This summer, Alana McClements '22 and Clara Goldberger '22 got Ledyard funding to head up to Ontario for a five-day clinic at the Madawaska Kanu Centre. Here's what Alana had to say:
After driving the 7 hours from Hanover, stopping at Chipotle, and witnessing possibly the longest and most beautiful sunset of all time, Clara and I rolled up to MKC at about 11:30 on the Sunday before our course started. We set up the tent and met a nice man named Greg and looked at the stars.
Some notable moments:
The first 3 days we paddled on the Madawaska practicing ferrys, S turns, eddy catching and rolling. There were lots of bugs but we improved a lot! Our instructor was this rad gal who lives in her van and ski patrols in the winter. The other 2 gals in our group were Dominique (French Canadian kayaking QUEEN) and Marcy, this badass mom! Then there was Phil, the only dude in our group. He wore a dry suit every day (It was like 80 degrees) and had a go pro on his helmet and the best Canadian accent of all time but he swam about every 10 minutes.
On day 2 I was failing at surfing at Claudia’s rock. While rolling up my paddle got stuck between 2 rocks on the bottom and trapped underwater (I still rolled up, HAH). But then Kaylee, our instructor, had to go fish it out and the tip was very bent so I paddled with a duct taped paddle the rest of the trip. (Sorry I took a leader paddle, Michael said it was ok on Green Key Friday so I assumed it was fine).
Days 4 and 5 we paddled the Ottawa which was INSANE! It was crazy big water and at the first rapid (Phils hole) we got to see the keeners on Beatdown Thursdays (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9qecW8jT44). It was such a sweet day with beautiful weather and some pretty spooky class 3+ rapids. The last rapid, Lower No Name, was especially sick, but there was tons of carnage because Ryan (the other instructor ;)) led a terrible line and we all got wrecked.
Some other tidbits:
Yefri Figueroa '21, Coby Gibson '21, Noel Siegert '21, Evan Christo '21, Andrew Binder '21, Brady McAllister '21, Graham Sisson '21, Gretta Pickett '21, Elliot Ng '21, and Katie Moody '21 went kayaking at Hartlands on the morning of July 4th.
Here's the trip report courtesy of Noel: While some of us were not particularly thrilled to be waking up at 9am to go paddling after a Wednesday night, any "grogginess" was soon washed away when Graham Sisson brought us freeze pops and multiple paddlers wore jean shorts in lieu of bathing suits to pay homage to America's birthday. There was plenty of singing and dancing, beautiful 85-degree weather, first rolls, first surfs, first swims, and first kayaking trips. A stop by Dunkin' donuts was necessary on the way back to refuel before a long day of July 4th festivities.
Check out some of the media below! It's unclear if anyone actually got in the river, but plenty of fun was had!
20 Ledyardites turned out for an amazing sunset flatwater paddle led by David Vonderheide '21, Michelle Wang '21, Emma Doherty '21, Elliot Ng '21 (who was leading his first Ledyard trip!), and Janice Kai Chen '19. Check out Janice's awesome photos below (featuring Janice in a kayak she made in the woodshop)!