Carter training for 25-mile prone paddle to benefit Grove Park dock

July 24, 2020

Gung-ho. That’s Marine Corps veteran Mark Carter’s attitude about the Grove Park canal dock project inching closer to reality in Rehoboth.

He’s been spearheading efforts, along with others in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, to help raise funds for the million-dollar-plus project.

In addition to successfully bending other people’s elbows for donations, Dogfish Head’s Beer and Benevolence ambassador plans to bend his own elbows to further stoke the cash fires. But it won’t be with Dogfish 60-Minute IPAs.

On Aug. 13 Carter plans to paddle, with only his arms and hands, a 16-foot prone board 25 miles from Indian River Inlet to Grove Park, via the Atlantic coast and Lewes. Prone means he’ll be lying down as he paddles. As a surfer, he’s no stranger to paddling boards.

Carter’s aiming to raise $10,000 for the project. So far, using a GoFundMe site on the internet, Carter and dock supporters have raised $5,500. He’s hoping to wrap up the campaign by the time he begins paddling up the coast, around the point and into Roosevelt Inlet before making his last leg to the Grove Park dock site.

“One idea I have that I’d promote closer to the date is to have some folks join me from Canalfront Park in Lewes for the last leg,” wrote Carter in a recent email.

That would be a fun flotilla for local paddleboarders and kayakers to join. With burning shoulders at that point, Carter will appreciate all the encouragement he can get.

Carter also explained some of this thinking behind the adventure he plans: “The dock project is one that I’ve been involved with for a long time, and I feel the canal is a beautiful waterway that folks don’t realize is there. The dock will provide public access in Rehoboth Beach and a launching point for kayaks and stand-up paddleboards along with establishing infrastructure for potential water taxi/eco-tourism services.

“It will also provide just a nice way to sit by the water and enjoy some fresh air,” he said.

“When the pandemic started, like many I had a little time to slow down and self-reflect, if you will. I took that time to build the prone paddleboard, something I’ve been wanting to do, and I thought why not build it, train a bit, and try for a long paddle. Then I said why not raise some dollars for the dock project, and I looked at charts and estimated what I hope is an attainable yet formidable distance to attempt.” 

You can join Mark’s effort by going to the GoFundMe Grove Park site.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter