Boat Building

Boat Building
Originally uploaded by dave hanlon
It's been a thin summer as far as the outdoors is concerned. One big trip and a couple of weekends under canvas with the kids. Not that that's unusual. It's pretty much the run of things these days. For a moment there, there was the slightest glimmer of a work related trip to the Collorado School of Mines and it would have been rude not to visit the Rocky Mountain National park to catch up over a brew. Perhaps even settle some old scores with the East Inlet Trail. Unfortunately, the crisis has put paid to business travel for the time being, so I've had to stick at one and savour the memories.

One of the aforementioned weekends with the kids was real fun though. A late September get-together with the usual suspects but this time with families in tow. A veritable population explosion from five to eighteen souls. Folk have been busy these last years!

The venue was an island in North Holland. A fantastic little campsite right on the water. As Dutch as can be, surrounded by chickens and cows, with and uphill walk to reach the water.

Thim had aranged it. Water was therefore bound to be on the menu. Not before time though. We worked out that it's been two years since the last wet trip with the group. Thim even blew the dust off his Ally. Since I figured it wasn't going to fit in the car with all the other family paraphernalia mine stayed resolutely in the garage lounging under it's ever thickening layer of cobwebs. I'd written off the idea of taking to the water thinking that keeping the kids under control was going to be a full-time occupation but watching Thim piece his boat together had my palms itching. That cost Willem-Maarten a hard paddle to the canoe club to pick up a spare boat. I'll be forever grateful! That action has turned my mind back to paddling. In that respect Steve Waltons doing his bit too!

As it happens, Emily must have also developed itchy paddle hands. Maybe it's in the blood? She couldn't wait to get in the boat, and when she did, loved every minute of it. What's more, she behaved impeccably and didn't give Dad a single heart in mouth moment. Not even in the busy shipping lane. Apparently my daughter enjoys canoeing. Top notch. I'll have to blow the dust of the Ally. After all, there's nothing like going to water in a boat you built yourself!


  1. A nice story Dave, and yes when your children are young it sort of limits your chances to get away, but as they grow older the opportunities reappear. It sounds like there will be many more adventures to come. Enjoy

  2. I certainly hope Emily and Benjamin will take to the outdoors. Emily certainly seems to enjoy nights under canvas and boats so it's a start. I expect finding the right balance could be tricky. Dragging the kids into the wilderness could put them off it for life.

  3. Sounds like a fantastic trip, Dave. Takes me back to when my own children were small and numerous canoe camping trips. Happy days! You can never have enough of those memories. Well done Emily & Benjamin!

  4. There moments in life when, even as things are happening, you realise that you're making memories that will last a long time. Kids have a way of delivering those moments around every corner. I'm sure I'll look back on this time, when Em and Ben are so young, just as you do. I'm actualy quite relieved that Em seems to enjoy the canoe so much. I now hope to get more use out of mine next summer. We live on the water and the canoe will be a permanent fixture in the garden so that Em gives me an excuse to take to the water more often.



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