While digging around for canoe marathon info and pics, I landed on this blog by paddler and racer Nick Adnitt in Great Britain.
Frustrated with a lack of options and canoes that suit his needs, he decided to build his own canoes for races like the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, which he says “is arguably the hardest canoe race in the world. 125 miles non-stop from Devizes in Wiltshire to Westminster Bridge in London”. It has 77 portages. Damn, that’s a lot of dams.
Here’s what he says:
“I had reached the limit to what I could do with the tools and facilities at home so I was faced with a decision, do I quit now or go the whole hog and get it done by professionals. Well I certainly couldn’t go to my grave without giving it a shot, so ‘The Darkness’ is now a full production canoe to the highest professional standards, but more about that later.”
Yes, this count is grim as hell. But we are hellbent on bringing the importance of wearing lifejackets while in or on a small watercraft to as many people as possible, and wearing a wetsuit or drysuit in cold water.
Update as of 2016/05/21: I’ve made my point. Not wearing a life jacket is a ticket to the morgue, period. I won’t be updating this page any further.
Listen folks: It is ridiculously easy to drown. Cold water will quickly drain your body of heat and energy. Add a few waves and a coughing splash of water into your lungs, and that’s it. Safety first. You must wear a lifejasket or PFD every time you take out your canoe, kayak or paddle board.
We were just talking about this over dinner last night. We are very strong swimmers and are both trained as lifeguards in our youth. Unfortunately, if you have a stroke, or aneurysm, or are attacked by a sea lion or very angry beaver, and you are unconscious in the water, without a life jacket, you can die. Add cold water and you just die faster.
There are so many scenarios that cause us nightmares.
Read more on cold water at the National Center for Cold Water Safety
No-Lifejacket Death Count: 18 and rising
Cold Water Death Count: 2
Saved by a Lifejacket: 3
- 8 so far in Ontario, none wore lifejackets: http://www.nugget.ca/2016/05/20/eight-boating-deaths-so-far-this-year
- Dead in a Pond: http://www.wbbjtv.com/2016/05/09/madison-co-man-drowns-after-kayak-overturns-in-pond/
- 100 Yards away with a crowd watching: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/05/08/cgb-man-drowns-in-lake-powell-after-going-overboard-on-kayak/
- 2 Dead: http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article75109382.html
- Dead: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29843802/one-man-dies-another-rescued-after-canoe-capsizes-in-loveland-lake
- Dogs count, too: http://www.examiner.com/article/little-dog-found-floating-ocean-with-tiny-life-jacket-on
- 2 Dead: http://www.citynews.ca/2016/04/27/two-men-die-in-canoeing-mishap-in-central-ontario/
- Missing: http://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2016/04/coast_guard_calls_off_search_f.html
- Drowning: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20160423/NEWS/160429686
- Article on paddling safety: http://www.examiner.com/article/safer-paddling
- SAVED! http://poststar.com/news/local/two-pulled-from-icy-lake-george/article_d693ba56-9c53-5ccc-895d-6d97fcabec1a.html
- SAVED! http://www.ifiberone.com/news/man-rescued-from-moses-lake-after-canoe-overturns-on-sunday/article_9dda92f4-059f-11e6-8cb5-1b3f3937de86.html
- April 3 2016: http://www.cp24.com/news/body-of-halton-canoeist-recovered-from-lake-north-of-peterborough-1.2862268 None of the canoeists were believed to be wearing life jackets.
- February 23 2016: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ontario-student-s-body-recovered-after-weekend-kayaking-incident-1.2790344…two empty kayaks were found lodged in ice
Hey! You found us!
Welcome to Big Yellow Canoe - our passion project to bring our love for canoeing, the outdoors, camping, home and just getting out there and living life to the fullest.
We're building this blog to share our trip reports and our recipes as well as stories to inspire you to try canoeing, get outside and do the things that you love ... every day. Life is short. We'd rather be paddling and hope you'll tag along.
Jens and Anita