One of the things we have missed about our life on wheels is boating. We gave our boat to Darin, who is using it a great deal. After doing some research we found that several other full time RV'ers have found a way. Some of you may remember our Zodiac inflatable from many years ago. It was much larger than what we have room for now, but it did introduce us to the possibilities of high quality inflatables. After a lot of research we settled on a PaddleSki 435 from Sea Eagle. It is a very versatile boat. It can be paddled like a kayak, rowed like a boat, sailed, or powered by either an electric or gas motor. It comes with just the paddles, and that's all we have for now.
We got it about a month ago and have been waiting for a good place to try it out. This area around Sutherlin is perfect. There is a small reservoir just a couple miles from us and we took the boat there for our first outing. It inflates with a foot pump and we were soon off. We quickly discovered that even with two of us paddling, the going is relatively slow and the work hard. We paddled about a quarter of a mile up the lake and back. When it was still it was not bad, but when going into the wind it was tough. A couple speedboats went by and set up some pretty good wakes. That gave us an opportunity to experience the boat in rough seas, and we found it very stable. All in all, it was a good first outing and the time on the lake was very nice. It did convince us that we need to get a motor, probably just an electric trolling motor, if we plan to do any serious lake boating.
A few days later we decided to try our hand at floating the Umpqua River. It flows through Roseburg and is only a few miles from us. We had to stage vehicles so we left the motorcycle at the take out point about 2 miles down river from where we launched the boat. The river is quite low at this time, so there are a lot of rocks. The current moves right along so the paddling was quite easy. The first rapids we hit were the worst, and we both got wet. We got hung up on rocks a couple more times, but nothing real serious. It was a lot of fun. There were long stretches where we floated along with the current, watching Canadian geese come in for landings and enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way. We're looking forward to a much longer trip in a few days.