Experiences, Humor and Other Thoughts of a Paddler

May 08, 2015 at 11:38 AM



Tags: Canoeing Kayaking Watersports
Category: Just For Fun

A Couple Hours Paddling

My work day got to be longer than expected and I was hoping to get out paddling and do a little fishing. The wind had died down but it was already 6:30 and it would only be light for a little over two more hours. But I wanted to go paddling. So I loaded up and headed out. Twenty minutes later I was at the lake with my dog and canoe. Only the lightest breeze was on the water with brief times of perfect reflection. White pines, geese honking from overhead and from landings on the water, spring Peepers, Wood Ducks, Bared Owls, beaver splashing and as special treat for tonight, a family of otters cavorting along the shore. How can all this sound be so peaceful? Suddenly the swallows were everywhere. These birds, half rocket and half butterfly were like a plundering mob snatching the lakes' insects just as they were spreading their wins for the first time or even while still on the water surface stretching into their new flight gear. I couldn't stop watching them, and thanking them for their service. How many more biting insects would there be if not for these creatures. I never took the rod and reel out, tonight that would have been distracting. I just paddled slowly through the surround sound of the evening. It was getting pretty dark by the time I decided to start back, but I know this long narrow lake very well so I had no concern about getting lost. When I came up to shore I paused to listen a little more, wishing I was equipped to camp out in the perfect calm of this evening. There is seldom anyone else around in early spring. With return of the water foul and other birds spring can instil peace and calm. A couple hours is all it takes.

I am going to try this just for fun: Let me know if you have any good ones to offer.

YOU MIGHT BE A PADDLER IF:

  • A trip around your yard revels several "Mysterious" large football shaped dead spots in the grass
  • If you find yourself telling your friends that you have canoes on your car roof to prevent hail damage.
  • If people always ask what died in your car trunk
  • Here's a new one. I "reasoned?" that I could paddle from the solo seat (half way between the yoke and stern seat) with a similar weight friend in the bow and make up for the weight distribution with gear. This is a Wenonah Prospector after all; the original do anything you want it to do, canoe. I like the solo seat because I prefer to kneel when paddling. After two hours of watching two complete novices showing their guide(me) how to paddle a meandering stream we made camp and changed to a more conventional seating arrangement. Paddling became fun again. Keeping your canoe trim is really important. I forgot how important until this experiment. Ever take the exact same line as the boat in front of you but dump anyway, with them watching?
  • Ever load up at a busy portage and just before heading out, dump in front of everyone?
  • Ever struggle over a long hard portage with a heavy pack and get passed by some slender and incredibly fit person who is ten years older than you?
  • Ever have the wind rip your only map out of the tie downs and blow it fifty yards in the direction you just struggled to come from?
  • Ever gone paddling on a well below freezing day to find your kayak too heavy with encrusted ice to pull it up the slippery shore?
  • Ever forget about your wet neoprene booties in the back of your truck for two weeks in summer? I have.

Paddling is about fun, quiet, friends, exercise, adventure, excitement, challenge and memories. With gas prices going up the way they are it can save money over using a three or four mile per gallon motor boat. There is no gasoline, oil, battery or heavy duty vehicle needed to get you and your gear to the destination. If you don't have enough room to haul your canoes or kayaks, look at the very handy canoe trailers. I carry Slick Rydr Brand because they are excellent and never rust. Trailers allow you to haul all your gear for the whole family including your bikes, luggage, boats and accessories. When not in use the trailer can store you boats and accessories so all you have to do to get going is hook up and drive.

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