The weather has been crappy the last 4/5 days with pretty much constant rain, ranging from that ‘orrible light stuff that gets you really wet without you realising it to raining proverbial cats + dogs where you nearly get knocked off yer feet by the wind + rain! It started clearing up a little yesterday and continued today, meaning I got a chance to try out my new Sea Eagle SE330 canoe:
I’d read about inflatable canoes in the past and dismissed them, thinking back to the inflatable dinghies and such kids play in (including me + my sister freezing on Loch Morlich in Scotland on one in the middle of summer whilst kids!), however after reading about them in Hiking magazine over the summer I looked again. There are some that pack down to the size of 3 season sleeping bag and weigh 3-4lbs which are designed for backcountry hiking + paddling, however I figured something a little heftier would be needed in the waters up here. Saw a YouTube video of a group using Sea Eagle canoes on the Kuskokwim which gave a good indication these were pretty sound, and have seen a couple of people in the village with canoes. The kids certainly thought it was different!
The canoe itself is split into three chambers which take a little under a minute to inflate each of them. Including sealing the one-way valves and inflating the front + rear skirts, it’s easily out of the bag into the water in five minutes. Although I initially had the seat around the middle of the canoe, it was a little unstable, however after sliding it further back it became a lot easier and more comfortable. Although not quite as stable as a regular hard-hull canoe, it was infinitely more stable than the kayaks we had in Lake Tahoe 🙂
Hopefully the weather will keep clearing up (it’s due to be sunny and around low 70’s by Wednesday) and I can load up some fishing + camping gear and head down the river a little bit. Since there’s a couple of months where I should be able to get some good use out of it, it’s a good way to get out of the house and trying to catch non-existent fish… Plus, it’s easy to mail to the lower 48 when we move next year and Kat thinks it would be pretty cool way to spend a day on a lake or river. Just not up here as the water’s a bit too cold for her!