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Silver Lake dazzles adventurers on BC canoe trip

Laid back, amazing, relaxing highlighted comments from students who took the canoe trip to Silver Lake that was sponsored by the Bainbridge College Canoe and Kayak Club.

Leading the five students were club sponsors David Sarrette, who is planning a trip down Spring Creek April 10, and Eric Dueno, who completed a 100-plus mile four-day canoe trek from Lake Talquin Dam to Alligator Point, Fla., during Spring Break.

With BC since 2003, Sarrette teaches health, physical education and wellness. New to BC, Dueno teaches chemistry.

“There was no rush. Everybody went to have a good time, and there was not a single cell phone call the whole time,” said Richard Lawrence of Whigham, a Bainbridge College business administration major who enjoyed his first trip with the club. “It was a laid back, enjoyable trip where everyone participated, had fun and soaked up the sun.”

The March 12 trip was his first to Silver Lake. He enjoyed seeing ospreys and other birds and the fish that flipped out of the water. Like the others on the trip, he was aware of the potential danger of alligators, but knew the more immediate danger to avoid was from warps’ and hornets’ nests hanging in the trees.

Cairo resident Gail Sorrell was amazed to see the tops of trees as they floated over them in the canoes.

“This is the most amazing thing because Silver Lake is on flooded land, and we were gliding over trees,” she said.

Her husband, Gary Sorrell, an avid fisherman, also enjoyed their first trip to Silver Lake, although he regretted not having a fishing pole.

“It was a real Southwest Georgia experience and really highlighted our resources,” said Mrs. Sorrell. She and her husband are both BC students studying in health care fields.

They said it was a “perfect day” and relaxing. They were quite impressed with what the state has done to develop the area. It has good roads and picnic facilities but lacks restrooms.

The group of five students and the two club sponsors made the second outdoor adventure for the club’s 2008-2009 academic year. In October a larger group from the club went to Spring Creek and returned “pretty tuckered out from four hours of paddling,” Sarrette recalled.

He said among the highlights of that trip was the swimming of two Russians, Maria Chumovitskaya and her daughter, Nadia. Maria Chumovitskaya taught art appreciation during the fall as the college’s first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. As residents of cold St. Petersburg, Russia, they were amazed to swim in October.

For the trip April 10, which leaves at 10 a.m., BC students may sign up in the Arts and Sciences Division office, the sponsors said.