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Quapaw Canoe Company

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

Vol 7 No 8 -- update #2

Upcoming Events for paddlers

August 2011

Sunday 14 -- 2:30pm: Dave Cornthwaite arrives in the Memphis Harbor from Minnesota on SUP

Tuesday 16 -- 5am Chuck Dovish Explore Arkansas,

St. Francis River to Helena Harbor in big canoes -- there is still room for one or two more people if anyone is interested! Contact

Tuesday 16 -- 4pm: Dave Cornthwaite talk -- theatre at Mud Island River Park, Memphis

Thursday 18 -- 5:30-7:30 Chad Pregracke (Living Land & Waters) talk at the Univ. of Memphis, in the University Center, 3rd floor

Saturday 20 -- Floatzilla 2011 -- the largest flotilla of kayaks and canoes in the world?? Rock Island, Illlinois

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 26,27,28 -- Mississippi River Nature Festival at Tara Wildlife, near Vicksburg, Mississippi

Dave Cornthwaite is breaking one record after another on his Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) expedition down the Mississippi River from its Minnesota headwaters. As of now he has already broken the record for the longest journey on a SUP and also the most miles in one day on a SUP. Go hear Dave talk about his adventures Tuesday in Memphis. We’ll be hosting him as he passes through this section of river, maybe this weekend with some live delta blues R&R in Clarksdale (the town where the blues never died!) BTS founder Kristian Gustavson introduced us Mighty Quapaws to SUPs during the winter of 2009 on the Atchafalaya River and since then we’ve been keeping our livery of SUPs very very very muddy on the Lower Mississippi, testing their reliability in her sometimes violent waters, and even now using them as trash finders & removers during our Cleanup Project on the Lower Miss following the Great Flood of 2011. They seem to work great for most occasions. Go to latest “Driftwood Johnnie” Delta Bohemian entry at for photos & story. Speaking of trash, the savior of the Upper Miss, Chad Pregracke, will be in Memphis Thursday. Per tradition, the Mighty Quapaws will be providing short daytrips to Willow Island from Tara Landing during the annual Mississippi River Nature Festival (Stork & Cork). This will be a fascinating view of the changes along the Lower Miss near Tara, Eagle Lake Pass, Chotard Lake and Willow Island from this years’ flood -- which brought the highest waters and biggest volume river ever recorded in these parts!

Floatzilla 2011: go look at pictures from 2010, what a sight, it looks kind of like a photo my friend Norm Miller sent from the Mekong River in Thailand, where there was no end to the paddlers in various sizes & shapes of canoes. Imagine, a place where you HAVE to paddle because it's the ONLY way to get around... At one time all of the river flowing through the entire belly of America enjoyed scenes like this... it sort of looks like heaven on earth to me!

Lastly, folk music is not dead in America... Go to for a real-life song from a real life cajun guy, a fisherman, struggling to recover from the BP Horizon disaster. Louisiana Songwriter Drew Landry donated $5,000 & a song for the Health of the Gulf. Lend your support to this ongoing work! Download BP Blues by Drew Landry from iTunes by going to:

From Virginia McLean Friends for our Riverfront

Dave Cornthwaite and Tom Evans have taken on a big adventure – stand up paddleboarding down the Mississippi River! The goal: to encourage people to be good stewards of their own part of the planet and to raise money for charities and have fun along their way.

Come welcome them to Memphis and check-out stand up paddleboarding Sunday (8/14) 2:30pm @ Memphis Cobblestone Landing and Jefferson Davis Park.

Local paddlers are joining to usher them into the City, some at Shelby Forest, some at the N. end of Mud Island. If you’re a paddler and would like to join the group at Mud Island, contact Brian DeFouw of Outdoors Inc. (901)598-0712, Mark Babb of Ghost River Rentals (901)485-1220, or Keith Kirkland of Wolf River Conservancy (901)486-1919.

Before he heads south on the River, Dave will give a lecture about adventure, motivation, stand up paddleboarding the Mississippi, AND making the most of life in the theatre at Mud Island River Park, Tues. (8/16), noon – 4 pm.

Click on their websites for more information, photos, and videos of Stand Up Paddling the Mississippi.

Chuck Dovish & Arkansas Educational Television:

Paddle the Mississippi River for Explore Arkansas!

Route: St. Francis River to Helena Harbor

When: Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011

Meet Time: 5am

Meet Place:

Quapaw Canoe Company

411 Ohio Street

Filming for a future Chuck Dovish Explore Arkansas segment on the Mississippi River using our giant voyageur canoes. No previous experience necessary!

Description: Board shuttle for an early morning drive up the Helena levee (keep your eyes open for the strikingly beautiful indigo bunting which is commonly seen along the levee in the early morning hours of the day) and then up the low road through St. Francis National Forest as the owls are calling it a night and the squirrels and all the songbirds are waking up. Put in at the mouth of the St. Francis River as the sun is rising over the main channel of the Mississippi. Paddle over to St. Francis Bar for a quick swim -- and then paddle on down around the bend to Buck Island with all of the glorious first light of the day surrounding the forest and the river valley.

Sandbar Breakfast on Buck Island. One hour for exploring gravel bar and taking a swim in the warm waters of the back channel. Continue downstream around Buck Island with views of Crowley’s Ridge, the Helena Bridge and the strategic natural location of downtown Helena at the base of the Ridge. You’ve never really seen Helena until you’ve seen it from the river. This is how the first settlers saw it, and how the Native people who lived here for thousands of years experienced it!

Egrets, Herons, Ibis and other waders fill the sky as we swing on around the Riverpark past the end of the boardwalk and then cut into the Old Helena Harbor for the final lap up through the mirror surface of the calm waters, the grain elevators, the levee, and the top of the Delta Cultural Center resplendently reflecting alongside the walls of willows.


5am -- meet 411 Ohio

6am -- put in at Mouth of the St. Francis River

7am -- St. Francis Sandbar

8am -- Buck Island

10am -- Trotters

11am -- Helena Harbor

Cost: $100 each includes paddles, life jackets and all river gear, shuttles, sandbar breakfast and refreshments. Water bottles packed in iced cooler. Check or cash only.

Bring: sun protection, bug protection, shoes you don’t mind getting muddy & wet, and a swim suit & towel. Don’t forget your camera!

Limited Seating: first come first served.

Contact: John Ruskey or John Fewkes (870) 228-2266 for reservations.

From Colton Cockrum, University of Memphis:

I wanted to give you an update for the Chad Pregracke talk at the Univ. of Memphis. As you may remember, Chad is the founder of Living Lands & Waters, a non-profit that focuses on removing trash up and down the Mississippi as well as other rivers. He’ll be speaking at the U of M on August 18th from 5:30-7:30 in the University Center (3rd floor). I imagine that parking will be free for this event and you can park in the Zach Curlin Garage (which is connected to the University Center).

Colton Cockrum, Ed.D.

Assistant Director, Hardin Honors Program

University of Memphis


Floatzilla 2011

Floatzilla 2011 is the Quad Cities 2nd Annual paddle sports festival that culminates with a Guinness World Record attempt at the largest flotilla of kayaks and canoes on the protected backwaters of Lake Potter.

Mississippi River Nature Festival at Tara Wildlife

(near Vicksburg, Mississippi)





On 20th June British Adventurer and Blue Ambassador Dave Cornthwaite, 31, will begin a 2,400 mile journey from source to sea along the Mississippi River, by Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP).

The journey, which if successful will break the Guinness World Record for distance travelled by Stand Up Paddleboard, will raise charitable funds for the AV Foundation and CoppaFeel charities.

As an Ambassador for the Blue Climate and Oceans Project, Cornthwaite will be highlighting the ecological and environmental importance of this remarkable river that is vital to the daily needs of over 15 million people, provides drinking water to over 50 US cities and is home to 25% of all fish species in North America.

This isn’t the first endurance adventure for Cornthwaite, who crossed Australia on a skateboard in 2006, breaking the world record for the longest distance ever skated. The author and motivational speaker from London, England, is attempting to raise £1,000,000 for charity by undertaking twenty-five separate journeys of 1000 miles or more, each one using a different form of non-motorised transport. Along the way he hopes to complete an expedition on every continent, cross three oceans and reach both the North and South Poles.

The Mississippi River SUP Expedition will be the 4th journey of Cornthwaite’s Expedition1000 project. He has also kayaked from source to sea along Australia’s Murray River, and in April 2011 rode a tandem bicycle 1400 miles in 14 days from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, with Australian Adventurer Sebastian Terry. Among his remaining 22 journeys is riding a horse across Mongolia, paragliding 1000 miles along the Himalayas in Nepal, a row from Perth to Mauritius across the Indian Ocean and a ski to the South Pole.

Cornthwaite will be encouraging people to join him for sections of his journey downstream by paddling a Blue Mile and helping him raise awareness about the ecological issues facing this amazing river.

Cornthwaite expects to face several obstacles on the Mississippi River, including mosquitos, alligators, oil tankers, headwinds and turbulent water following recent flooding, but despite the challenges ahead he fully expects to reach the sea in September:

“The distance alone may be daunting, but the communities along the Mississippi are currently facing much greater problems than I will on this journey. I’ll be speaking in towns and villages on my way, and hope to encourage thousands of paddlers to join me and help raise funds as I pass through, something like Forrest Gump on a paddleboard! These journeys aren’t possible without the kindness of strangers, and I’m looking forward to making a river-full of new friends this Summer.’

Full coverage of the record-breaking Mississippi River SUP Expedition is available through Dave Cornthwaite’s official website,

Dave will be available for interview in Minneapolis on Friday 17th June 2011, from 10am at the Minneapolis Rowing Club, 2968 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406, UNITED STATES


Notes for Editors

Official Expedition Website:

Official Sponsors

Blue Climate and Oceans Project

BLUE connects people, their lifestyle and their passions by harnessing the popularity of adventure sports that showcase the natural environment.

BLUE works with world-class sports men and women who share their experiences, their passion for the environment and their commitment to healthy living with the wider community. BLUE channels this content to build digital learning, social networking and mass participation activities designed to achieve measurable behaviour change and clear environmental and social outcomes.

For more information please visit:
Tel: 07816 886651

Disc Manufacturing Services (DMS):

Disc Manufacturing Services (DMS), is one of the UK’s leading CD, DVD, Vinyl and Plastic Free Packaging Suppliers. Since 2008 DMS has had a strong focus on reducing its carbon footprint and focus on reducing the amount of plastic used in its music packaging. It was one of the first companies to proceed with the IG mark (Julies Bicycle) and has a full range of low carbon packaging for CD and DVD based releases. This range has proved immensely popular with clients and end purchasers and has led to DMS significantly reducing the amount of plastic used in packaging from 90% in 2008 to 10% in 2010. The focus is to have 0% plastic packaging by 2012.

For more information please visit:

Contact Details

Dave Cornthwaite


Tel (UK): Prior to 15th June: +44 (0)7872 986084

Tel (USA): tbc

On-the-ground support team chief in Minneapolis, Dave Englund


Tel: 651-357-8974

Hi-Res image downloads available from Media page on All used images to be credited ©


The AV Foundation -

Contact: David Graham –

CoppaFeel -

Contact: Kris Hallenga -