My husband just bought a 17 ft. canoe and we took our three children (2, 4, and 6 years old) to the lake today for the first time. All three children wore life vests. The experience was terrifying to me. I could only stay in the canoe for a few minutes before I made my husband row me and my 2 year old to shore. I was terrified the canoe would tip over and my 2 and 4 year old who can't swim would be struggling and I'm not a very good swimmer myself...My husband is a great swimmer, though.
I want to love this but the entire time i am so scared I feel like I am going to throw up.
Advice and encouragement would be much appreciated!!!
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Shallow water, let the kids romp|
Posted by: onnopaddle on Apr-27-13 10:47 PM (EST)
and do what ever they want with the boat and you in it ! Practice everything right there with your husband standing by. This way everyone knows whats what and (IMO) your anxiety will be the only thing that sinks to the bottom.
Posted by: Al_A on Apr-27-13 11:21 PM (EST)
Wait until the water is warm enough to swim in before doing it, though. YOU need to get comfortable in deep water (wearing a life jacket) and the only way to do so is to put the life jacket on and go out into water that's over your head deep. Once YOU are comfortable and you trust yourself and your life jacket, you'll be comfortable with the kids. Just keep in mind that as long as the water and air temps are warm and it's not a huge, windy lake, the kids can bob around for a LONG time with no ill effects.
Posted by: jackl on Apr-28-13 6:36 AM (EST)
that for the time being, to just paddle in water that is only a few feet deep, so that if the canoe tipped over you could just stand up and grab the kids
Amen, to Jack's advice. Why chance|
Posted by: shirlann on Apr-28-13 7:14 AM (EST)
giving someone a negative experience for a sport that can be an enjoyable one for the whole family.
For non and poor swimmers|
Posted by: Cliffjrs on Apr-28-13 7:18 AM (EST)
Your fears are reasonable and spot on. Learn to swim first !
What are you afraid of ?? .......|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Apr-28-13 8:17 AM (EST)
Posted by: suiram on Apr-28-13 8:49 AM (EST)
Have enough floatation to keep anyone afloat
Your problem is not the canoe|
Posted by: Celia on Apr-28-13 9:07 AM (EST)
I was a nonswimmer in small boats ...|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Apr-28-13 9:15 AM (EST)
Just do it...|
Posted by: PJC on Apr-28-13 12:02 PM (EST)
Posted by: davejjj on Apr-28-13 1:26 PM (EST)
Some swimming lessons would help,|
Posted by: bigspencer on Apr-28-13 6:13 PM (EST)
but IMHO...two adults(Recreational level) and three children in a 17footer isn't a great setup. An OT Tripper has the most chances...but something larger, with soft edges would help. The addition of the three children definitely needs the more initial stability.
Get some lessons|
Posted by: Ian_montrose on Apr-29-13 2:33 AM (EST)
Three very young children and a not-very-confident adult in the water is a difficult situation to deal with. Your husband's swimming skills are not the main concern, it is his canoeing skills.
O.K. next would be to hear from |
Posted by: onnopaddle on Apr-29-13 3:18 AM (EST)
your husband for a balanced understanding ...
Posted by: richardp on Apr-30-13 1:31 PM (EST)
Lots of great advice. I may sound harsh but do not pass on your fear of water to your children. Get comfortable on the water before you go out again with them. Kids pick up on parents fears very easily. Obviously, good pfd's that fit and are appropriate are key. When my daughters were 5 or 6 I would flip the canoe near shore (at about 6 ft deep or so) so they know what it would feel like. It showed them that the canoe would not sink and that it was not that big of a deal. Good luck.
baby steps dealing with consequences|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Apr-30-13 2:11 PM (EST)
Fear is about thinking (over thinking?) about consequences. So the key is to directly confront those consequences but in extra safe situations. Start by spending more time in the water letting your PFD help you float and learning to trust it. Dress warm enough that you can just float without getting cold. Just float for a while then swim to shore. Learning to swim without a PFD is even better for confidence even if you always have the PFD. Next, in very shallow water (three feet or so) get goofy and gradually swing the boat back and forth until it does flip. Do the same with the kids. The more being in the water is a non-event the more you relax in the boat. You also learn where the real line is before flipping which may be less of a risk than you had thought.
Posted by: ppine on Apr-30-13 2:19 PM (EST)
Build your confidence in a stepwise fashion. Start by paddling without the kids. Wear a PFD and go when the water is warm. Turn the boat over on purpose in shallow water. Learn its limitations. Learn to rescue yourself. Take swim lessons. Then when you figur all that out and have some confidence you can take the babies.
Non swimmers should not be on the water|
Posted by: suntan on Apr-30-13 2:20 PM (EST)
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on Apr-30-13 3:51 PM (EST)
... should not be in airplanes?
Non-flyers in airplanes|
Posted by: Celia on May-01-13 10:04 AM (EST)
Little choice there unless the airlines are going to go back to 10 seater prop planes that a larger number of people could learn to fly. Individuals can control whether a few people in a boat can handle a problem though.
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on May-01-13 12:10 PM (EST)
Of course there is. Choose not to fly.
Posted by: Celia on May-01-13 2:59 PM (EST)
Your provided stats|
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on May-02-13 1:05 PM (EST)
show that from 1987 to 2010, two drowned in regulated pools and 5 at regulated beaches - in less than about 3' of water. No info there about whether any of those had pfds on, or a swamped boat to hold onto. No breakdown of those numbers by age or body type. Of those drowning in 3' - not even a breakdown of alcohol use.
here's some perspective|
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-02-13 2:14 PM (EST)
This video only takes three minutes. We are not talking the 400 meter butterfly.
You looked at the wrong line |
Posted by: Celia on May-02-13 4:18 PM (EST)
I just rechecked - I am correct. I suspect you got diverted by the 2 at the top of the chart that is for drownings at an unknown depth.
Posted by: suiram on May-01-13 12:17 PM (EST)
Would you venture a guess how many folks living in Greenland, the place blamed for the "Greenland Paddle", can swim?
But why are they in a boat?|
Posted by: Celia on May-01-13 3:10 PM (EST)
but we're not in greenland|
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-02-13 2:06 PM (EST)
There is a reason people in greenland progressed that way. We don't have the same obstacles.
The issue is not acquiring skills or a |
Posted by: spiritboat on Apr-30-13 6:45 PM (EST)
canoe--The issue sounds like a spouse leading you somewhere that you(and your little ones)are not ready to go...Discuss your ANXIETY with your husband first(instead of with all these "experts" here.) Then mutually arrive at a plan and proceed slowly.
In addition to the other advice....|
Posted by: hikenmike on Apr-30-13 9:39 PM (EST)
If you were paddling in the bow (front) the kids movements etc. were going on behind your back and hard to anticipate. Try paddling from the stern for a time or two. I think when you a wary beginner It is less alarming when you can see what is causing the boat movement.
With 7 years as professional lifeguard|
Posted by: suntan on May-01-13 5:55 PM (EST)
Stay off the water if you can not swim. There's 20 reasons why non swimmers should not go in or on the water. Don't get in a boat until you can swim well in full gear. Don't go in a pool, a river or a lake.
Feeling frisky today.|
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on May-02-13 1:19 PM (EST)
How does a non-swimmer then, learn to swim? Books?
take a class|
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-02-13 2:04 PM (EST)
People seem to get overly defensive whenever someone suggests swimming. But we're not talking olympic swimming here. We're talking learning enough to help you survive and move around in the water. That's it. As one is doing that one becomes comfortable in the water.
Fear can be overcome with practice|
Posted by: qajaqer2 on May-02-13 2:38 PM (EST)
I'm not a good swimmer, but I have a good PFD.The initial post does not state that the adults were wearing PFDs. If they weren't, they should be, even if they are great swimmers. As said above, practice near shore when the water is warm. This will help alot. Make a game with the kids falling out etc. Get comfortable and practice getting back in. Eventually you'll get comfortable enough to enjoy it, as I have.
Adult swimming classes|
Posted by: Celia on May-02-13 4:11 PM (EST)
How about being "boxed in" a cell for |
Posted by: suntan on May-04-13 11:22 AM (EST)
Child Endangerment? I'll testify.
Not defending stupidity here|
Posted by: Steve_in_Idaho on May-04-13 8:48 PM (EST)
I knew it would be taken the wrong way, and it was...
Posted by: Celia on May-04-13 10:48 PM (EST)