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Submitted: 04-02-2007 by Mark

The idea of photographing among middle Potomac River islands and channels led me to my Royalex Lite Bob. Helpful sales staff had a genuine enthusiasm for the boat. Its impressive versatility is the thing. Here was my first canoe and only my second time ever in a canoe. Still, after 5 self-taught practice sessions on the slow moving and adjacent C&O Canal, I felt confident enough to try the river: at my chosen spot the max was Class I.

Over the summer the boat showed itself to be everything claimed by the sellers: good turning, good tracking and fairly fast, stable but lively, great solo, confidence inspiring and capacious. I emphasize that the Bob flatters. Consider my inexperience and self-taught course. Within a short time and starting from zero, I was able to paddle a straight line from one side and to turn with assurance. Before the end of the summer I was paddling in open water for 5 hours as well as cutting around in tiny snag choked channels with a determined current.

This canoe, as a tool, could at times excuse itself from my consciousness while I worked on photography. On the other hand, its easy handling and its go-anywhere capability enhanced my intimacy with that surprising 7 mile stretch of river, half land and half water, between Great Falls and Seneca Creek.

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