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Jason74
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09/02/2008 01:18PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I just returned from my first BWCA trip and it was incredible. I can't wait for next year!

Long story short, on the 2nd morning we took a day trip to another lake and on the way back swamped our canoe. My canoe (the only canoe I have experience with) weighs twice as much as the kevlar canoe that we rented. The only things we had with us were fishing poles, all of our gear was at camp. We got turned sideways and got nailed with a couple big waves and in the drink we went. It was definitely a good learning experience. I'm guessing part of the reason is because we were so light. Older and wiser, right? So, who here has swamped a canoe before?
 
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bogwalker
Moderator
 
09/02/2008 01:29PM  
My experience

Never as an accident out in the lake always at portage or camp landings.

I have flipped a canoe twice.

Once on Red Rock Lake as my bow partner swatted a fly or mosquito when they should have been holding the bow. In I went and over went the canoe. Good thing it was sunny and in the 80's that day.

Secone time on Angleworm Lake, first time in a solo canoe. Had a pack that would not fit below the gunwales and I did not enter the canoe correctly. The canoe flipped as I tried to sit down in the canoe. This time it was October and probably in the 50's and cloudy. I was pretty cold by the time we pulled into a campsite on Angleworm.

I have swamped canoes in summer on purpose as a training exercise for the youth I guided. Fun activity and could save someones life if ever needed.
 
Jason74
member (13)member
 
09/02/2008 01:38PM  
The water really wasn't too cold, but it kicked our butts getting back to shore. We were probably 100 yards out or so. We now have plans to take my canoe down a local lake and practice swamping and recovering. We will probably bring the kids with us too. You just never know!

Jason
 
paddle2paddle
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09/02/2008 02:32PM  
I haven't swamped, but I've gotten close. I wasn't thinking one day with one of the kids in my group and I wanted to see Lower Basswood Falls from below. We paddled along and the current from the falls hit us perpendicular and nearly tipped us. I immediately realized how dumb a move that was on my part. Some friends dumped going over a very small rapid in Basswood River (where the little 30-rod portage below Upper Basswood Falls is). They made it over the first little drop and then stopped paddling then hit a little cross-current and tipped over in slow motion.

I too have practiced swamping canoes, but wouldn't want to have to actually deal with a swamped canoe and gear out in the water. Ugh. No fun.
 
09/02/2008 03:08PM  
I've never personally swamped in the bwca, but I've aided a couple of "swampees"
 
talusman
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09/02/2008 04:01PM  
Does it count as a "swamp" if the dog stayed in the floating canoe and I was thrown out. It was an empty canoe and he was a little to quick for me to counter balance. Anyway I had to swim and pull the canoe a couple hundred yards to shore and empty it out.
 
amhacker22@hotmail.com
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09/02/2008 04:25PM  
I dumped it on my first time out. My wife bought me a canoe to fish the Mpls lakes for a wedding present. Our honeymoon to Jamaica was cancelled due to a hurricane, so we decided to rent a cabin on Kabetogama and bring the canoe. The first morning we were there I got up real early to go out and try to catch some fish. Just as I got past the protected point our resort was on a couple of guys came by in their motorboat. They weren't going real fast, but it didn't take much to dump me. You see...I was an idiot. I was sitting in the stern seat with zero weight in the front of the canoe, and pretty much everything was in the boat loose. As soon as that small wake hit me I wobbled and in I went. I was still close enough so I was able to get to shore fairly easily, but it was still a chaotic mess. I lost a camera, broke the tip off a rod, but managed to salvage the rest of the stuff. Lessons learned...1) wear a life jacket at all times because it allows you to focus on salvaging your gear right away rather than trying to find your life jacket; 2) tie down your gear you idiot; 3)turn it around and sit backwards on the bow seat; 4) balance your load; 5)don't obsess about fishing on your honeymoon.

We've since made a BWCA trip on the same canoe and it was great and we stayed dry.

-Nick
 
09/02/2008 04:39PM  
Guilty!

No idea how many times. I know I don't swamp EVERY time, so it is less than the number of times I've gone canoeing.

In the BW/Q everytime was at or near shore, either landing or launching.
 
09/02/2008 04:45PM  
Yup, while trying to land a northern my wife caught on Henson Lake. We flipped, the pole went in the water, and when we got the canoe to shore, the northern was swimming around in the canoe!

 
neufox47
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09/02/2008 05:39PM  
1313 - the thread is about flipping a canoe not about how to make a live well in a canoe ; ) Good story.
 
chadwick
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09/02/2008 06:04PM  
yes

this may we flipped trying to shoot up a beaver dam going up to oyster lake( which is very cold may I add)
there was too much water pushing through too small of an opening and the current hit us, flipped us and all three of us in the canoe (two people and the dog) went in. It was our first day and all our gear got wet, and I lost half of a two piece rod.
 
highplainsdrifter
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09/02/2008 08:36PM  

Many times on purpose.

One time, the port gunnel decided to go under and allow water to pour into the canoe....... amazing how fast a canoe can fill up.

One time, I flipped out one side, my daughter and dog went out the other side, and the canoe sat there high and dry with fishing gear safe and sound....... dog swam to shore and sat on a rock and looked at his foolish humans
 
kanoes
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09/02/2008 08:44PM  
nope. knocking on wood as i type this....i really am. :)
 
Vagabond
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09/02/2008 10:20PM  
Only once on the Mighty Minnehaha in the Twin Cities. I was canoeing with my Dad in really high water, me in the bow. We went down a rapids and through a curtain of willow branches to find a sweeper all the way across the creek. Water hit the log and went under it. The current was too fast to back paddle so I grabbed the willow to stop us from being sucked under. It only took about a minute for a standing wave in the rapids to fill the boat and sink us. Fortunately, both of us and the canoe made it safely to shore.
 
PJ
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09/03/2008 06:49AM  
same as kanoes....typing with one hand and knocking with the other, I have never accidentally dumped a canoe.

I've done it a bunch of times to see what it takes in the different canoes I own. That may be part of the reason it's never happened accidentally.
 
Krusty555
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09/03/2008 02:31PM  
Not to bring bad tidings on anyone, but I wish there were a few more stories about self-rescues in lake water. Like many of you, I did the Boy Scout drill decades ago in a nice flat, warm lake with an empty aluminum canoe, but I can't imagine any two people pulling that maneuver off in cold water and high waves with a low-flotation canoe. Does anyone have any second-hand stories to recount?

Second, somewhat off-topic question. Does anyone make fishing gear (rods/reels) that float?

Krusty
 
BrownTrout01
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09/03/2008 09:53PM  
So far never (yet) on a trip or in a lake on accident. Lots of times playing in a river or when practicing.
 
BrownTrout01
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09/03/2008 10:02PM  
Conventional wisdom is to stay off the lakes when the waves are kicking.

If you do find yourself sideways to large waves, one thing you can do is tilt the bottom of your boat towards the wave. You want to be kneeling, and just your lower body will lean, upper body stays straight. You will also block the wave from coming into your boat.

If you are in a tandem boat you might want to practice this with a paddling partner to get in sync. You can sit in one spot, paddle in the boat and just roll your hips with the waves. It helped me to find my balance in the whitewater boat.

Last weekend was paddling near home, not too far from shore in the wildfire in 2'-3' waves. After the wind calmed down a little, I was comfortable going perpendicular, but otherwise good fun.
 
Timberrrgirl
member (49)member
 
09/03/2008 10:23PM  
Yup, this spring on Confusion Lake. Crossed the bottom of the rapids too high up, fully loaded on the beginning of a trip. Instead of swinging around and floating downstream, we flipped.

Got pushed up against the rock ledge, treading water till nearly exhausted. TJ got the canoe flipped, we hand walked to a place to stand, unloaded the canoe, emptied the water, reloaded and he paddled up to the portage while I walked the cliff.

Portaged across and continued our trip. Damp but safe.

The next day, a guy from Iowa drowned not far from our Lake One campsite.

Pretty scary stuff. TG
 
09/04/2008 10:37AM  
Nope....knock, knock.
 
Maverick
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09/04/2008 10:47AM  
Yep, couple times when I was a kid on a local river screwing around.

Once in the BW, on my second trip. I was fishing out of the stern by myself, trolling a rap, when I got a hit. I set down my paddled and set the hook. In the process I knocked my only paddle into the lake. When reaching for the paddle, the canoe swamped. I recovered everything except for the fish and some leeches. I was within 20 years from shore and very near camp, so no real harm done.
 
Krusty555
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09/04/2008 11:01AM  

Well, this link is worth posting

Rescue Techniques

From which comes this...

"Roll Out
This is a good technique for self-rescue in flatwater. The canoe needs to be unloaded first. The victim positions himself or herself amidships with the canoe floating in the upright position. The victim then depresses the near gunwale about 6 to 12 inches below the surface and frog kicks the canoe forward. Before momentum forward is lost the victim lifts the near gunwale until it is above the water surface. A rhythm is developed repeating this sequence until the canoe is empty. This can be done with a 16-foot canoe in as little as 25 seconds."

I think I'll give this a try before the weather changes.

I still think, though, that, in cold water, I'd head for shore asap, with the boat, if possible.


Krusty
 
mb2035
member (13)member
 
09/05/2008 08:44AM  
Nope - Knock Knock

I'm not a very good swimmer. Almost died drowning twice in my life. I always wear my life jacket - except for the 2 times I almost died drowning. :| And swamping my canoe is a great fear. I just don't take any risks.
 
Guurn
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09/05/2008 11:18AM  
Yeah, I rolled one on Brule with my son who was 12 at the time. We had started out on the far Western side (So. Temperance) and were paddling toward Vernon, it was sunny and calm out. We stayed about 75 yards from shore (north side)just in case and also so we could see any wildlife and campsites we passed. About halfway across the wind picked up to about 25 mph with 2-4 foot waves. We went a little closer to shore, maybe 50 yards but kept paddling toward our goal which happened to be mostly with the wind. He got pretty nevous though and pretty much begged me to go a little closer to the shore. I made that mistake.

We were just about to start crossing a larger bay when a rogue wave picked us up and set us on a large flat rock. If the rock hadn't been there we would have been upright and fine. It must have moved us 35 feet closer toward shore to do that, honestly I was pretty shocked. Our canoe rolled and dumped us in the drink along with all our gear. What still makes me chuckle a bit is that his primary concern was that we were going to starve since our food was in another canoe. I didn't laugh at the time because I wanted him to stay focused.

We always wear lifejackets and keep everything secure in the canoe. It was a good test of our preparedness. Everything floated or was BDBed in the canoe. I draged everything to shore and emptied the canoe of water, then refilled it with the gear and spent about 30 minutes convincing my son we could still make it fine. Once we got back in, the wind had picked up a bit more, we just sat on the floor to make it a bit more stable and finished the ride, no problem.
 
09/05/2008 03:53PM  
Yes, on Whitewater River, Miami River Ohio-Indiana border years ago. Had lunch packed in a milk crate, everything else bagged up. Got sideways against a boulder, s-curve, low branches etc. Lost the milk crate; and for the next 2 days/ 40 miles we saw our Hostess HO-HO's floating down the river or washed ashore!
 
muzzyhead
member (15)member
 
09/05/2008 06:02PM  
twice when it wasn't planned. The first was in rapids on the kettle river. that was in the middle of summer and my wife and had on our lifevests so no big deal. the second was on lake itasca the week before memorial day. the plan was for an overnight trip on the headwaters of the mississippi. when we started across the lake in the morning it was very windy and we got hit sideways by a wave. 30 minutes in 40 degree water just about did us in. if we had not been wearing our lifevests we would have died in that lake.
 
nrodegard
 
09/07/2008 11:13PM  
Who hasn't capsized a canoe on big Brule lake?
Me and 2 buddies did so on our way to south cone for some
delicious base camping. We put ourselves and 300 lbs of gear into one alumicraft canoe. Gear was about 2 feet above the gunnel and we took on water from the white caps while crossing Brule. We flipped about 30 yards from shore, but nobody died. We re-arranged our gear, and then walked the canoe to the closest campsite we could find, and basecamped there... fireban was in effect, so we stayed pretty wet for 3 days. We went back on day 2 and did some snorkeling and found our gear that had sunk.
After 3 days, we decided we couldn't spend one more damp night without food (since most of it had been ruined during the catastrophe). So, unwisely, we packed up and headed out for the landing around 7pm during a lightning storm. As the light faded, we got a bit lost on the dark water. The lightning bolts around us helped keep us warm, and provided enough light here and there to help us find the landing. We loaded up our soaked gear and canoe onto my truck, and drove to black bear ca-sino for an evening of fun gaming and nice clean warm hotel room beds... ah, now thats memories. By the way, i'm including a photo of our canoe so the "into the wild" folks can properly ridicule us.
 
09/08/2008 01:13PM  
Yep, nrodegard, that's a pretty good one. I saw one that wasn't quite as high but had more volume with the entire load covered with a canvas tarp. It wasn't on Brule, though. In fact, it wasn't in the BW but rather in the Sylvania Wilderness.

I saw one higher than your's in the BW in the area of Brandt Lake. Of course that wasn't just gear. A person added to the height. It was three college-age women with a 15-foot Grumman packed tight to the gunnels. One person sat in each of the seats and the third sat on top of the gear. :) It was obvious that they hadn't yet mastered getting a canoe to go where they wanted as we watched them zig-zag away from the portage. The last we saw them, however, they were still upright. :)
 
Krusty555
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09/09/2008 12:10PM  
Clearly, Nrodegard, you need to review the "How To Go Canoe Camping" website mentioned elsewhere on this forum. I have looked at your photo closely and it appears you did not bring your umbrella. ;-)

Krusty
 
09/09/2008 09:40PM  
Only twice in 37 years, both times very near shore. First time was in '99 on the first trip with our brand-new Bell Northwind. Used to a 17-foot Grumman, the narrower Bell was a bit tippier to get into after loading at the Pine River portage (Granite River trip.) Spartan1 held the canoe and I got into the bow first, then he stepped into the stern from shore--not exactly sure what happened then. He stepped a little off center, I leaned the wrong way to compensate, the whole mess dumped into the river right at the portage!

Embarrassing to be witnessed by a party of ladies who were coming across the portage behind us, but they did help us retrieve all of our soaked packs from the water and get loaded up again. We paddled quickly to the campsite high on the rocks overlooking the portage, and it was a windy, sunny day, so we could lay out everything and get it dried off again. We pack pretty well, so almost nothing was lost, mainly a few miscellaneous bags of snacks in outside pockets of the food pack. And I discovered that the container I carried my instant coffee in wasn't waterproof as I had thought. It was the consistency of tar, and we were "coffee-less" for the rest of the trip. Not much of a loss when it is instant, and decaf besides. :-)

Second time was on a very windy landing at a campsite on Lac la Croix just a few years ago (2005?) Landed among the rocks, pulled the canoe up, we were out, but the canoe decided to slide back in, flip over and fill with water. A bit of a mess, but we weren't wet, and the drying out was much less comprehensive that time. And the coffee container was in a ziplock bag. I do tend to learn SOMETHING from my mistakes!



 
11/26/2020 06:08PM  
Talk about a old thread, but interesting. Must be some new swamped stories in 12 year?
 
11/26/2020 06:12PM  
 
11/26/2020 06:41PM  
Only getting in the canoe at camp, it’s happened a couple times .
 
Savage Voyageur
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11/27/2020 08:44AM  
Never swamped a canoe, but I’ve seen a couple happen in our groups.
 
Boppasteveg
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11/27/2020 12:40PM  
We swamped canoes as part of Canoeing Merit Badge during scout camp. We taught the kids that they can get under the flipped canoe to wait for help if need be. Not only can they hang on to the craft easier but there is plenty of air under there.

My paddle buddy and I nearly swamped twice in August of 2019 while crossing Alpine. We got lucky.
 
4keys
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11/27/2020 01:11PM  
Technically, yes. I had just gotten into the stern but wasn't really set yet, when our 2 year old lab leaped in and tipped the canoe over. Luckily it was in only 2 feet of water near the shore, and no gear. Dog learned her lesson, and now waits for the load and unload command.
 
Savage Voyageur
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11/27/2020 02:33PM  
Boppasteveg: "We swamped canoes as part of Canoeing Merit Badge during scout camp. We taught the kids that they can get under the flipped canoe to wait for help if need be. Not only can they hang on to the craft easier but there is plenty of air under there.."

I forgot about this, we also had to do this too in Boy Scouts. Swamp a canoe in the middle of the lake, get underneath it, raise it up and toss it upright, then climb back in and paddle to shore. It was in an aluminum canoe, don’t think I’d try this trick in a Kevlar canoe.
 
11/27/2020 02:47PM  
Savage Voyageur: "Boppasteveg: "We swamped canoes as part of Canoeing Merit Badge during scout camp. We taught the kids that they can get under the flipped canoe to wait for help if need be. Not only can they hang on to the craft easier but there is plenty of air under there.."


I forgot about this, we also had to do this too in Boy Scouts. Swamp a canoe in the middle of the lake, get underneath it, raise it up and toss it upright, then climb back in and paddle to shore. It was in an aluminum canoe, don’t think I’d try this trick in a Kevlar canoe. "


I am missing something-wouldn't be easier to flip with a kevlar being lighter?
 
11/27/2020 02:48PM  
I think by law canoes suppose to have enough floatation so they don't sink completely. Anyone tested that. Did years ago in my old 1972 Alumacraft 17 foot canoe. It floated to some degree.
 
mjmkjun
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11/27/2020 05:36PM  
Once. Smoke Lake near Sawbill Lake. Like you, a wind gust caught me as I was attempting to make a turn in an empty Prism (kevlar). Luckily the fishing rod was still tied to thwarts. The water was warm.
 
11/27/2020 05:54PM  
Swamped my aluminum some years ago while getting water a modest distance from shore in July. A Sawyer system solved that problem. Once near shore when bowman tilted unexpectedly. Hopefully not again soon.
 
11/27/2020 06:55PM  
A classic swamp is when you have the big guy in back and the front guy gets out by shore and the front goes up in the air-especially when canoe is empty of packs. Also aided maybe front end was lifted up on shore than let go.
 
GopherAdventure
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11/27/2020 06:59PM  
paddle2paddle: "I haven't swamped, but I've gotten close. I wasn't thinking one day with one of the kids in my group and I wanted to see Lower Basswood Falls from below. We paddled along and the current from the falls hit us perpendicular and nearly tipped us. I immediately realized how dumb a move that was on my part. Some friends dumped going over a very small rapid in Basswood River (where the little 30-rod portage below Upper Basswood Falls is). They made it over the first little drop and then stopped paddling then hit a little cross-current and tipped over in slow motion.



I too have practiced swamping canoes, but wouldn't want to have to actually deal with a swamped canoe and gear out in the water. Ugh. No fun."


That “very small rapids” on the Basswood River is called “the chute”, it’s taken out many a canoe, very deceptive. One of very few spots in canoe country where their are two portages (one on the US side and one on the Canadian side). Slow motion tips are the worst, I’d rather just have it over in a flash.

Personally I’ve never dumped in the BW, but I have dumped twice locally. Both times solo in the creek by my house. First time was cold water spring time, just after ice out. I got turned by the current while trying to skirt a low hanging branch and in I went in slow motion. 2nd time was getting in my solo and tipped her while getting in. It happened so fast, I’m not even sure what happened. Had a good laugh at myself both times, and a good shiver.

Tony
 
straighthairedcurly
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11/27/2020 07:07PM  
Only swamped doing training at camp or before I take a rookie on a trip so they know what to do if it happens. And swamped once in whitewater when I was 16.

I came close on my solo canoe trip...just got in too quickly. And almost swamped when I paddled with a friend. Never felt anyone so unstable in a boat before, he just had zero instincts for maintaining a smooth, stable feel in the boat. But we completed a week long trip without an actual swamping.
 
Savage Voyageur
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11/27/2020 10:44PM  
Pinetree: "Savage Voyageur: "Boppasteveg: "We swamped canoes as part of Canoeing Merit Badge during scout camp. We taught the kids that they can get under the flipped canoe to wait for help if need be. Not only can they hang on to the craft easier but there is plenty of air under there.."



I forgot about this, we also had to do this too in Boy Scouts. Swamp a canoe in the middle of the lake, get underneath it, raise it up and toss it upright, then climb back in and paddle to shore. It was in an aluminum canoe, don’t think I’d try this trick in a Kevlar canoe. "



I am missing something-wouldn't be easier to flip with a kevlar being lighter?"


Yes it would be easier to flip a Kevlar canoe. The problem comes with me, a grown man coming in at 6’ 3”-260 pounds try’s to enter a flimsy canoe that you can just about see through from the side. It would not end well for the canoe. An aluminum canoe is much stronger and I was a whole lot thinner in 8th grade.
 
11/27/2020 11:01PM  
Savage Voyageur: "Pinetree: "Savage Voyageur: "Boppasteveg: "We swamped canoes as part of Canoeing Merit Badge during scout camp. We taught the kids that they can get under the flipped canoe to wait for help if need be. Not only can they hang on to the craft easier but there is plenty of air under there.."



I forgot about this, we also had to do this too in Boy Scouts. Swamp a canoe in the middle of the lake, get underneath it, raise it up and toss it upright, then climb back in and paddle to shore. It was in an aluminum canoe, don’t think I’d try this trick in a Kevlar canoe. "




I am missing something-wouldn't be easier to flip with a kevlar being lighter?"



Yes it would be easier to flip a Kevlar canoe. The problem comes with me, a grown man coming in at 6’ 3”-260 pounds try’s to enter a flimsy canoe that you can just about see through from the side. It would not end well for the canoe. An aluminum canoe is much stronger and I was a whole lot thinner in 8th grade. "


Yes at my present age and strength flipping or righting a canoe probably could not happen.
 
RatherbeDuffing
member (19)member
 
11/28/2020 10:40AM  
Pinetree: "I think by law canoes suppose to have enough floatation so they don't sink completely. Anyone tested that. Did years ago in my old 1972 Alumacraft 17 foot canoe. It floated to some degree."

We were screwing around right off camp a few years back and tried to "sink" our aluminum canoe. It won't sink but we got it to the point where the whole thing was filled with water and was sitting just under the surface. When there is that much water in it you can't do anything. We had to swim/tug it to shore.

Looking back on it.. it was probably a really stupid thing to do as that was our only canoe...young and stupid I guess
 
blutofish1
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11/28/2020 12:09PM  
Yep, North Bay of Basswood Quetico. My first trip with the wife. It was early June and the water was cold. Started catching walleye about 9 pm. It was getting dark so we were getting ready to head to the campsite, We both hooked up with a fish and low and behold a big wind gust hit us broad side and over we went. It looked like a rocket launcher shot her out of the canoe and I was next. The water temp was 55 and the air temp was colder. We lost 2 rods and reels and part of our tackle. Got back to camp in an hour or so, made a big fire to warm the wifey up. I thought she would never go again. We went the next year for 8 days and she has been hooked every since. She is a trooper.
The pic is the next year a week after the big blow down in July.
 
11/28/2020 12:16PM  
Wow this did reboot and old one. RIP kanoes.

Knock on wood I've never gone in when it wasn't on purpose. In Boy Scouts we did it on purpose a few times for practice. It was rather fun and a challenge to swamp and then empty the boat and get back in. I think I could still do it, but I should try just for fun. (not during the winter right now) And yes, those aluminum canoes have enough foam or other floatation in the ends that they'll fill with water and pretty much just sit at the water level...even if you try and sit in them. We paddled one around like that for a while...slow going.
 
justpaddlin
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11/28/2020 08:42PM  
3 & 1/2 times

1) decided to take my shallow Blackhawk Zephyr solo over Delhi Rapids on the Huron River in Ann Arbor. Took on water once, then twice and then a third time and I was still in the boat but it was underwater so I got out. Then the swamped boat ran me over. It hurt. Some kayakers playing in the rapids helped me. The boat bounced off underwater rocks and got two holes. I'll go out of my way not to get run over by a swamped canoe again.

2) test paddling a Lincoln tandem with my wife in Madison. Getting in at the dock we were hit broadside by a set of waves from a faraway powerboat. Oscillated and then dumped and she hurt her shoulder. That pretty much ended our tandem paddling.

3) New Year's Day paddle in Ann Arbor on the Huron going downstream. About 20 boats launch and immediately come upon a narrow spot between two fallen trees with about a 3 foot wide gap. I let a guy go ahead. He decides to stop in the gap to play in the current. I do a huge back paddle stroke in my hot little Flashfire and unfortunately dip a gunwale and the boat instantly swamps. At least half a dozen boats swamped. Now I carry a more comprehensive set of warm/dry clothes in my dry bag, and I'm super leery of outings organized by paddling clubs.

3.5) paddling upstream on the Huron River in my evil Royalex Wenonah Rendezvous with my black lab. Passed under a railroad trestle and crossing an eddyline the boat very suddenly leaned hard right and dipped the gunwale underwater. Fortunately my dog did a quick weight shift and saved us. Had 4-6 inches of water in the boat so just semi-swamped. Sold that boat.
 
Moonpath
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11/29/2020 09:27AM  
I have swamped in the Q once in a way somewhat similar to you. It was a very windy day with gusts going to 30 plus. Should have stayed in camp. Yet, we decided to bring just a rod and minimal gear and try to stay in protected coves. We had 4 guys in two canoes. My canoe had a newbie unfamiliar with how to balance a canoe well, especially in wind, which was a mistake. Long and short, we paddled out and were doing OK when out of nowhere a strong wind gust hit our canoe broadside and literally pushed us over. I could not react quickly enough to counter the wind. Both of us went into the drink not too far from shore. We did bring extra clothes in a dry bag, so got to shore, put on dry clothes, and went back to camp. Did lose one rod though but that was it.

I think more people tip over or swamp at some point in their trips than admit it. It does teach you things by making you more cautious the next time. I have been on over 25 canoe trips and this happened only once. I have come close a few times but otherwise never swamped. You need to be prepared and have dry clothes, a fire source, and maybe a tarp if rainy. It is also good to have two canoes where one can help the other. But, best solution is to not paddle out on real windy days.
 
11/30/2020 08:21AM  
Update to my 2008 post to this thread.
Two years ago, while guiding a group for Gunflint Outfitters. I was getting in my canoe on the last portage of the trip. I had put a small dry bag on my seat, and forgot about it and sat on it. As I tried to get it out from under me, I shifted my weight suddenly and rolled my Bell Magic, unfortunately in front of a whole group of the 16 yr old girls and their chaperone.
 
11/30/2020 04:02PM  
I have swamped a couple times but not in the BWCA. Fist time was on the Peace River in Florida. Ran over a submerged stump in the middle of the channel and over we went! The other time was entering a canoe in a local river - didn't know that my canoe partner was trying to get in at the same time. I went into the drink and he managed to stay dry.
 
tomo
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11/30/2020 04:21PM  
Swamped a few in my day paddling whitewater, some in remote country. The worst, though, was test paddling a wooden canoe at a rendezvous in Duluth twenty or so years ago. My wife and I managed to dump in about four feet of water on a perfectly calm day in front of about 100 people. She screamed as we went over, drawing all attention our way. It was brutal.

 
BearBurrito
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12/01/2020 09:23AM  
I luckily never have, although I have been close a number of times.
 
12/01/2020 06:00PM  
Yes, swamped on Seagull. Just two of us fishing in some bigger waves. Got turned sideways to the waves landing a large Laker. Leaned over to grab fish...game over. :-)
 
giddyup
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12/04/2020 12:30AM  
Once with hubby, once solo, and then multiple times this past summer on purpose to practice swamp and re-entry before the MR 340 race. We could get the canoe righted, paddle partner could get back in, but I could not. It was good just knowing for sure if I could or couldn’t so we could have an agreed upon “plan B” and knew not to waste time trying and head for shore instead. Thank goodness we stayed upright for the race.
 
jcavenagh
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12/04/2020 10:56AM  
My first canoe trip...Aug. 16, 1978...
I turned 21 that day. After breakfast, we broke camp and paddled up river back toward Basswood Lake. I convinced Meghan that we could paddle up the small falls and would not have to portage. DUMP! We spent the rest of that day wet. Unfortunately, it got windy and cool and so, the day was sort of miserable as we crossed Basswood toward U.S. Point. We had no business being out in that kind of wind on a lake as big as Basswood. But what the heck, we were young and life is long…and we were pretty scared out in those big waves! We got to the point in late afternoon, looked around the south side of the point, got blasted with a headwind and turned back. We took a campsite 1.5 miles southwest of the point. After dinner, Margo and Mark broke out some cake they had hidden, put some candles on, and sang me Happy Birthday. I spent my 21st birthday in the most beautiful place I had ever seen.

 
12/04/2020 10:59AM  
jcavenagh: "My first canoe trip...Aug. 16, 1978...
I turned 21 that day. After breakfast, we broke camp and paddled up river back toward Basswood Lake. I convinced Meghan that we could paddle up the small falls and would not have to portage. DUMP! We spent the rest of that day wet. Unfortunately, it got windy and cool and so, the day was sort of miserable as we crossed Basswood toward U.S. Point. We had no business being out in that kind of wind on a lake as big as Basswood. But what the heck, we were young and life is long…and we were pretty scared out in those big waves! We got to the point in late afternoon, looked around the south side of the point, got blasted with a headwind and turned back. We took a campsite 1.5 miles southwest of the point. After dinner, Margo and Mark broke out some cake they had hidden, put some candles on, and sang me Happy Birthday. I spent my 21st birthday in the most beautiful place I had ever seen.


"
U.S. point can get very wicked with a south wind.
 
SevenofNine
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12/04/2020 02:00PM  
Swamped on Isabella river using a solo with my daughter sitting on the floor for her first trip. I was tired and got lazy as the rock face was slopping. She mentions that fun experience every time we talk about the BWCA.

My buddy swamped a few times but unfortunately I never had my camera ready!

 
Stumpy
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12/08/2020 05:16PM  
In a rapids, on the Current River 41 years ago.
Never in the BWCA or Quetico, thank God, because I've been following ice-out and ice-in, many times.
Scariest was paddling the length of Sturgeon, in whitecaps, on October 26th, 2000. Was a dumb move, as I look back now, especially because I had my new bride waiting back home for me.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
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12/09/2020 12:33PM  
 
12/09/2020 12:37PM  
I learned trying to paddle up solo a little rapids with a drop, the current helped lift the front end and very tippy, I fell out in shallow water but canoe stayed upright. Part of the problem in one spot the rapids have a few inch vertical drop and it also helped lift the front end when paddling upstream.
 
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