The fog heralded the start of a beautiful morning with a pink hue, as it subdued the colours of the sun rising over the Pine Forest on the way to Little Harbour, Saturday, November 5. Volunteers met early at Pete’s Pub to organize the annual Kayak Challenge, a fundraiser for Friends of the Environment and the Abaco Cancer Society.
On the deck facing the beach, tables were set with T-shirts for sale and raffle items such as two bottles of Bacardi rum, a stainless steel water bottle, canvass bags and a bronze dolphin, compliments of Pete Johnson. At another table volunteers welcomed the early comers handing out shirts to the pre-paid participants and registering the new arrivals.
The challenge route was changed this year: the participants were to be towed by boat to Jungle Creek and make their way back to the beach in front of Pete’s Pub.
By 8:30am the kayaks were laid on the beach and roped to each other, ready to leave the area and by 9:45am strings of colorful kayaks left the shore.
It was close to eleven when the first paddlers arrived, a team of father and son from Leisure Lee, Mr. Domino Pilate and his son Simon. They found some rough sea spots on the way, said Mr. Pilate, but they enjoyed seeing turtles and rays.
The second comer was Mrs. Rhyana Bethel from Hope Town who said she was by herself most of the trip and found the seagrass areas a little eerie.
Third was Mrs. Vee Dodson, also from Hope Town. The challenge is not a race; the participants enter it as a way to contribute to some worthwhile organizations while having a good time.
In the meantime, DJ Craig Boo had set up his equipment and was already playing an assortment of easy-listening songs; a nice background music that allowed conversation.
The kayak challenge was only the beginning of an event that was to continue on with not only music but also with good food, drink and company. The party lasted well into mid-afternoon.
According to the Executive Director of Friends of the Environment, Mrs. Kristin Williams, the event was very successful and consistent with the previous years as far as the amount of paddlers and money raised.
She said that the same people have been participating since the beginning of the challenge, a few years ago, and they have formed a strong group of locals and year around second home owners who enjoy getting together for the event.
The Kayak Challenge was organized by Mrs. Cha Boyce, the event coordinator for Friends of the Environment.