On Wednesday, we headed down to the beach and rented a canoe for a modest sum.  It was a nice, sunny day with almost no wind and we counted on some easy paddling on Silent Lake, especially considering it was Mojo’s first time in a canoe.

To keep the little guy safe, he was wearing his own doggy PFD (aka lifejacket) because he’s shown that he can swim, but we’re not that confident in his abilities to drop him in the middle of a lake and let him swim himself out.

We paddled past a couple of small islands and checked out a marshy inlet at the north end of the lake where the shore was riddled with fishermen who weren’t even getting nibbles.  At first, Mojo was in the middle of the boat, but the movement on the water made him unsteady and we were constantly on the verge of tipping.  Finally, Danielle took him in the bow with her where he braced his hips on the gunwhales and planted his head in her lap.

We paddled back near mid-lake to a small rocky island for a swim and to have lunch, then laid out on the rocks to get some sun.  After hours of paddling already, I tried to stick to the shade, but I was already feeling pretty sunburnt.

Since our canoe had fixed seats, it was impossible to kneel with your legs under your seat as they ran straight to the deck, so we had to paddle in a squatting position.  When we got back to our site, my back, arms and legs were lobster red.  My legs still have a very clear line where my shorts were and they’re still beet red, but showing signs of peeling.

All in all, it was a perfect day on the water and, as always, it was reassuring that I haven’t forgotten how to perform a near-perfect J Stroke or navigate a canoe with ease.  However, the whole experience did further convince me that a really nice canoe is something that our family is lacking, so maybe 2010 will be the year that we pick one up at an end-0f-season sale.  I’d kill for a kevlar, but would settle for a nice fibreglass one.

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