I haven't posted much lately, but I lurk regularly. Last spring, with a lot of help from this forum, I bought my first canoe, a Bell Eveningstar royalex. My intention was to get my family out on the water (wife and 2 kids). We had recently moved out of state, to a small town on a pretty good sized midwestern lake. 13,000 acres, about 9 miles long and 2 miles wide.
I guess I had a lot of romantic notions about lake life. Well this lake is completely overrun with jetskiers, motorboaters, tubers, bass boaters, etc. The wind blows constantly like a blast furnace out of the south. The mosquitos are un-phased by the wind and thicker than I have ever experienced. Black flys, no seeums, etc, also. The shoreline of the lake is a tangled mess of sunken timber and treestumps. Like so many other places, the rivers dry up in the summer too. Anyway, it's not the tranguil paddling dream I had seen in the magazines.
I did manage to get the whole family out though. My wife loves canoeing now; so does the 3 year old, albeit only about a half-hour at a time. Our 12 year old daughter is not so keen on it. Maybe I should have got 2 boats originally, but there were budget constraints. Our daughter is spending most of this summer with her friends on their skiboats, tubing, etc.
I've really been bitten by the sailing bug lately. I'm sure my disdain for all things motorized would not change, but it seems like a sailboat may be a safer vessel on this wake-covered lake of ours. I listed the canoe for sale with the intention of putting the funds toward a sailboat. I don't have the space, time, or budget for both. Although I think I could squeeze 2 canoes in somewhere, and that is still an option. More and more it's just 3 of us going out paddling though.
I cancelled my for sale ad a couple days later when I took the canoe out again. It's such a nice boat, perfect for a family, for camping, great for fishing, I really enjoy it.
My son and I put our final coat of finish on a "home depot" canoe pole today. We'll give it a few days to cure, and get out for some poling on our dried up river next week. Almost every day the 3 year old says to me, "Dad, can we go out sailing in the boat today?" To him, being on the water at all, in any vessel, is sailing. I love spending time on the boat with him more than I ever thought was possible. Every few feet of travel is an adventure to him, it really makes you re-think your attitudes toward life.
I love the simplicity of a canoe. I love the silence of it slicing through the water. I love the rare bluebird days when the wind doesn't blow, the bugs for some unknown reason leave you alone, you're out while the powerboters are still sleeping it off, and the lake is like glass. It's rare when those moments all come together, and so wonderful to share them with my family.