Paddling you've done outside of the USA and Canada

Glenn MacGrady

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So, have any of you paddled in places outside of the USA and Canada? Where? Any pictures?

Unfortunately, I have not. The only thing close is that I pole rafted the Rio Grande on the island of Jamaica in 1970. This is not me:

Rio Grande Jamaica.jpg
 
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While I was on a business trip to Canberra Australia, I went jogging early one morning. I came across a hot air balloon crew and paying customers preparing to fly from the grounds of a park within sight of the Parliament building. Since I had experience from working with my brother, a long time experienced professional balloon pilot back home, I offered to help in preparatons and inflation. I must have impressed the Australian pilot because upon inflation he surprised me by inviting me to go along for the ride also at no charge. As we flew over the adjacent waterway I noted long boats paddling far below us at a rapid pace. They were focused at a beach which I saw was not far from my nearby hotel. At the end of the work day (that I arrived late for) I headed to that beach where I met the head coach of the Australian National Dragon Boat Team. Earlier that year I had raced the Yukon 1000 mile race in a 34' voyageur canoe, not exactly a dragon boat, but a long boat nonetheless. After a nice chat relating racing experiences with the coach, he offered me a training session in an an empty seat in one of his boats. Of course I accepted, and spent a couple of hours doing 2K sprint legs with the team as they trained for an upcoming meet with a team from China. What a day!

Not my photo of the dragon boat team:
dragonboat-aus-jpg.128243
 

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I've poled a makoro in the Okavango (Botswana), no pix of me though. Yes, those are hippos in the background--don't screw up.sized_0Q7A0636.JPG
 
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I paddled across the Vam Co Dong River in a rubber raft with a bunch of my teenage fellow government employees back in '68, most of whom didn't know the correct hand placement on a paddle but our cadence was fast as hell.
Like yknpdlr's picture, we all had matching outfits.
In 1971 my current wife and I rented a canoe on our honeymoon at Paradise Island in the Bahamas, that was unforgettable.
 
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Glenn MacGrady

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Strange. I can't see yknpdlr's picture in Firefox, but I can in Chrome, Opera and Edge.

Edit: Now I can. He must have changed the way the image is attached.
 
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Robin…….
Boo coo dinky dow.
No wonder we never met, I was at the northern end of the southern part. I left in the middle of of June of 68 so I could canoe in the BWCA of MN.
 
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In New Zealand, I learned that they are all "canoes." Open boats are "Canadian canoes."

So, those tourist SOTs I rented at beaches in Jamaica and St. Kitts, sure they were canoes, too. Most often when traveling, we are limited to the boats available from local liveries, which most often in places I traveled, have been kayaks.

The one exception for me was the sorely beaten Disco I paddled on the Whanganui River in New Zealand. I also wanted to kayak in the Marlboro Sound area at the north end of New Zealand's South Island. I couldn't find an outfitter there that would rent me a solo, sit-in kayak, so I ended up renting in Wellington before I got on the ferry to the South Island. The ferry was the 600', 22K ton Kaitaki, which carries up to 600 vehicle. So, I loaded the kayak on a cart, filled it with all my camping gear, and pulled it to the ferry terminal, where I stood in line with hundreds of cars and lorries. I felt, shall we say, unique.

Poled a makoro in Botswana's Okevango
Poled a punt on the river Cam in England
Kayaked the Pacific off Lima, Peru
Kayaked the Atlantic off Cape Horn, South Africa
Paddled a raft on the Zambezie river between Zimbabwe and Zambia
 

Glenn MacGrady

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they are all "canoes."

when traveling, we are limited to the boats available from local liveries

That's all very true. CanAm open canoes are rarely available elsewhere. That's why I chose to use the verb "paddle" rather than "canoe" in the topic title. Stated even more generically, I was interested in learning where else in the world our canoeing members have propelled a small local watercraft.
 
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This thread has reminded me of a book I read about Teddy Roosevelt, River of Doubt, about his ill fated journey down a tributary of the Amazon. They had taken several canoes built by the Chestnut factory in New Brunswick, but for some reason, Teddy never ended up in one, I think another party in the expedition took them I believe the author speculated that if Teddy had ended up with the chestnuts, his endeavour could have ended up being less tragic.

Me, I have never paddled outside of Canada, and even here, only in five provinces.
 
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That's all very true. CanAm open canoes are rarely available elsewhere. That's why I chose to use the verb "paddle" rather than "canoe" in the topic title. Stated even more generically, I was interested in learning where else in the world our canoeing members have propelled a small local watercraft.
Much more available to rent or buy in the UK than most other places and I 'm aware of a few British folk setting up "open canoe" tours in parts of France. There is a big canoe following in the Netherlands and Germany with a lots of paddlers taking there boats to Scandinavia to make trips. We used to catch the ferry from England to Norway then drive over to Sweden for two weeks each year. For a lot of Germans a trip in Sweden is seen as a practice run for a Yukon excursion.
 
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My memory is mush.. We did rent a Canadian Canoe in the UK and paddled around Derwentwater. Lovely civilized paddle with High Tea at the end.
I am amazed to beat Mem. ON, QC, NL, NS,NB, YT, BC, That said I know of many experienced canoeists who have never paddled outside of Maine. Guess if you have good pickings no need to go elsewhere.
 
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Since I live in Europe.... of course I paddled outside of the USA or Canada....

Switzerland
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France
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Italy
September - Dezember 2014 030.JPG

couldn't find pictures from Spain, Germany, Austria.

In 1987 I had the chance to paddle in Eastern Germany (GDR) in "Spreewald". On our journey back home our camera was confiscated at the border to (former) West Germany. No pictures from that journey.

Greetings from Switzerland
André
 
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Andre have you been able to paddle in the US or Canada? Wow to paddle in E Germany.. sad about the pictures but I am sure the trip is firmly in your memory.
 
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Andre have you been able to paddle in the US or Canada?
Yellowcanoe
Oh yes. I was able to paddle in Northern Ontario several times. I love the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield!
On the occasion of a long trip through the USA and Canada, I was able to dip a paddle in the waters of Georgia, Florida, British Columbia, North Western Territories and Alaska.

Wow to paddle in E Germany.. sad about the pictures but I am sure the trip is firmly in your memory.

Yes it is. Paddling in the GDR was just a coincidence. We had an invitation to go climbing in Saxon Switzerland. Back then that was the only way we could even enter the country. We had to show ourselves to an "official body" every day. That was the rule.
It rained continuously for over a week. The sandstone was too soft and damp to climb. So we decided to go paddling in the Spreewald. The "officials" did not enjoy our change of plan. Right after the canoe trip we had to leave the country immediately.

Greetings from Switzerland
André
 
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I just remembered that I paddled a rented kayak through the arch at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I also paddled something in Jamaica back in the eighties but can't remember what. The only thing I remember from that trip was that Tuesday was all you can eat lobster night.

I've also paddled in Hawaii. Although part of the US it is a world apart as far as a paddling experience. I started doing SUP trying to catch waves and it helped satisfy my need to paddle. After a couple trips over there we bit the bullet and rented a canoe "ride" as they call it for an hour. We were hooked on surfing the waves. Our paddling experience really paid off as we were able to get back in the line up very quickly and rode a lot of waves, which was really appreciated by the guide. It was very exciting, spray sometimes coming over the bow and stern at the same time.

We had gotten invited to an evening paddling session with a local canoe club one time. They had a homemade paddling machine that had been converted from a rowing machine that they used for training and instructing and everyone got their stroke evaluated. We finished up by going out in 6 man outriggers and caught some waves.

Over the years I worked my way up to going out with a local for free and we were getting lessons from a pro in exchange for Alaskan seafood. We are going back next week and I asked my wife if she was excited about riding some waves again and she reminded me of our last time out when we went huli huli (flipped over). I almost forgot about that. I had thought that surfing waves in a canoe was safer than on a board, which it is because of the experienced guide, but once you flip over you still have to deal with rocks and coral in shallow water and stay clear of the boat. We haven't been there for a few years because of covid and I hope things haven't changed much and canoeing is a big part of the trip.
 
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If south of the center line on the Rio Grande counts I have paddled in Mexico several times.
 
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