise paddle will have shared the same experience, fighting off the tiredness for the love of paddling.

Since the full moon, and sunrise paddles are out of the ordinary, Cheatham said they are perfect to do in a group.

"People don't like to do unusual without a group," he said. "They like to go and do new things with a group."

The next meetup will be held in March for a new moon paddle, which means there will be no moon to paddle by.

"You go out on the west end of Sanibel and you can see the Milky Way. Everyone will want to experience the new moon," Cheatham said.

The February paddle will be the last of the meetups before a mandatory membership will be required to join the festivities. The membership will include visits to new paddling locations and seasonal themed paddles, paddling instruction and marine education, monthly conclaves for paddling talks and gear discussion, guest speaker events, film viewings and opportunities to try new equipment.

The membership is $50 a year for an individual and includes an Ocean Tribe sticker and shirt, or hat. The couple membership is $75 a year for two individuals living in the same household and includes two stickers, and two shirts, or hats. The family membership is $200 a year and includes a membership for all individuals living within the same household, as well as four stickers, four hats, or shirts.

The membership also grants the opportunity to vote in an Ocean Tribe election for president, secretary, treasurer and committee chairpersons, as well as 10 percent off all large ticket items in the Ocean Tribe Outfitters Store and 20 percent off smaller ticket items at the store.

There is also an annual $25 social membership available, which includes access to all off-water social events and an Ocean Tribe sticker.

Ocean Tribe Paddlers began by the staff at the Sanibel Sea School to assist the paddling community in exploring, enjoying and understanding the ocean, all while stimulating an engagement to become better stewards of the marine environment.

The vision of the club: "we look to a community that enjoys learning, spending time together on the ocean, with minimal impact, while becoming healthier, better stewards of our marine resources."

The club is a way to ease some of the daunting feelings one may experience when exploring a new area. Ocean Tribe Paddlers is open to anyone who has a paddleboard, kayak or other variation of a paddle craft. For those brand new to the paddling world, the Sanibel Sea School will provide instruction and equipment.

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