Paddle Jam a unifying spectacle

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM.

While rafting up, paddlers amused themselves by blowing bubbles and tossing a pink beach ball. Two rafters donned realistic horse head masks.

Debbie Hooper of JoeBay Aerial Photography circled overhead in a small plane capturing images of the kayaks traveling from the marina to a spoil Island and rafting up.

Patriotis arrived on the scene in a support boat and waved a blue satin flag for attention. He said all of the kayaks needed to raft up when the Coast Guard vessel sounded a horn as a signal.

Patriotis said there were nine privately-owned support boats and several wave runners on site as well as boats from the Coast Guard, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and St. George Island Water Rescue.

One man had to be towed ashore when he experienced back pain. Two paddlers left their boats and entered the water. In both cases, the water was shallow enough to stand and the two were restored to their kayaks with a helping hand from other paddlers.

The weather was perfect for an event on the water with a light breeze and temperatures in the 70s. After rafting up for an aerial photo, the happy participants made there orderly way back to shore and participating boats were quickly removed and carried to vehicles with the help of volunteers.

On Sunday morning, the event climaxed with Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Day at Regatta Park on St. George Island . After a service before the majestic waters of the bay, there was yoga, racing and SUP demonstrations.

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