Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Kayaking, Manatees

Save the Yakkers!

Our dive club - Kayuba - has been launching our kayaks from the north end of Fort Lauderdale beach and going diving on the reefs that are just offshore since 2000! Very few people in the world practice this sport of kayak diving, and very few places in the world accommodate it like Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The Fort Lauderdale city council has a vote scheduled for this coming Tuesday, May 1, at City Hall. If it passes, this would effectively close the beach to kayakers. We are desperately hoping that they just don't understand the implications of what they're doing. What they are actually voting on is to put lifeguard stations up at this stretch of beach. That sounds fine. But, the problem is the law that states "No kayaks can launch from a guarded beach."

One of Kayuba's members arranged for a newspaper photographer to meet us all at the beach yesterday. We're hoping for a nice article in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel to explain the situation and help prevent what would be, for us 'Yakkers', a disaster. A bunch of us showed up at the beach to show our support whether we were going to dive or not. For more information on the issue, and what we can do, see See all the photos I took Saturday on my Web Album. (p.s. Here's the Sun-Sentinel article)

Saturday morning turned out to be perfect for a dive. A picture postcard day worthy of the Chamber of Commerce.

You don't have to dive to enjoy kayaking in the ocean.

And, you don't have to kayak to enjoy diving from the beach!

I dove with Debby in the 80's. She's been a member of South Florida Divers all this time. I'm so excited she just got a kayak, and she'll be joining Kayuba. The biggest question she had was whether she could load the kayak on top of her car by herself. She found this interesting gadget called a Hullivator, with hydraulics to help her get the kayak up and down. Pretty cool! Unfortunately, she couldn't stay and dive with us, so I didn't get to see it in action.

Oh Boy! We're goin' divin'

When we got back in, we were treated to a rare sight of a group of manatees cruising down the beach.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know how much we like kayak diving. Here are some past blog entries:

Have I told you how much we love kayak diving? (good overview, includes underwater)
The best exercise
Kayak Diving, Friends and Lobster
Kayuba Sunday
Kayak against Cancer
Front Page (includes underwater photos)
Kayak Diving (includes videos of getting on and off kayaks)
Kayak Diving: Oh Boy, My Favorite!


Chris said...

Wow, would I like to see the manatees sometime before I go.
Thanks for sharing.
What kind of kayaks do you have? How are they holding up riding on top of the car all the time?

Ashley said...

Geez, I haven't seen a manatee on the beach in about 10 years. You're so lucky! They used to be all over the place, but now it's like a miracle to spot one.