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Poling in Maine

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Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
A nice article about poling a canoe here in Maine. I have met the guides, one of the few outfits that use wood canvas canoe with clients.

 
I attended a 2 day poling clinic last August with Ray and Pat. Ray let me camp on his lawn. It was delightful and I made a lot of progress. They are experienced outdoorsmen, excellent teachers and a lot of fun to be around. I can recommend them without any reservation.
 
They are experienced outdoorsmen, excellent teachers and a lot of fun to be around
I agree, I met them at the Paddlers-Snow Walkers gathering in Vermont last fall, it was great talking wood canvas canoes with others who use these canoes as they were intended rather than mantelpiece’s.
 
The poling clinic was my first experience with wood canvas canoes. I really enjoyed it. I like how they can be maintained and repaired over time. The canoes we used were built by Ray and Pat. Some were 30 plus years old, but still solid and serviceable after a lot of hard use.
 
RickR, was that your first poling experience?
No, I had a solid introduction to poling at the Maine Canoe Symposium and had been practicing on my own for 3 years. The poling clinic with Ray and Pat was the first time I had instruction in moving water though. Things started to click. Also, it was a chance to try out a shoed pole and an introduction to the traditional poling stance, with feet placed aligned with boat centerline. Previously I had only used the "sport" foot placement, with feet square to boat centerline.
 
Thanks, @RickR ! That's great info, as I'm in the same figurative boat (would be hard to practice poling from the same literal boat!). I did intro to poling at MCS and have been practicing but feel like I'd benefit from instruction on moving water. I'll have to see if I can get up there for a weekend or something.
 
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