Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Discovery 169

Back in the day I used to work illegally in Canada for an American government funded program.  That's about as far as I'll go with the description, but I'll tell wasn't as cool as it sounds.  Part of my duties were hiking at-risk youth through the Canadian wilderness and paddling down the beautiful rivers of New Brunswick.  Always paddling.  Some of my fondest memories were paddling down the river and counting the bald eagles I'd see in one day.

My last time in a canoe was the summer before my wife and were married.  We've been talking about a canoe for years and kept putting off, but as an anniversary gift to each other this year, we decided to splurge.  So here she is:

Used, just the way I like 'em.  Discovery 169s are the boats we used to use in Canada and, at one time, I could easily navigate one by myself for 20 or more miles.  I always bucked the old adage that you should never stand in a canoe.  When navigating one of these by myself I was often on my feet.  It gave me the feeling of walking on water.

She hasn't taken her maiden voyage yet, but I'm certainly looking forward to it.  Once upon a time, paddling was as natural to me as walking.  I look forward to looking back and getting my paddle back in the water. 

I know, I should be the owner of a canvas and cedar canoe, being that I love traditional things.  Honestly, though, I love ABS.  You can bounce it off of rocks and not have to worry a whole lot.  I am hard on everything that I own; a trait that I get from my father.  This boat will hold up.

Snuffy bought his 20 foot Old Town XL Tripper in 1988 and still has it today, poorly as he has treated it.  I remember paddling Discovery 169s all summer and then taking his boat to Bartlett Pond to fish with him.  Paddling that old XL Tripper was akin to paddling the Titanic. 

Snuffy's preferred method was always to use his 5hp Mercury outboard to go up river.  He'd put me, or a bunch of rocks in the front of the canoe and fly up the Aroostook River.  It is quite somethingto be in the front end of the boat, travelling two feet above water while soaking in the scenes of spring.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.


  1. I used to love canoes. These days, it would probably require an outrigger just to keep this fat boy afloat!

  2. I love trekking on the water, or even trekking alongside it for that matter. Nice looking canoe.
    Regards, Le Loup.
    (still can't sign into my own blog, so I have to reply Anonymous!!!)

  3. Nice canoe! Hope you get lots of great use out of it.

    I'd love to have one here in Finland, but it's impossible to find affordable used ones like in the US. I've seen new ones here ranging from 600 to 1,000 USD. No thanks...


  4. That a fine canoe if you ask me, ive used same model for many times in rapids and such. Good investment ,man !