Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and a 60-pound weight loss on Bayou St. John

   Saturday (4-20-2013), members of the Bayou Haystackers Paddling Club spent a sunny spring day mixing the business of getting others passionate about paddling with the pleasure of sharing the fine weather with good friends.   The occasion was an outdoor camping and paddling "outreach" near the Magnolia Bridge along Bayou St. John in New Orleans.
Veteran paddler Martina Ellis

evaluates a vintage Dagger Sojourn 
      About a dozen members from the nearly 40-year-old outdoor club participated, proudly explaining to passers-by how the boats, tents and stuff from their private gear stashes worked and showing nascent outdoor explorers where to experience wilderness in the New Orleans area.
     The curious were invited to take a paddle on the historic bayou in one of the many canoes (most of them solo) and one sea kayak brought by the members from their own "fleets."
     Next to the Haystackers, a display of more than a dozen sit on top (SOT) kayaks, some of them specially outfitted for fishing, drew considerable interest.  Several paddle boards were also on hand for a trial voyage.
     Chad Almquist, of Massey's in New Orleans, said demand for fishing kayaks and the gear to go with them is very strong in the New Orleans area.
     "A kayak outfitted for fishing can go where a guy in a $30,000 bass boat can't get to.  And the kayaks are a lot cheaper to own and operate," said a newly slender and fit Almquist.
     And the 60-pound weight loss?  "Marry a nutritionist," Almquist said.

Canoes and a kayak wait for paddlers at a outdoor "outreach" held on Bayou St. John, Saturday, April 20, 2013


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