Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing

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What We’re About

Goal
The only sound is the water lapping against the side of your kayak. Undisturbed waterfowl watch you glide past. Perhaps osprey or bald eagles dive for fish. We glide over sparking clean waters while being surrounded by great scenery and at the end of the day perhaps enjoy a campfire dinner and socializing. Sometimes we go down a river, but not intentionally on any significant white water.

We are not the typical just show up and go type of meetup.

Transporting kayaks or canoes typically requires coordination to get them to a distant site and, for river paddling, to arrange enough shuttles. (Two of us own trailers which can often carry an extra boat or two to a site.) Small local events can work with only a few days notice, but river trips depend on at least two vehicles, one at each end of the trip. Complicated events require advance planning (such as reserving places with a commercial sea kayaking company for February adventure in Belize or Florida).

Thus members in our group must be reliable; After signing up for an event, if something arises you may change your indicated RSVP, but otherwise we expect people who have signed up to follow through.

Costs
Because we incur costs of paying for this site and for sometimes renting campsites or other misc. expenses, in early 2016 we began charging via a “Season Pass” for $15 for a calendar year which can be paid via most credit cards through this group. “Season Pass Members” get an extra benefit of being invited to an end of the season evaluation discussion and social event Visiting paddlers are welcome to join us, as are beginning paddlers or others wishing to just try us out, via a $5 fee / contribution per event basis (paid in cash when arriving at an event – the credit card processing fee does not make sense for such small amounts).

Participants in events usually manage miscellaneous costs among themselves, such as chipping in for gas for the drivers. There is an automatic free trial period when signing up; you can decide later whether to become a Season Pass member.

The Leadership Team & what it does: Running this site and planning trips is a group effort by about six volunteers. Suggestions and offers to help are always welcome! We put together about a dozen local one day paddling meetups each year. In 2014 we organized a week long sea kayaking adventure in Baja (Mexico). Only 3 of us ended up going, but it was great! We swam with 20′ long whale sharks (largest fish in the world), snorkeled with sea lions, camped in tents for a week on an island beach with tropical fish only a few feet away and in the evening sipped margaritas while watching formations of pelicans wheeling in the air and dive bombing into the water for fish.

In June of 2015 and again in 2017 we did a four day paddle on Montana’s Smith River (for which it is difficult to get a permit). We tried to arrange sea kayaking in Belize for March 2016, but we just could not coordinate vacation schedules with enough members to make it work …but it’s a go for April of 2018 ! (We also hold some fun planning parties.)

For everyone’s safety and liability protection, we ask that you read and accept the following two items.

Safety
We focus on easy paddling, flat water trips, but we may encounter occasional mild rapids or strange currents or fallen trees or snags. We ask that members be alert to potential hazards and paddle safely and responsibly. Usually we paddle in a group; if some want to go in a different direction, that’s fine but we suggest using a buddy system. We urge everyone to follow safety regulations and guidelines, please see our Safety tips in our Pages section.

As with any athletic or outdoor event, an accident could happen and everyone should take precautions for their own safety and have appropriate insurance. Please know that this group is simply a series of individuals temporarily coming together for a specific outing; while some people volunteer to organize events or this website, this is not a formal organization and each person is responsible for his/her own safety and obligations.

 

3 thoughts on “Bozeman Sea Kayaking and Canoeing

  1. P.s. regarding our Bozeman Sea Kayaking / Canoeing $15 annual dues:

    For 2018 we will continue to collect dues/contributions in the regular credit card manner on the Members Page of our MeetUp.com site. People who are just interested in attending an event to see what it’s like may do so for free for the first month or two after joining. (In 2019 we may revamp the process after we no longer need to pay the MeetUp.com costs.)

  2. Hi to anyone viewing this new EventPeg site for our Bozeman, Montana USA Sea Kayaking and Canoeing MeetUp group

    As of April 2018 I’m slowly creating this site by editing and inserting items from a MeetUp page that I developed over the last three years. Thus far, this seems like changing from driving a car with automatic transmission to driving a four wheel drive pick up with 4 speed manual transmission and a high/low range shifter and locking hubs. That is, the driving method initially requires more attention, but there seem to be a lot of capabilities designed in a robust manner.

    Background: We had a typical MeetUp page where anyone could “join”. After about three years we had 250 “members”, but most we never met; for practical purposes only about 40 dependable active real members. Our meetup cost had risen to US $200 per year and we also had costs for our annual season end lakeside bbq social event. Therefore we imposed a $15 annual membership fee, upon which 220 “members” who we had never met disappeared. We gained about $400 to pay our group’s expenses in advance, rather than trying to get donations to reimburse people who had bought things for the group. On the site I featured each paying member by listing him/her as a corporate sponsor using a smiley face rather than a business logo. This worked well during the past 12 months. However, MeetUp recently gutted our nice home page (mostly now replicated here) and announced the Sponsor feature would be dropped as well as our Pages section with safety and private use river / lake locations information.
    As we plan for our paddling season beginning in June we will run parallel sites. We are happy with our current roughly 40 like minded local paddlers who are safety conscious and coordinated during the day and enjoy being social around an evening campfire or a deck planning party.

    For those of you who do not know Montana, USA we live very close to the world’s largest volcano, which is currently dormant but simmering and dangerous. The last time it exploded, it was much bigger than Krakatoa; rocks from the explosion landed up to a thousand miles away.
    Currently it is mostly filled in with rock and trees and bison and hoards of tourists. It is called Yellowstone National Park.

    The good new is that it only explodes about every 500,000 years. The bad news is that the last explosion happened 600,000 years ago. If you decide to visit, but want to be sure not to waste money, perhaps buy a one way ticket. Or just come visit and have a few drinks with us.

    • I like your analogy. While automatics make driving on the bitumen and in traffic a breeze, once you get off the beaten track and want to try something adventurous, the gearbox doesn’t always know best.

      Eventpeg gives you freedom, and with freedom comes responsibility. Unlike Meetup, you have much more control over what you can and cannot do. Yes it requires more work on your part, but it puts you in control. You can do things here that you cannot do on Meetup.

      How do you start an automatic with a flat battery? You can’t clutch start it. When the gearbox is in charge, you are limited in what you can do. With a 4WD and a manual gearbox, you can do things that are impossible with your fancy family sedan.

      Why do people ride motorbikes? Freedom. You get the feeling of being in total control and being one with your machine. It is much more thrilling and enjoyable – except when it’s raining!

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