Fourth-annual Paddle Bath slated for Saturday

Published 8:30 pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some at Saturday’s Paddle Bath may encounter pirates along the way just as this participant did at a previous one. BATH BUSINESS ALLIANCE | CONTRIBUTED

Some at Saturday’s Paddle Bath may encounter pirates along the way just as this participant did at a previous one.

They’ve got the kayaks, and they’ve got the maps. Now, all they need is you.
The fourth-annual Paddle Bath poker run is Saturday. The event is organized by Bayview Business Alliance, a committee of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.
Registration and receipt of the first cards will start at the Historic Bath Visitor’s Center. The launch takes place at the Quarterdeck Marina at 10 a.m.
The visitor center’s Bea Latham said Paddle Bath is a great fit for the area.
“I think it’s a good way to promote the history of Bath, since we have been so dependent on the waterways from the time we were founded. It’s a good way to bring that to the forefront and highlight local businesses,” she said.
The chamber has received a lot of interest in the event from people outside the area. The majority of the registered participants will be from out of town.
“Our first registrations came from two people in Florida,” said Glenn Holt with Low Tide Realty. “This event is growing each year and attracting attention to our town and business community.”
The alliance started the event to promote local businesses. Participants will explore the waters that Blackbeard once sailed; only they will do so in kayaks and canoes.
Playing cards are given to participants at eight stops on land and on the water.
“This is not a race to the finish,” said Catherine Glover, executive director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce. “You’ll have more fun if you take it slow and enjoy the scenery of Bath Creek.”
Participants of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate.
Lynn Lewis, a Bath resident and Washington’s tourism-development director, has participated in all three of the previous poker runs. She said her 10-year-old was one of the winners the first year.
“It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the water in a much more passive manner than in the summertime,” she said. “And it’s a different crowd just about every year.”
Lewis said it is a great way to get out with friends and family, but it is also a great way to meet new people.
“Even if you don’t know somebody when you start, you will know quite a few when you’re done,” she said.
Knowledge of the area is not a prerequisite. Participants are given a map when they start. Because it is not a race, kayakers and boaters tend to travel in packs, and there is always someone in the crowd who knows the way.
Participants can use anything without a motor for the event. If you bring your own kayak or boat, the cost of the paddle is $20 a person, which pays for an event T-shirt and will help to fund a new website under development for the Bath Business Alliance.
Inner Banks Outfitters will rent kayaks for an additional $40 each.
“If you need a kayak rental, we do recommend that you preregister,” Lewis said.
At the end of the paddle, the hands are shared at Blackbeard’s Slices and Ices, and the three participants with the best poker hands will win cash prizes.
Paddlers are required to wear life jackets during the entire paddle.
To preregister, call the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce at 252-946-9168.