Originally Posted Online: Jan. 01, 2013, 6:34 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 01, 2013, 6:41 pm

Q-C paddlers make frigid first float to welcome 2013

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

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Photo: Paul Colletti
Members of the Saukenuk Paddlers float on the Mississippi River in Davenport on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. For the past forty-three years the canoe and kayak club members have put in for a first-of-the-year paddle from the Marquette St. landing to Credit Island and back. This year six members of the club braved the cold and took to the water for the traditional January 1 event.

DAVENPORT -- The sun was brighter than the biting of the cold Tuesday when the Saukenuk Paddlers took part in their annual new year's gracing of theMississippi River.

Saukenuk Paddlers Canoe & Kayak club members Rosemary Dreessen, Nick Bleuer, Lynn Majetic, JoAnne Rebello, John Zabloudil and club president Dave Hill launched into the river at 1 p.m. Tuesday from the Marquette Street boat ramp in Davenport, participating in the 34th annual First In Float.

The club also held a Last Out Float at 1 p.m. Monday.

Ms. Dreessen said they had help from some "support crew," also members of the club. The members paddled a couple hundred yards out into the river, she said.

"It was beautiful and invigorating just to see the sun on the water," Ms. Dreessen said.

The annual floats were first held Dec. 31, 1978, and Jan. 1, 1979, by club founders Harold Harrington and Dick Butts.

Area paddlers are invited to the club's monthly meetings, held at 7 p.m.the last Wednesday of every month, at the American Red Cross building, 1100 River Drive, Moline. For more information, visit rivers-end.org.