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Dad's boat, after the repair is done, with a new cushy seat. The year the group started hazing, there were several hundred geese at the park fouling the fields and the water (so much so that the beach had to be closed). This year, there are only about 25 50 geese Cheap Men Canada Goose Pbi Chilliwack Bomber Blue Australia making regular visits to the park. For more information on the group, or the volunteer, call Laura Brown at 370 4009.

We were interested in improving the dog's paddling experience also. Erika can tolerate our border collie lying between her legs while she paddles, but was afraid that when the dog makes like a figurehead she would hurt herself by slipping on top of a crosspiece in the canoe. So Pete's merry men fabricated a triangular piece of decking for her to stand her front feet on, again at no cost.

I have to say how impressed I am with Hornbeck Boats and the service they provide. The product is remarkable and varied, with most being boats just like ours, and the atmosphere is friendly and laid back. Pete spent some time sitting with us by the pond chatting with us. It was a very pleasant day.

Peter Hornbeck visits with Mom and Oreo.

But first we had to try which repair option I would like best, so we walked 100 yards further onto his property and what should we find but a little pond just right for testing canoes. It's amazing how light an 11 pound canoe is! I finally decided, after an hour or so paddling round in various canoes in the bright sunshine (it's a rotten job, but someone has to do it), that the squishy back seat is the one for me.

Dad's boat, ready for repair. The cinder block below is to keep it from blowing away.

My wife Erika and I own two 10.5 foot Hornbeck Lost Pond canoes, and have had them for 7 or 8 years now. They weigh about 17 pounds each, and can carry one person and a reasonable sized dog. This makes them ideal for goose hazing. Since they are light they are quite fast, and with the dog perched at the front like a figurehead, the geese scoot right off. One day, not being able to paddle myself, I lent my boat to a friend. The friend is much larger than I am, and less versed in the method of boarding these canoes. The resulting damage (the seat back came detached from the canoe) required me and Erika to take the canoe back to the maker, Pete Hornbeck, in Olmstedville, about a 90 minute drive due north.

A visit to Hornbeck Boats

So we picked a day when the forecast was good, loaded the dog and went. I was offered several alternative repairs, and a hardware upgrade.