Ladner Marsh – June 7, 2020 – Pam F

Sunday June 7, 2020 was a perfect day for a club paddle on the Fraser River.  It was bright, sunny and windy!  We met at the Ladner Wharf and got our canoes off cars and our gear assembled.  Dave W did the pre-paddle safety meeting and we all introduced ourselves around the circle.   For me, (Pam) I was pleased to meet several new paddlers to the club.  We had 7 tandems: Dave W and Pam F, Mike D and Leigh B, April W and her friend Barry, Shahram A and Serrat VS, Luke M and Lucy, Vesna and Alec M and Jaylene P and Ian.

The trip was to be from Ladner wharf to Dease Island Regional Park and back.  However Dave, as trip leader, was considering the paddling conditions we would face going upriver to Dease Island. We were facing a strong current with a strong outgoing tide, which combined would present a serious challenge for some of the newer paddlers’ strength and skills.  Everyone agreed it was better to paddle downriver, alongside the marinas, and see how things went.  So we faced current and tidal pull downriver versus an equally strong headwind from the west and waves upriver.  It was work to make progress downriver.  Dave kept us paddling a safe distance away from the houseboats and yachts/sailboats moored at the marinas . 

In a sheltered area out of the direct wind, we successfully did a mid-river switch of a couple of paddlers between canoes which helped even out the strength and experience amongst the boats.  When lunch time arrived we were back at the Ladner wharf. Not where we expected to be… After lunch we paddled a shorter time, staying in the Ladner Marsh area because the wind and water conditions were the same as the morning. Though we didn’t travel far, or get to the intended destination, we had a good day.  And there is always tomorrow!  The group stayed safe, some new paddlers learned some new strokes and we all enjoyed being on the water, in gorgeous sunshine and paddling with friends, old and new.   

Pam F

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