By Dan Olson
This season, the Canoe committee focused on four areas of activities related to instruction, high adventure, family activities and public trips. The Canoe committee exists in a virtual and inclusive world, drawing participation from Sebago kayakers, sailors, rowers and their families. Canoeing provides a great way for beginners and non-paddlers to safely enjoy the water, learn a new skill, perfect an old one or go camping. For the 2017 season, the Canoe committee plans to offer more of the same. And we think that’s pretty good!
Instruction: Chris Russo offered a number of training sessions in solo and freestyle canoe. We hope to expand the solo canoe inventory so more people can participate. Training this year also included a Level 1 workshop at Lake Sebago for parents and kids, while experienced members joined the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) for a successful weekend whitewater course (led by member Loretta Brady).
High adventure: We completed a multi-day trip in the Adirondacks where we are exploring the Whitney Wilderness. This trip was co-led with the Appalachian Mountain Club and open to members of both AMC and SCC.
Families: Our annual Columbus weekend family canoe camping excursion (this year on the Delaware River) included a large number of kids. We’d like to go back to the Pine Barrens, but the water levels need to be higher. Several Boy Scout groups received training and, in return, helped us load 6 canoes with garbage at the Trash Bash. Up at Lake Sebago, Jerry Dunne provided weekly instruction as the campers prepared for the Youth Regatta. We continue our partnership with the Concrete Canoe Club of CCNY.
Trips and open paddles: Day trips have included the Carmans River and support for the Bronx River Flotilla. The two war canoes were used for several public events where we could accommodate all ages on short trips.
Fleet, maintenance, paddle making: Our fleet is now at its optimum size and quality thanks to the great work of Steve Welch, who made a number of trades over the last two years. Big thanks to Jim Luton, who led a paddle-carving workshop where six participants finessed a custom paddle out of a block of wood. Most wooden boat features and paddle received coats of varnish (or is it shellac?)
Big news for the 2017 season is the restoration of one of the war canoes. The boat will have its ribs, thwarts and gunwales repaired, and receive new canvas. We hope to get it on the water for more club and public events. Please sign up for special big boat training! You can expect a continued focus on training and certification so the club will have more skilled paddlers and trip leaders.
Photos from Delaware River Trip courtesy of Chris Bickford. (Click on images for larger views.)