As planned for several years now, we have eventually and finally bought a canoe, a used 17 ft Grumman. We bought this canoe as a “starter” boat considering the low maintenance and relatively low cost. The boat will be stored outside in the sun, so we won’t have to deal with maintenance due to UV deterioration.
How much time and $ investment we are going to put into paddling in the long term is still in consideration (including the possibility of obtaining a canoe more suited to whitewater and the expensive accessories that can go with). Therefore, until this is worked out we are starting with basic, low cost equipment.
The boat’s first voyage was a run down the Bow River from Bowness to Edworthy on September 8. There are no photos because the ride was fast and pushing our abilities. The water level was low, with flow around 85 m3/s. The water looked shallow, but we did not once hit anything. We even managed a successful back ferry. So no dents in the aluminum hull (yet??).
The long term plan was to improve our paddling skills on the Glenmore Reservoir and eventually try the Bow River in a year or two, but a vehicle shuttle opportunity came up that we couldn’t turn down. So the destination order got reversed.
On Sept. 30 we finally made it to Glenmore Reservoir, and just in time for a late-season summer-like day with temperatures into the 20’s. The canoe came with cheap Canadian Tire paddles, one of which bent in half on our first paddle (not surprising). So we picked up some general purpose paddles at MEC, each 56 inch shaft, 7 inch blade width (which was the long-term plan in any case).
By the time we had the boat on the water it was around 1:30 p.m. We practiced various strokes, then headed up the Elbow River for 1 km or so.
The kids had a great time, especially the stop on the beach.