Post by Ken Corbett on Apr 18, 2007 9:23:03 GMT -5
For many years, I paddled only two-in-a-boat tandem on my river trips. After all, not everybody had a boat back then. Much like today, of course.
But all the canoeing video I saw as a youngster showed almost exclusively tandem paddlers. How many times have you watched Deliverance, for example?
The only solo paddling I ever did was on Keyhole Lake in my father’s fifteen-foot Chestnut, paddling over across the pond to check out the tumble-down hunters’ cabin. The thought of running between rocks with no one else in my boat never really occurred to me.
But now I don’t think I’ll ever go back to paddling tandem again. The last time Biff and I went on the Miramichi, my sixteen-foot boat was packed so heavy I thought I was steering an oil tanker by the rock at Burnt Hill. What made it worse, I couldn’t see from behind Biff’s back half the time to use my paddle for best results.
I enjoy the control I have paddling solo. I don’t have to coordinate strokes with someone who is not seeing the same thing I am. I can see the whole picture, and guide my boat the way I want without having to negotiate with another person. My boat is lighter and more responsive with just me and my gear inside.
Sure, I’ll miss the camaraderie two fellers in the same boat share, but it’s just as enjoyable to strike up a conversation with buddy in the other boat.
Tandem or solo? That was an easy choice for me. Other than in the Saint John river,coming down from the dam, I don't believe I had two people in my boat without going for a swim. I was reluctant to go solo but actually found it was easier and more enjoyable. The spacing of the seats in my canoe(15'9"OCV Prowler) make it difficult for a short guy like myself to see around the paddler in the bow. Tom (user:tgneal) has some pictures of my canoe around here somewhere of me solo and also with my swimming buddy Joe. I still enjoy the idea of taking my boys (or even the wife!)out in a canoe in a couple of years , so i've decided to try to find a Tripper to as a second canoe for when the space is needed.
I have personally seen Jamie go for a swim on the Miramichi... not a pretty sight. It took almost 20 minutes to rescue all that beer.
On our June 2005 Miramichi trip we had and extra paddler so our buddy Pat took his kayak. He dodged rocks and rapids like they weren't there. His kayak was very manoeuverable but it didn't hold much gear. Here's a picture of Pat in his 'yak;
Here is a picture of Jamie using his canoe as a tandem on the Miramichi in June 2005
Hey Ken, Sounds good. I'm thinking an Old Town Appalachian might make a good solo boat. I'm thinking of building a removable seat for my old fibreglass Chestnut so that I can convert it into a solo boat when needed. Sitting in the bow seat sitting backwards doesn't work as this boat isn't symmetrical. Also I can't use it on the rivers because I hit too many rocks and the fibreglass wouldn't hold up. Take it easy, Tom
First , nice pics of the chi tom, luv that run. What were you paddling Jamie? Last year, there were about 8 guys who showed up at half moon and hit the river right away. They all had Appalachians , and swore buy them as far as a all around river solo canoe. Myself i've never tried , and was reluctant for fear of not being able to control the ship without a bows men down a rough river. However ,last Saturday , a few of us from work decided to try a run on the Pollet before this weekends mayhem. The river was low and we placed plenty of new scars on our crafts . But I had a chance to watch and enjoy an experienced solo paddler navigate this river along with us effortlessly. I think ,but , am not sure he was in a 17ft penobscot. Now i know i gotta try it . Yet , i keep thinking who steers while your sippin on a beer .
Jamie and I had that discussion while sailing the Nashwaak a couple weeks ago. (both solo). I paddle solo (with the dog) when i paddle the big river here in Miramichi. for river runs it's often with a partner. I find solo is best in rough waters unless your partner is fairly skilled and you have a good communication going between you. that is often NOT the case on lots of "fun" runs. The first time i ever soloed, my old man let take his brand new Chestnut across Nictau lake. I was about 13, got out in the middle, the wind came up and i promptly flipped it. probably the best canoeing lesson i ever had. (I still have that canoe, repair tips anyone?) I've done 3 in lots of times and i've sworn off that forever too! anyway, i'd say i prefer solo these days, just easier to maintain control most of the time.
just a quick note on the kayak comment, the scout shop in st. John has an excellent supply of tripper kayaks with high volume storage and accesories to carry more and keep everything water tight, same goes for canoes as well