Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Canoe Trip, part four

"You want front or back?"

"Damn it man! Pick a side!" both are quotes from Doc on this trip.

There are three things to consider when opening a gas station: location, location, and location. In some weird way, I can see a lot of logic in this.

In a two-man canoe, location comes into play quite a bit. The guy in front helps to steer the canoe but he mostly is there to provide propulsion. The guy in back has to do most of the steering and contributes to the propulsion as much as he can, but in order for him to steer effectively, he must often alter which side of the boat he paddles from. While he is trying to steer, he must often rely on the guy in front to guide him as he can't see what is up ahead as clearly as the guy in front.

This is a team effort in even the easiest of waters.

In my canoe, the guy up front had certain advantages. He had lots of leg room and a backrest to lean against. He could prop his feet up on the prow of the boat and paddle with an ease that the guy in back would envy. The guy in front could coax us along and change positions as his butt and muscles dictated.

The guy in back labored long. He had the furthest to go to change his paddle over to the other side and this was an ongoing affair. His feet got more water-logged as all the bilge water headed for him. It was up to him to brake out the hand-pump to syphon it out. It was the guy in back who had to throw in the hardest strokes to save the canoe from meeting it's end on sharp rocks or fallen trees. The guy in the back was captain, but only the first mate could guide him.

I'll admit that I liked being in the back and being "at the wheel" as it were, but the times I paddled from the front were damn nice too.



  1. I'm glad you survived it all (so far)! :-)

  2. The easy thing right would be to tease you about how you "like it in the back" (and you're probably expecting that). I'm not going to do that because you're likely still water-logged and you have my sympathy.

  3. Doc, I'm just now catching up on your canoe trip. I read the other posts, and now this one.

    I am totally envious of you! Your pluck and your good humor really show through.

    The longest canoe trip I've ever taken was 3 nights. I'd love to do a longer trip.

    Enjoy your cold beer, shower and flush toilet. You deserve it.

  4. I think next trip you and ERR should rent one of those Florida Swamp airboats. I bet you can drive one with a longneck in one hand!

  5. Dale- Yes, so far I've survived, but I don't know how much longer I'll last.

    Some Guy- But I do like it in the back, especially when Flannery rubs the sore spots.

    Bubs- Thanks for following along, and as afar as pluck goes, some days that was all we had.

    Skyler's Dad- I always wanted to try one of those boats. That looks like fun!


  6. Maybe if you didn't have so much crap in the boat, you'd be able to see from the back!


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