Boating Report on 2016–Great water, higher participation

The 2016 boating season was very successful. Member participation was up more than triple 2015 and water levels were the best we’ve seen in many years.

And there’s more good news: Courtesy of Ellen Hampton, the club now has a brand new, fully equipped, sit-on-top kayak to compliment the two sit-inside kayaks that the club already owns, and thanks to Craig and Gaile Cooper, the club now owns a 15-foot canoe. This means that newcomers to paddling can now try out both types of kayak or a canoe before making a decision to purchase. Or we can accommodate your guests without having to rent boats. The club's six-boat trailer is in good shape.

Sixteen WSC members had a good adventure down the South fork of the Shenandoah River on July 20, 2016.

We got out for three flat water paddles on nearby lakes, four river trips on the Mid-James, the Upper James, the Shenandoah and the South Rivers, and one overnight salt water outing in the Chincoteague Bay area, planned by Bob and Pat Hughes. (The famous wild ponies did not put in an appearance, but we made up for that disappointment with a kayak trip to the Chatham winery.)

The only bummer of the year was that the return trip we had planned for August to the beautiful Upper James River in Buchanan had to be canceled at the last minute due to threatening weather.

Looking ahead to 2017, we will continue to plan to paddle both flat water and moving water venues on the nearby lakes and rivers. We are researching the possibility of an overnight excursion to the lovely First Landing area of Virginia Beach for our saltwater adventure. Other suggestions are most welcomed.

For those who have not yet paddled with us, we always enjoy a picnic lunch somewhere along the shoreline and – depending on what time we get off the water – a congenial gathering for social hour and dinner.

If any of our members have suggestions about new paddling venues, your input will be gratefully accepted.

We do not expect to incur any club expenses for boating in the coming year. –Jerry Rendich, WSC Boating Group Lead