I have done a lot of paddling, but never in a canoe. I loaded my, new to me, Old Town Canadienne on top of my VW Westfalia (no easy feat) and headed for my local harbor. I am so green I had to stop at the sporting goods store to buy a paddle! I am still trying to decide on a nice paddle and suggestions are wecome. I bought a cheap Carlisle economy paddle I will give to my son so he can practice before I buy him a nicer paddle too. I made it to the harbor and got the boat to the waters edge. Off I go and the cane seat gives way after a couple of strokes. The PO gave me replacement cane and I guess I will be replacing them sooner rather than later (any tips?). It was not good sitting in the stearn seat anyway with the bow way in the air so I switch seats and paddle the canoe backwards....much better. My canoe does not have a sliding front seat like some Canadiennes I have seen. The forward thwart is right behind the front seat so when paddling backwards it it right in front of and slightly higher than the seat. Not too uncomfortable, but is there anything I can do about that for solo paddling? Kneeling wasnt very comfortable for me. I paddle a couple of miles and it was a beautiful evening and lots of fun. Very relaxed, slower kind of paddling than I have done in the past. I noticed the wind really likes to move the boat around. I had a great time and can't wait to get out there again. Thanks for reading.