While on Vacation in New Hampshire I paddled on Conway Lake several times. There’s a public boat launch at the north end of the lake, which is in a quiet, secluded cove. The cove is lined with houses and is typical easy paddling, though the area is pretty small. Head out to the bay, however, and there’s a lot more to explore.
One day while at lunch we looked at a “things to do” magazine that listed all sorts of activities, including kayaking. It included a write up of Conway Lake that noted it was some of the best paddling around, though the bay had “some” chop “occasionally.” I had to laugh at this! Most days the bay had 6-12” swells; one day just before a storm came I fought 24” swells with a lot of white caps! The wind blows south to north along the lake and it can really build up big waves by the time it gets to the north end. When I went into the bay I wished for a skirt to seal the cockpit on all days and I got good workouts fighting through the water and wind. On the day I fought the 24” swells I feel I got some ocean kayaking experience and had a chance to push my skills a bit further. The magazine article makes me fearful for less experienced paddlers who read it and might journey into the bay with a little recreational kayak — it’s clearly not the place for them!
One day Patrick and I paddled the cove in a canoe, and he enjoyed that. Some swells and wake from motor boats made it to the edge between the bay and cove, and Patrick enjoyed bouncing on that for a while. I think we’ll have to seek that out again!