How long is your winter layoff from boating?

Early December last time, expect to put a boat in by March.

It has been three weeks, but that is because I have been remodeling the kayak cave, the weather hasn’t been the problem.

Yesterday’s park-and-play session:

It is going to rain here in southern New England today, and be in the 50’s tomorrow - everything will be running by the end of the week. Come on Pfizer and Moderna - we need vaccine. I’d like to do a car shuttle again. I also need to get back to the gym - I was huffing and puffing yesterday.


This year…about 40 days so far. Paddled on new years day. Injured an arm and haven’t paddled since. Did go on a canoe club paddle but took the center console boat to the Tiny Dock concert. It needed the exercise.

Water was 64.5 degrees on the fish finder. Guess we have less winter than some.

For quite a few years I’ve tried to make it out for at least one paddle every month through the winter. There was even the occasional winter overnighter, but I’d still call that a “lay-off” from paddling as I customarily did in warmer months. I normally thought of Late December as the end of the season and St. Pat’s Day or Easter as the start of the new paddling year. Around here (Southern Wisconsin) it had to be rivers since the lakes are always frozen in winter.
Then a hip surgery one year and a broken leg the next, both in the winter, knocked me off even that restricted schedule… and now, this year, there’s the shuttle issues.

At this time of year the “boating jones” sets in though, and my thoughts turn to this…

I’ll probably never really get into it… there’s the storage space and cost issues, but it sure seems like a fun way to continue “boating” through the lay-off. Any of youse guys do this?

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It depends. I have led a week long trip on the Lower Colorado R in February. I take my power boat out in all months except Dec and Jan. The drift boat will be going out by March. The season would typically be 9 months or a little less.

Well I got out and I’m really out of paddling shape. Just sitting up in the boat was an effort. The layers (drysuit/pile) kept the backband pushed down. I suffered a bit from cold weather exercise induced asthma combined with poor physical conditioning, so I was gasping after surfing and jet ferries, Not being stretched out is a much bigger deal now then when I was younger. I didn’t really feel like I could breathe well until I got home a took a few puffs on the inhaler. Here’s to hoping it gets easier as the weather warms up and I can get out regularly.

I paddle year around, but more often in the warmer months.

2 years and 5 months it seems…cripe has time flown. Last outing iirc was with my buddy Fred (Ravens Jester) on the New Boston section of the Farmington, a poling get together that sometimes had a dozen people now was down to 2. Haven’t heard from Fred in a long time, mutual friend bore some “not good” news about a year ago.
Retired (well, layoff from the dead aviation industry which will transition to official retirement) and moving, recently sold 3 canoes, down to my Whitesell which may go to the guy painting my house. On the plus side, still have 3 poles, 3 paddles, drysuit, mukluks, helmet etc…and will be moving most likely to an area with some nice rivers…and all my canoes were pretty beat up anyways. To be honest, the passion for paddling is dead, but pretty sure I’ll end up with a canoe to match the waters near the new place. Life’s a journey, and the boating got replaced with a renewed passion for fitness, easy to accomplish in my neighborhood and home.

Dang… from the way you used to paddle that’s quite a change. Its been nearly as long for me, though it sounds like in your case it was a total break while I still managed two or three very mild trips/year during the duration. Is your son still paddling the big stuff?
Sounds like pretty big life changes for you. I wish you nothing but the best what ever you do, but I bet you’ll find a paddle or pole in your hand again. The fire may go to embers but I don’t think it ever really dies. Good memories haunt, new waters beckon, we go back, jack, and do it again…
Please check in from time to time and let us know what you’re up to…

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Around five months… :frowning_face:

thanks for the kind words, and yeah, sure I’ll be back in a canoe again, love the poling and it’d be a hoot to get that going in a new area. Your prose is so very true, and eloquent at the same time.Thinking a nice light calm water canoe would be good as well, but I’ll adapt to what’s local. My son actually quit before I did; didn’t want his knees to get wrecked, kind of hard to paddle when you’re in the USMC, and now that he’s out he sort of paralleled my lifestyle, did the post Corp veg out for a bit, but is back into health and fitness, doing quite well as a computer geek. I’m super proud of the fact that he got “free college” twice, and at 25 bought a real nice home on his own, has his big truck and car as well. I credit that to natural born intellect combined with exposure to challenges growing up, whether on a river, ocean, mountain, or classroom. It was nuts for awhile, paddling WW sometimes 4 nights a week, then down to the sailboat for the weekend.
Wife and I will most likely be buying in NE TN, around an hour north of Aaron, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start reliving some good memories on the river.
Thanks again, and yeah, I still will be visiting pnet from time to time, searching…seeking…the mysterious…“GREY THING” :rofl:


Same here. The water is still stiff.

DM, I’m not where you are but I understand. I was never the paddler/poler you are but I stayed after it for years.
I no longer do full days in the marshes and rivers but I really enjoy a few hours of relaxing paddling.
It seems to be a natural progression as we age.

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Break broken today. Took 15 Air Streamers on a seven mile paddle down the Ocklawaha from the dam. Everybody made it. No swimmers. Did see half a dozen gators , some birds and a woman in a hammock along the woodszy/swampy part of the river.

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I’ve paddled the Silver a few times and started down the Ocklawaha. Didn’t get very far.

The Ock has two nice 10 mile stretches below the junction of Silver River at Rays Wayside park. The first ten ends at Gore’s Landing. It’s a county park with camping, restrooms, water, etc. The second ends at Eureka. A boat ramp just a little up stream of one of the abandoned locks from the canal.

The Ocklawaha runs from Harris chain of lakes through the state and national forests. Some high ground…lots of swamp. Very “Real Florida”.

What little I saw of it looked and felt real. Buggy.

Paddle faster.

On up stream of the Silver River on the Ocklawaha it is similar…except on up a ways there’s a drug rehab facility that uses drum circles in part of the therapy. … It’s kind of like you are paddling and the Jamanji drums are welcoming you.

I paddled the silver and then Ocklawaha the next day. Saw some of the same species of birds but they were much skittish on the Ocklawaha, even the turtles were more skittish there. Gore’s landing is on my radar as a place I can go stay in my camper without a reservation.