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Paddling Sports
Old 09-18-2009, 01:09 AM   #1
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Paddling Sports

It seems like whenever I mention "paddling" on this forum, someone thinks a little "spanking" is about to take place! But for you folks into canoeing and kayaking, please identify yourselves. Who enjoys travelling our lakes and rivers via manual propulsion?

We previously had done mostly canoe camping in places like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in NE Minnesota, Quetico Provicial Park in southern Ontario, the Buffalo National Riverway in northern Arkansas, the Current and Jack Forks Rivers in central Missouri and similar places. But we've recently starting kayaking closer to home and we're enjoying it a lot. It's surprising what nice, peaceful places you can find just over the horizon from the skyline of Chicago.

Here's DW in her Perception Tribute 12 heading downstream on the Kankakee River in northern Illinois. This was part of a recent club outing and was a great day on the water. We travelled about 10 miles with a stop for lunch at a scenic spot in Kankakee River State Park.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:53 AM   #2
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This is really different from the lakes and rivers of the northern midwest, but the best outdoor adventure I ever had was a canoe trip down Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend National Park along the Texas, Mexixo border.
DSC00171.JPG
This was 30 years ago, long before organized trips were common. We just put our canoes on the roof racks and drove there. We left one car at one end, drove back to the put-in area and hit the river. The Rio Grande is a nice sleepy river there, with an occasional set of gentle rapids. The scenery is fantastic. All dry desert and steep canyon walls. Once you enter the canyon, there is no way out other than the river for three days. I don't think we saw another soul the whole trip.

The photo above is from a blog. I'm too lazy to scan in one of mine. I believe organized trips are common now. There was some trouble down there some years ago. Some canoers were killed by a sniper.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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We love it - in all sorts of different water. We've taken some kayak classes too.

We haven't quite gotten to the point of hauling kayaks with us, but sometimes I feel like we are just an hair away from taking the plunge (pun!). We rent when we can. I always look with extreme envy whenever we are camping at a park with water and someone else has kayaks with them.

We're probably just going to have to get a rack for the jeep and get a couple of general purpose single-person kayaks.

Did some kayaking down some rapids a couple of weeks ago - what a blast! Even though it was a rented sit-on-top and inevitably got filled up like a bath time.

In June we canoed down a Missouri river that was running way faster than normal, and canoed through some really swift water. Wish I have been in a kayak instead!

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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I enjoy paddling, both canoes and kayaks, and usually own at least a couple of each. I paddle a sit-on-top a lot on my home lake. The best all around boat that I have come across is this one (Phoenix Poke Boats) -- I have the standard version in kevlar and it only weighs 22 lbs. There is plenty of room and my lab can even go along (as he does with the sit-on-top and canoe).

I lived on the French Broad River in western NC several years ago so spent many days on the river. A friend and I used to canoe/kayak/camp/fish on the John Day and Umpqua rivers when I lived in Oregon a few years back -- lots of good memories.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:32 AM   #5
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What is amazing to me as how shallow the water can be were you kayak . We kayak the bay ( which is in our back yard ) often and just glide over the oyster bars .
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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'nother kayaker here. Strictly flatwater type. Just spent a buch of days ignoring the world and kayaking. Dragged the trailer to a lakeside campground. There were only two other campers there. Benefit of retirement, all the w*rking folk and their kids are otherwise occupied this time of year.

The photo below was taken some time ago, it is at my favorite camp/launch site.

[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/LS38DC%7E1.OMI/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/LS38DC%7E1.OMI/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG]
This is my 18' kayak I built some years ago.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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Kayak (sit in) and WW rafter here Due to USN commitments, not so much in past year
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #8
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I like canoeing and kayaking and have done quite a few boundary waters/ Quetico trips and a couple of Everglades trips. When we were kids my dad rigged our canoe to sail, which was a blast. Currently I am without canoe as our aluminum one got lost in a storm (parked in dunes on Lake Superior, big storm, dunes changed and never found it.). My cousin has a number of canoes so I use her canoes. I do have a composite river kayak which I really like. Last year I bought my first inflatable and used that in the gulf last winter. I like the portability in the MH but dislike the set up and the wind vulnerability, even with a directional stabilizer. I HATE the cart I got to transport it, it is worthless.

Well, that was sort of stream of consiousness. . .
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #9
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Pic of DW & I on a cave paddle, one of my son on another paddle and one of me on Alaska glacier paddle. We mostly do bays & oceans with some cave stuff. When we hit WW rivers we use an inflatable raft.
We currently have a single folding kayak, a double folding kayak and a wood kayak I made.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:10 PM   #10
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We live in Vermont, close to the shores of Lake Champlain. We have kayaks and love to paddle there as well as on the Otter Creek and other lesser bodies of water. Having previously lived and worked in the DC area, whenever I'm out on Lake Champlain on a beautiful day, I stop and think that there's some poor SOB (it was me at one time) who is stuck on traffic on the Beltway, late for a meeting and really getting stressed about it.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:37 AM   #11
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Yep, canoes and kayaks for me. One of each.
Had a great trip off San Juan Island a few years ago.
Pod of whales was really close.
Leaving Tuesday night going to North Arkansas.
Camp and fish below Bull Shoals Dam and go on the Buffalo again.
Best raft trip so far was on the lower New River; class IV and V.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:44 AM   #12
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No canoes or kayaks, but I do have a 10-foot PortaBote for the north branch of the Potomac River, putting in at Shepherdstown, WV or Williamsport, MD. With a 5 hp outboard I'll motor up the river a few miles and just drift back down with the current. Throw a line in the water and not really care if anything bites.

That's a good way to spend the day.
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:48 AM   #13
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I prefer paddling longboards, but we're starting to see several kayak paddlers in the surf breaks.

They usually wear helmets.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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I love to canoe and kayak. Just something about getting out on a stream and floating along, taking in all of the nature...

Haven't done any down here in the South b/c the places I've seen offerring rentals are swamp/river areas where there are gators. I just can't bring myself to get in a kayak thinking a gator might swim under me. It actually happenned recently to a friend of mine.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I prefer paddling longboards, but we're starting to see several kayak paddlers in the surf breaks.

They usually wear helmets.
Hey Nords,
Have you ever kayaked to the caves on the Na Pali Coast?
IMG_0337.jpg
30 years ago I went on a Zodiac tour of the Na Pali Coast that included the caves. It was hair raising. We were in a big Zodiac with twin 150hp motors in maybe 6 foot seas. We caught a breaker and rode it right into the cliff, or so it seemed. At the last minute we could see the mouth of the cave then sudden darkness. We puttered through the cave and out the other side into a spectacular lagoon formed when the ceiling of an underground room collapsed.

The photo above was taken from a catamaran trip along the same coast a couple of years ago. They no longer allow motorboats into the caves for fear of disturbing nesting birds. At that time some company offered an ocean kayaking excursion there. It must be at least 5 or 10 miles of paddling. I wonder if they know what they are getting into?
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:56 PM   #16
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Hey Nords,
Have you ever kayaked to the caves on the Na Pali Coast?
At that time some company offered an ocean kayaking excursion there. It must be at least 5 or 10 miles of paddling. I wonder if they know what they are getting into?
No, never made the time for it. But I hear that's a very popular kayak trip.

When I'm out on the water by myself it's almost always surfing. If my spouse is along then we're either snorkeling or diving.

There's a strong demand for "hidden Hawaii" adventure tourism.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:31 PM   #17
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I tried to go on that trip, but it was cancelled when we reached the beach because the seas were too rough. Just as well, I probably would have been sick as a dog.

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Old 09-20-2009, 01:56 PM   #18
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youbet,

I enjoy all of the paddling activities you mentioned in your post. In fact, I spent more money (rental canoes) than I would like to admit floating down the Black River in Missouri which it sounds like you would like as well. (I have also spent quite a bit of time on the Missouri rivers you mentioned as well. They are similar to the Black.)

I have also spent quit a bit of time on sit-on-top kayaks both going down rivers in the Midwest and to get to interesting snorkeling locations in the Caribbean. I haven't ever tried the the whitewater version but probably will eventually.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:54 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the interesting comments and info!

As mentioned above, DW paddles a 12' Perception Tribute, a trim sit-in weighing just under 40 lbs. I paddle an Ocean Kayak 13' Prowler sit-on-top. My knees are way past being shot and I can't squat, so it's tough for me to get into a sit-in. With the sit-on-top I just walk it and me out to thigh deep water, back up to it, and sit down. Then I swing my legs in and I'm ready to go. My grandson's physical therapist at Easter Seals helped me develop the technique.

I still get in and out of a canoe fairly well, so I'm currently looking for a solo model, perhaps a season end close-out. Solo canoes are very popular with the paddling club we belong to.

We still use a tandem canoe for serious camping, but once DW got a taste of havng her own boat and being "in control," solo boats became our transport of choice for day trips!
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:00 PM   #20
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We sometimes take kids for a ride in an inflatable, when the lake is flat.
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