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figboot74
member (24)member
 
11/05/2018 09:40AM
I was wondering if anyone here paddles after dark on purpose. I love paddling in moonlight. Do you use marker lights on your canoe/kayak? Are there any requirements for floating after dark? Looking forward to hearing different people's opinions.
 
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Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13248)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
11/05/2018 10:04AM
We always fish after dark. I’ve put a candle lantern on a rock on the shore so I can find my way back. There is a light requirement for any boat on the water after sunset. But in reality there is going to be no one enforcing this rule. It is primarily there for the motor lakes. If you were quietly fishing you would have 10 minutes to react to another canoe approaching, and you could turn on your flashlight. With an approaching motor boat you might not have much time to react. With this said I only take headlamps or a flashlight with, and only turn it on when needed to preserve my night vision.
anthonyp007
distinguished member (253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/05/2018 10:14AM
Yeah, I paddle after dark, but usually only on lakes I know pretty well. Although, I know the people who do the Voyageur’s Challenge paddle after dark a lot. Here in Minnesota, the law only states that canoeists need to carry a light that can be seen from up to two miles away and only need to show a light “to avoid a collision”. Which basically means an led headlamp is sufficient and you don’t need to have it on all the time. It’s actually amusing as I sit here thinking about two canoes having a slow motion “collision” at night on a remote lake. Better turn your light on so that doesn’t happen to you. I joke because most of the time when I night paddle I’m the only one out there on non-motorized lakes, but in all seriousness, if there’s lots of motorboats around I would have a light on at all times for my own safety.

One of my favorite times to paddle is in the dark. I often head down to my local lake an hour or two before sunrise to paddle. Fishing is usually awesome and the sunrise is pretty fun too.

Paddle on, (in darkness)

Tony
11/05/2018 11:43AM
In wilderness areas I try to make a point of paddling at night if it is windless. It's a magical, surreal feeling to be floating among the stars as the heavens are reflected off the still surface of the lake water. It's as if you are in a starship drifting through the universe.

However, it can have it's moments. On my first canoe trip in 1967, I was paddling alone from our campsite on That Man Lake in Quetico, when I drifted into a small cove as twilight approached. Suddenly I spotted a lone timber wolf trotting along the shoreline close to where I was drifting. He never even paid a bit of attention to me as he continued his journey along the rocky shoreline.

Upon returning to the campsite, I told my traveling companion about my encounter and we decided we would attempt to duplicate the journey the next evening.

Then next evening we set off from our campsite and quietly paddled/drifted into the same small cove. Well, it was a bit darker this evening than the one previous and as we drifted we could not see anything ahead of us due to the increasing darkness.

All of a sudden there was this thunderous crashing of bodies as we drifted silently into a sleeping flock of ducks. Water flying everything, wings beating against the side of our Grumman aluminum drum. One startled mallard flew right smack dab into the middle of my chest and was flopping blindly around panicked in the bottom of the canoe. It seemed as if the pandemonium went on forever, even though I am sure it lasted about 10 seconds, as I reached for my flashlight to see with what we had collided. It so startled my buddy and me that we almost tipped the canoe over.

Well, we never spotted the wolf we were looking for that evening, but we certainly had an eventful encounter during my first after dark paddling adventure.
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5123)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/05/2018 11:53AM
anthonyp007: "Yeah, I paddle after dark, but usually only on lakes I know pretty well. Although, I know the people who do the Voyageur’s Challenge paddle after dark a lot. Here in Minnesota, the law only states that canoeists need to carry a light that can be seen from up to two miles away and only need to show a light “to avoid a collision”. Which basically means an led headlamp is sufficient and you don’t need to have it on all the time. It’s actually amusing as I sit here thinking about two canoes having a slow motion “collision” at night on a remote lake. Better turn your light on so that doesn’t happen to you. I joke because most of the time when I night paddle I’m the only one out there on non-motorized lakes, but in all seriousness, if there’s lots of motorboats around I would have a light on at all times for my own safety.


One of my favorite times to paddle is in the dark. I often head down to my local lake an hour or two before sunrise to paddle. Fishing is usually awesome and the sunrise is pretty fun too.


Paddle on, (in darkness)


Tony"



Your correct about the law in MN about canoeists having a light and only needed to show it for a collision. Had a small issue with some pissed off boaters on Namakan at about 10pm during day 1 of this years Kruger Challenge whom yelled some fine four letter words at us. I think some of it was the 3-4' rollers and thunderstorm we were in and that we came out of nowhere.
11/05/2018 12:43PM
Night time is a great time to paddle. I paddled late in the night to meet a friend on Oyster. Luckily I found the main channel before it got to dark.
Several times over the years I’ve got Ahead of wind and weather by paddling in the night'
BobDobbs
distinguished member (314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 08:55AM
we try to do at least one per trip. If the mosquitos aren't bad and there is no wind or waves, we'll just put on the headlamps and poke around the shore for an hour or so after dark to see what pops up.
goatroti
distinguished member (166)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 09:57AM
Years ago when we were young and foolish we went for a late night paddle on Nellie Lake in Killarney Park. Nellie is a long narow lake with 400-500 foot high ridges running the the length of the lake on both the north and south sides. Four of us set off in two canoes. The water was calm with a slight ripple, and the full moon was rising over the ridge on the south shore. My buddy Dirk and I slipped into the shadow cast almost one third of the way across the lake along the south shore. My other two friends were paddling along in the bright moonlight and couldn't see us. Dirk and I paddled quietly, close to the edge of the shadow. We waited till the other two were about 20 yards away then we turned 90 degrees and shouted "Ramming speed... boom-boom-boom-boom...", as we came flying out of the shadows right at them. We scared the crap out of the two of them.

Nowadays I don't like to paddle in the dark, especially after a few drinks etc.
4keys
distinguished member(585)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 10:19AM
We have only done some very limited night paddling. Just fishing on a small lake that we know pretty well. I would be nervous paddling in the dark on lakes I don't know, or ones with rocky shores, or ones with rocks popping up away from shore which are hard enough to see in the daytime.

Figboot74, I don't think this is what you had in mind when you asked about night paddling, but 30 some years ago my now husband and I were part of a college summer camp in northern Wisconsin. Near the end of our 6 weeks there, after a day of tests, they had a cookout, and yes beer too. Someone had this great idea- take canoes into the middle of the lake to sleep under the stars. After all, we couldn't see the stars in the woods. So about 10 of us paddled to the middle of the lake, lashed the canoes together, and spent the night. It wasn't too bad, although a few people joined us later and bumped into the group hard enough to wake us. Luckily the lake stayed calm all night. In the morning we woke to a mist over the lake and loons calling. One girl unleashed from the group and tried to paddle to shore, but didn't get very far. She forgot to pull up the anchor.
andym
distinguished member(4431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/07/2018 10:40AM
We’ve paddled out at night a few times on trips. On a quiet night it can be quite peaceful and special with a great view of the stars.

On a motor lake, it could be wise to exceed the requirements and keep lights on. There are some led marker lights made for kayaks that wouldn’t add much weight and could give a boater a lot longer to see you. But on a paddle only lake, I’ve never even considered the possibility of a collision. Except with a rock and running lights won’t help with that.
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5497)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/07/2018 11:08AM
AW Brown, I love that story (LOL)!

It's something I love to do in the BWCAW and lakes. Here on the river, I do not; too many little things that can go wrong if you can't see strainers and sweepers. One time we put in on String Lake in the Tetons at sunset and paddled around with a full moon. It was so still you could hear a pin drop until some coyotes started in from about 50 yards away. I thought my better half was going to jump out of the boat? Scared the crap out of her (LOL)!

11/07/2018 11:17AM
Like Nctry Ben I have paddled at night to get under the wind. One time on Basswood, going from Kett down towards Wind Bay, I turned on my headlamp to check the map and compass. A big old water bug (Belostomatid) thumped into my chest and fell into the bottom of the canoe. Startled the heck out of me. I didn't even know that they get up out of the water and fly! Guess it was attracted to the light. I flipped it out with the paddle; not too keen on handling those things.
JimmyJustice
distinguished member(524)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/07/2018 03:05PM
WhiteWolf: "anthonyp007: "Yeah, I paddle after dark, but usually only on lakes I know pretty well. Although, I know the people who do the Voyageur’s Challenge paddle after dark a lot. Here in Minnesota, the law only states that canoeists need to carry a light that can be seen from up to two miles away and only need to show a light “to avoid a collision”. Which basically means an led headlamp is sufficient and you don’t need to have it on all the time. It’s actually amusing as I sit here thinking about two canoes having a slow motion “collision” at night on a remote lake. Better turn your light on so that doesn’t happen to you. I joke because most of the time when I night paddle I’m the only one out there on non-motorized lakes, but in all seriousness, if there’s lots of motorboats around I would have a light on at all times for my own safety.



One of my favorite times to paddle is in the dark. I often head down to my local lake an hour or two before sunrise to paddle. Fishing is usually awesome and the sunrise is pretty fun too.



Paddle on, (in darkness)



Tony"




Your correct about the law in MN about canoeists having a light and only needed to show it for a collision. Had a small issue with some pissed off boaters on Namakan at about 10pm during day 1 of this years Kruger Challenge whom yelled some fine four letter words at us. I think some of it was the 3-4' rollers and thunderstorm we were in and that we came out of nowhere. "


We had lights on in our canoes. The motor boaters saw us clearly. They were just grumpy because we were going faster than they were.
figboot74
member (24)member
 
11/07/2018 04:49PM
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful stories and information. I also enjoy paddling after dark. I have spent plenty of time on lakes paddling around in the Darkness. One of the most enjoyable nights was on a new moon on lake Pemadumcook in Maine. We paddle out to the center of the lake to watch the Perseids meteor shower. It seemed like there was one or two falling stars per minute. It was amazing. The Milky Way was unbelievably bright. We lay in the bottom of the canoe looking up to the Stars drifting until we bumped into something. My buddy and I had unintentionally drifted to shore. It took us a minute to find the middle of the lake again and get our bearing back to our cabin. Apparently we had fallen asleep in the canoe and been out there a couple hours more than we had anticipated. I remember the serenity and quiet of the lake, it seemed to make the Stars closer.
CCBBSpeckled
Guest Paddler
 
11/08/2018 04:56PM
We've done a multiple times...mostly paddling out after a long day of travel. I'll have to remember to add it to the to do list for the next trip.
JackpineJim
distinguished member(594)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/08/2018 06:24PM
Yes, I've paddled Moose to North Bay many times at night. A good way to avoid the big waves on Bayley Bay and the stars, moon and occasionally Northern Lights are a sight to behold. One time an owl flew within 6 inches of my partners face. I figured it thought his bushy moustache was a squirrel or other little critter. It's amazing how quiet the are in flight.
BearRaid
distinguished member (179)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/08/2018 07:04PM
Lots of great stories here that I really enjoyed. Thanks to all!
Thedude
member (12)member
 
11/10/2018 09:38AM
We always do a night paddle and I love them one year whole star gazing I fell asleep in the canoe woke up only when i drifted into something on shore. My last trip on Sept. My friend brought along a pair of night vision goggles pretty cool and made it some what easier to find camp.
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9405)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
11/11/2018 08:25PM
awbrown: "All of a sudden there was this thunderous crashing of bodies as we drifted silently into a sleeping flock of ducks. Water flying everything, wings beating against the side of our Grumman aluminum drum. One startled mallard flew right smack dab into the middle of my chest and was flopping blindly around panicked in the bottom of the canoe. It seemed as if the pandemonium went on forever, even though I am sure it lasted about 10 seconds, as I reached for my flashlight to see with what we had collided. It so startled my buddy and me that we almost tipped the canoe over."
That cracked me up - I could just imagine the panicked mallard - you probably traumatized them for life and none of them ever slept again. Ha ha ha.
 
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