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Dave Kruger’s Kayak Diaries

About a decade ago I discovered Wes Boyd’s web site. Wes was a bigger guy and had done a lot of work finding a kayak that fit him and also paddled well. His choice was a Nimbus Telkwa and when I ran across one on craigslist I bought it and happily paddled it for years. I introduced my son-in-law to the Telkwa at the 2006 kayak symposium in Port Townsend, WA (which, sadly, no longer exists) and he also found one on craigslist and bought it. We both still have our Telkwas although I have added one or two other boats to my collection over the years.

Wes’ web site also had a collection of brief essays about kayaking and camping by Dave Kruger (not the Dave Kruger of canoeing fame in the midwest). Dave’s writing first appeared on Paddlewise which was (and still is) an email list for kayakers that attracted a large number of very accomplished paddlers; many of whom went on to write for magazines like Sea Kayaker (including, ahem!, me) and others. Dave’s posts were easy to read and included none of the technical bits you see so often. His approach to rolling, for instance, is to never capsize. This is not as simple as it sounds. At any rate, I became a stalwart proponent of the “Dave Kruger approach to rolling” and, as I have grown older, I’m almost fanatic about it.

Dave lives in Astoria, Oregon and spent many years kayaking the waters nearby. Most of his stories center on paddling with friends while they explore the Columbia River, various bays along the coast of Oregon and Washington (including Willapa Bay where my wife’s relatives live), and occasional trips farther afield. Dave has paddled Haida Gwai (the Queen Charlotte Islands of BC) as well as the Broken Group (a Canadian National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island) and writes about them in a way that makes the reader feel like it’s a personal letter from Dave.

When Wes Boyd closed down his web site someone else volunteered to host the collection of Dave Kruger’s essays but neither he nor I could remember who it was. All was not lost, however, because of the Internet “wayback machine” (Google it) Bob Myers found the articles (but not, alas, all the photos). I am adding them to this web site in hopes that readers will learn that there is more to kayaking than tidal streams, river bars, current rips and Deception Pass. There are quiet waters, cozy coves, good meals with close friends on a secluded beach, and paddles during which you never get more than a little wave now and then. You can find the list of his essays in the right sidebar.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Craig

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