Friday, July 11, 2008


Charlie's boathouse is a private boat ramp buried in the woods at the end of North Avenue by the mouth of the Winooski River. He's got storage for a few boats, some kayaks and rowboats for rent, and various snacks. Until the bike bridge was built it was also right at the end of the Burlington rail-trail, so perhaps a good lure to get kids to pedal "just a little further" to Charlie's where they could get a soda.

1065 Charlie's Boat House on the bike path in Burlington - kayak, canoe rental and restaurant

Wednesday evening we started at Charlie's. From there there was an unusually clear view of Champ, our local version of the Loch Ness Monster.

Up close, it turned out to be the root ball of a blown down tree.

The exciting part of this trip is I got to try Tom's new SOF for a bit.

As the saying goes for Greenland boats, it fit like a pair of jeans, except for having to slide my feet under the foot beam. After about 15 minutes of paddling and rolling people were making cracks that I wouldn't give it back. Hey, Turner does good work! The downside of fitting like a pair of jeans is that kayaks generally don't have zippers. It took a few minutes of wriggling to get my knees past the masik so I could get out. My lust for that particular boat is somewhat tempered. Maybe just like it... except a little higher masik or lower rear deck beam. And that's what made-to-measure is all about.

On the way back we passed a group that appeared to be a guided tour. The leader pointed us out as "Inuit style paddlers" (oh buy, we count as "local color"). Tom replied "Yes, we really get Inuit big time!"

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