Water sports are often at the center of a family’s or an individual’s recreational schedule. Water skiing, speed boating, sailing or parasailing, scuba diving, and fishing are just some of the many exciting activities that you can enjoy on a stream, pond, lake, or sea. Depending on where you live and the places you want to visit while on vacation, you can probably find a suitable body of water for canoeing, a popular favorite of the water-loving sports crowd. You can rent a canoe or bring your own, and do it alone or take along a friend, making this one of the more versatile water activities that is readily available. Whether for a weekend getaway or a two-week vacation, you can enjoy a leisurely canoe ride as part of your fun schedule away from home.
1. For less experienced or younger canoeists, try paddling around a pond or down a slow stream. This will help get the paddlers used to the momentum needed to keep the boat moving along. Canoeing in shallow water lets beginners learn to navigate water with little danger of drowning, especially with two or more people together. If one ends up in the water, the other may be able to help pull him out.
2. Those with intermediate canoeing skills may want to take the boat out onto a lake in the area. With deeper waters, more of a current, and a higher volume of traffic, the canoeing experience will be more challenging, thus helping the paddlers to improve existing skills or to develop new ones. For this type of outing, the occupants of the canoe should wear life jackets and bring along safety equipment, like a radio and any needed supplies.
3. A more challenging outing can be experienced in mountain streams, parkland lakes, or seawaters. These areas should be undertaken by only experienced canoeists, as unexpected currents, flood waters, or obstacles can throw a boater off-guard. A good idea would be to take a boating safety course first and learn how to manage a canoe in adverse circumstances, such as a boat leak, illness, or unexpected severe weather.
If you take your own canoe on one of these trips, be sure to check the boat for leaks, and make sure it is clean and ready for use. Don’t forget to see if the life preservers or jackets operate, as they should. Presumably, a rental boat would have undergone the same sort of inspection. When putting any boat into the water, make sure it appears seaworthy, and that you have all the necessary equipment to make a safe trip, especially if you’re headed to the wilderness.
Canoeing is fun but challenging. Learn boating safety and first aid practices in case a problem should occur, though hopefully none will. Depending on where you will be canoeing, find out who the maritime authorities are so you can get help or report problems, if necessary. Always take a communications device with you in case of emergency.