Paddling with kids

Our first paddle with the kids and they ate it up!

February 1, 2016

We took the kids out paddling for the first time on January 31st.  In truth we enjoyed telling our relatives in Ontario that we were going out canoeing in January.  We have to have some consolation for suffering through all this rain!  But we were also excited to get out in our new canoe.

We ordered a new canoe sight unseen and untested from the manufacturer in Nelson, BC. My husband Dwane loves researching and read all the reviews.  We felt pretty comfortable with our decision, but still it was a lot of money without knowing if it was really the right boat.  We had it shipped but the truck coming from Vancouver Island to Salt Spring Island was not big enough to hold it so we picked it up in Victoria.  It was a beautiful looking boat when it arrived and after today we are 110% happy with our choice.


We paddled around Saint Mary’s Lake which is the biggest lake on Salt Spring Island where we live. Molly was very excited, we’d been talking about the canoe for a while and she thought it was a great idea.  Chuck on the other hand had fallen asleep on the drive to the lake.  We let him sleep while we packed the boat.  Eventually I woke him up by dressing him in warm clothes, putting on a life jacket and putting him in the boat.  Considering I had disturbed his nap he was pretty amazing for our paddle around the lake.


The water was flat calm. The sun peaked out a few times.  We pointed out birds and one river otter.  We explored the shoreline, waved at the few people we saw, fed the kids lots of snacks to keep them happy and had a wonderful afternoon!

Molly loved it and started talking about other places we’d been to by boat. She was so excited that “we have a boat now” so we can go to all those places.  She doesn’t see the limitation with it being a canoe rather than a bigger, faster motor boat.  So we shouldn’t either.  Yes Molly we can go to all those places.  We’ll start next weekend!



Comments (4)

  • Graham Barnard Reply

    February 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    What agreat future for Mellisa and Charlie. Thanks to parents who don’t mind the mud bugs and water. How I wish more parents were this adventurous!!
    big hugs from Graham. ()()()()

    • sarahcarty Reply

      February 3, 2016 at 5:43 am

      Thanks Graham. We hope we haven’t gotten too soft cruising around in our yacht. We’re up for the challenge and we think the kids are too!

  • Erin Reply

    May 16, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Hi there,
    My partner and I are planning on taking our new baby on a short canoe trip this summer. We’ve done week long canoe trips together as a couple but this is our first baby so we’re new to adventuring with kids (but are passionate about doing it!).
    What are your best tips for sun protection for infants — our girl will be less than 6 months this summer (so not sunscreen ready yet). Besides long sleeves, do you have any sun protection recommendations for paddling with babies?

    • sarahcarty Reply

      May 17, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Erin,

      The sun is a tough one for babies. Will she be on the floor of the canoe? Can you set up an umbrella over her? Otherwise big hat, sun safe clothing and try to limit your time in direct sun. I remember some really hot days on the Yukon River and we pulled off the river and sat in the shade (and swam) in the real heat of the day.

      If you’re on facebook you should join the group Paddling with Babies and Kids there are a lot of questions asked there and other people might have tips that work for you.

      Kind regards,
      Sarah Carty

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