Sat, Jun 12 2004 - Beginner Rapids Canoeing (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Ganesh Chellappan
Participants:Robert Morris, Tim Lewis, Dyon Hanson, Kathleen (Kat) Pomella, Geoff Mueller, Teela James, , Stephanie Bustamonte, Bryan Bustamonte, Amy Bixler, Ganesh Chappellin, Erin Brown, Jason Walker, Marisol Juarez, Kathy Johnson, Christine Michelle Prasnik, Amanda Jill MacDonald, Valerie Gilo, Alan Farmer, Keri Abraham, Ganesh Chellappan

Write Up:
What is a Koewee? Some said it was a rectangular boat like a match box, some said it was midway between a kayak and a Canoe. So when we met at the Lowes on Indian trail exit of I-85, there was a lot of uncertainty. It added to the thrill, nevertheless. We departed from Lowes at 0915 hrs and reached the Broad river outpost at 1015hrs. By the time everyone got dressed it was 1100hrs.

Koewee is a type of Kayak. It is about 8ft in length, seats one. The speciality of a Koewee is the cockpit, or the entry to the Koewee is bigger than in a typical kayak. The advantage being that you do not need to get out of the keowee, if it topples. You will be automatically thrown out. So it is good for beginners. In a typical kayak, you would be stuck hanging upside down, if the kayak overturns and you need to have the expertise to release yourself from the kayak.

We were told that there is just enough water for us to row, rather than walk. The course was 6.5 miles long and that on a average you can do it in 4 hrs. We set off from there in our koewees at 1115 hrs. The weather was perfect, the water was calm (but flowing) for the most part. There were 4-5 rapids. One of which was a 5ft fall. All of them were beginner rapids and even though many fell out of their keowees in these rapids, no one was hurt (which translates to no broken bones). But not many got back to the base camp without some kind of bruise! But everybody seemed to enjoy it.

We carried lunch with us and stopped midway and had our lunch sitting on a small rocky island in the middle of the river. Almost everything gets wet, unless they are packed in water proof bags.

The course was pretty long and 5 hrs of rowing took its toll. Everyone was tired by the time we reach the end of the course. But there were no drop outs on the way (did they have a choice ?). Even the oldest member in the group made it safely back. So this is definitely a beginner course suited for people getting initiated into kayaking. But be advised that it is still physically exhausting.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Udo Licht and Alan Farmer for their help and guidance during the trip.
Written By: Ganesh Chellappan
Photos From: none