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Thread: Afternoon Canoe Rescue

  1. #1
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    Smile Afternoon Canoe Rescue

    Was down at Portage Creek using one of my new demo 15' SATURN rafts to enjoy a piece of water yesterday afternoon and to keep getting the little dog more familiar/comfortable with river rafting. Just below Williwaw Creek tributary coming in at river left... noticed an empty canoe, two people (cold mother and son) standing on the left bank.

    Water was up a bit, yet wind also was blowing pretty steadily to stronger gusts downstream.

    They had an older model Aluminum Canoe (neat ol' flatwater design), 3 paddles, small lunch cooler, a couple float cushions, a dry-bag and a day pack. Nothing really tied in securely.

    Unfortunately a combo of indecision, not knowing river techniques, water current, driven wind, and a small tree hazard messed up a sunny Saturday afternoon in a heartbeat. The two (wearing pfd's and light synthetic clothing) flipped the tipsy canoe in relatively shallow water and had been able to recover the boat plus some essential gear bags, but stream was packing enough current to bruise knees and elbows, diminish confidence for further progress and they had lost all 3 paddles with other gear.

    While it was sunny and warm enough out... the decision was made to have them leave the canoe, grab their gear, and come with us in the oar-rigged Saturn to the take-out. Weather changes in such a hurry in the Portage Valley, and they were literally up Portage Creek without a paddle.

    At the take-out... we made a plan to coordinate vehicles, then for me to go from the put-in again with the raft and head downstream to recover the canoe.

    All ended the day in good spirits, boat recovered, even lost gear 'accounted for' (but not in hand) due to being caught in strainers. All in All... lessons learned, practices gained, with friendship contacts made. I even think the dog had a good time!

  2. #2
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    I bet they were happy to see you !!! Is there a lot of folks that travel that route and would have been seen by someone else ?? Great Job !!

  3. #3
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Good for you buddy.....thanks for being a good guy...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #4

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    Thanks for helping them out, Which model Saturn were you testing? Waiting to see one of the 15 foot or 14 foot
    Kaboats in person.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    Anchorage
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    Well done Brian! And do I have some stories for you on the 14' Kaboat you sold me roughly a month ago! All good stuff, will swing by with some photos soon.

  6. #6

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    Interested in well would like to see the 14 foot I have the 16 foot and love it but wish it was smaller at times and more portable. Is your
    14 foot stable?

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    I was in the 15' Saturn Self-Bailing Raft w/ the high-pressure drop-stitch floor. Nice mid-tier whitewater raft.

    Of interest is also the row frame having some some pretty cool mileage & history... It is a frame Goo (Geaux on here) made 30+ seasons ago!!! Still runnin' strong!!! This frame (made in the non-bailer days) started my apprenticing boatman/guiding years. It was one of the first solid frames to see routine commercial use in Wrangle/Saint Elias out of McCarthy and on down the Copper. Same set-up later established my own business in '92. Saw double-duty as one of the first Cats in Alaska (a 20' pair of plastic Hot-dogs w/ bladders surplussed from a Mercedes add campaign). Only felt appropriate to make a trip with the ol' school trusted rigging.

    The Raft/frame package worked great, and boat handled very well. I used 9.5' oars that I really like.

    Guys - I know lots of interest in the KAboats.... 12', 14' 15' and 16' are all pretty cool. The only ones I've laid hands on are 14' & 16'. Very cool niche yet also versatile motor canoe hybrids. For overall safety, roominess, capability like hauling capacities, and cool factor, I'd say the 16' is great. On the other hand --- the 14' has real appeal in terms of overall versatility, pack-ability, and fun factor.

    So far a thanks plus nodding to 'kk alaska' and 'rdklinak' --- you have more experience in these than myself... you guys have more mileage than anyone here in Alaska so far. I can say you guys were smart; therefore in no way test dummies - lol - and pleased to see your having fun. More are on the way now, yet already spoken for
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8

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    Great story! Glad to hear they were rescued and most importantly they wore their life jackets. It is always good to hear stories of the people who walked away with a story.

  9. #9
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Down wind of 2 Glaciers
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    Very good ending to their day, unlike the eagle river story yesterday. Very sad!

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