New Officers & Upcoming Open House

We recently elected our board for the 2016 season! Congratulations to:

President – Scott
Vice President – Cynthia
Secretary – Sally
Treasurer – Dave
Member at Large – Karen

Our canoes are now rigged and practices have commenced. Check out the sign-ups on the right hand side of the page, and keep an eye on the cold water guidelines (link at the top) because we have both cold air and water, so safety precautions are extremely important as we begin the season.

We are excited to be joining in an Open House on Saturday, May 7 at Cass Park from 11:00-2:00, with the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club, Cornell Dragon Boat Club, SUP Cayuga, and Paddle-N-More. More details here – Wear clothes that can (and will) get wet (good – synthetics, rubber boots or neoprene booties. bad – anything cotton!). We’ll provide PFDs, paddles, and instructions.

Lastly – we have a new instagram account at thanks to Dave!!

Spring Elections 3/19

Aloha! We will be holding elections this coming Saturday, 3/19, at 4pm at Cynthia’s house. We’ll also be choosing dates for rigging, maintenance, and kicking off our season, hopefully a bit earlier than in the past thanks to this warm winter. Looking forward to seeing everyone! Email with any questions.

Can You Canoe Cayuga?

Can you canoe Cayuga? Apparently not quite yet. But we definitely had a great time!

For the second year in a row, Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club and a large group of kayakers and canoers, gathered along the western shores of Cayuga Lake to attempt to paddle the length of the lake. For the fourth year in a row, the lake got fiesty! After a beautiful Friday–a becalmed lake sighed under the gentle caresses of an autumnal sun–which saw club members Cynthia, Karen, and Sally, along with Captain Vicki and first mate Christopher, tow our canoe up to the northern end of the lake, we all awoke to somewhat different conditions Saturday morning. By then the organizers had already changed the starting point for the paddle, moving it eleven miles south from Seneca Falls to Dean’s Cove in the hopes that paddlers would be off the water in Cass Park prior to 2pm when the heavy winds were scheduled to descend. No such luck. By the time we arrived at Seneca Falls (not Deans Cove) at 6:45am (yes, AM!), the flags were flappin’ and the waves were lappin’. We prepared ourselves for a vigorous and exciting day, Cynthia gave the opening prayer for a safe and wonderful day, and we set off with a crew of Skip, Nick, Karen, Nick, Scott and Ray steering. A new captain manned our chase boat: Captain Tom, whose playful banter, steady hand, and wafting cigarette smoke kept us all buoyed.

We made good progress at the outset, heading to the channel in the middle of the lake to bypass the shallow and weedy shoreline. Doom awaited. Nearing the first protruding land mass (hereafter referred to as ‘the point’), the wind picked up intensity and the waves began to roll, moving from south to north. Swells, with occasional white-caps, were between 3 and 5 feet. We closed our eyes and imagined we were in Hawaii in January. Rounding the point, we started to take on quite a bit of water, at one point having to have two paddlers bail to clear the canoe of water. It made little difference as approximately 5 miles in we hulied…. for the first time. This was the worst of the three hulis. The canoe filled up so rapidly and the waves were relentless and big that we were unable to bail it out. Tom pulled the boat alongside the canoe where he stood in awe as Cynthia plunged in to the lake to rig the canoe to the side of the boat so that we could be towed to a location where we could actually bail. Seriously, Tom was like… “Daaamnnnn!” Once near shore, Cynthia got back on the boat to warm up while a number of us bailed and set out again. The waves persisted and the next point loomed. Doom awaited. We attempted to round the second point while still staying relatively close to shore but the waves were pushing from the southeast to the northwest. Every effort to hug the western shoreline was met with an agitated ‘ama. Now 6 miles in, we hulied again. This time we moved quickly to flip the canoe and managed to bail it prior to it filling with water. Less then 10 minutes later, we were off again. The waves kept coming and it was getting moshy, with gnarly stuff coming from all directions. Karen was way impressed by Ray’s steering and shouted some words of encouragement: “You’re doing a great job Ray!” And then we hulied for the third time. Once again we righted the canoe. Ray swapped out with Cynthia, Sue-Je was now in the canoe, and Nick J. swapped out with Nick W. but unfortunately Nick W. dislocated his shoulder and returned to the boat. While you might feel bad for Nick–and you should–do keep in mind his own words of wisdom: “At least it isn’t the Hudson where I come out feeling gross!” With Cynthia at the helm, the canoe headed in to the waves and toward Deans Cove. It was now 10:30am. We had been on the water for 3 1/2 hours and covered 8 miles. Ouch!

Thankfully, the hulis came to an end. The crew did a great job of blasting across this section of the lake and to Dean’s Cove where Sally, who was awesome in supporting the crew and driving from checkpoint to checkpoint and keeping us organized, awaited. Skip met his family here and headed off. The rest of us discussed whether we should continue but word from Sally and others was that the lake was getting intense and the weather forecast looked gloomy. We were pretty beat and it was approaching noon. We decided to tow the canoe to Sheldrake and then Taughannock to see if we could paddle from one of those locales. Yet again the point at Sheldrake was messy and unpleasant but as we approached Taughannock the weather began to ease and we briefly considered paddling the last stretch from Taughannock to East Shore. Briefly considered…. We towed the canoe to east shore and then headed to Cass Park to help Tom with the boat. By that point, it was past 5pm.

We ended the day–or some of us did–at Ray and Cynthia’s house with kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, and squid luau, as well as a variety of beers. It may be the case that this annual event will come to be known as Can You Sink Your Canoe in Cayuga?…. but probably not. We are ready for next year! And even if it is gnarly again next year and we end up swimming a lot, it was great fun, memorable, and a day on (or in) Cayuga Lake is better than a day at home or work! Thanks to everyone: to the crew who came out and paddled hard and had a good sense of humor; to Vicki and Tom for the boat and for taking good care of us; for Sally for being our shore person and coordinator; and a big hand especially to Cynthia who organizes this every year, made amazing shirts for the event, and refuses to let the weather dampen her spirits… and keeps us all going!


Novice Practice & Steersperson Clinic this weekend!

Aloha, paddlers!!  We are excited to be hosting a couple of events this Saturday, June 13th (in addition to regularly-scheduled Friday evening and Sunday morning practices).  Read on for details!

On Saturday, from 9 – 10:30am, we will be holding a Steersperson Clinic for club members who are currently steerspeople or are interested in developing their steering skills.  We will review safety procedures and responsibilities of our steerspeople, and we will also have an opportunity to practice steering techniques and gain feedback as we develop our skills.

Then from 10:30 am – noon, we will be holding a Novice Practice! This is open to new and current club members, as it will be an opportunity to focus on stroke technique and fundamentals of OC-6 paddling.  We encourage individuals with any experience level (or lack thereof) to try the sport, and we are excited for our more “seasoned” members to participate as well, in order to share advice on what has worked well for them, as well as to ask questions and work on things that need more focused attention.

There is a $10 suggested donation for individuals trying out COCC; this will be applied to your club dues should you decide to join COCC.  Paddles and PFDs will be provided on shore.

Please be sure to wear synthetic clothing and shoes.  We walk the canoes into the lake, so you may be submerged up to waist-level.  Old sneakers, water shoes, or rubber boots are ideal.  Please no flip-flops or bare feet, as the rocks can be slippery.  No cotton clothing is allowed (pants or tops).  Even if the air is warm, remember that the lake is still quite chilly this summer, so we want to wear clothing that dries quickly and keeps our bodies warm. We have a locker to store personal items; anything you bring into the canoe may disappear if we huli (flip), so cell phones and keys should stay on shore, unless you are certain that they will float!

RSVP for both events in the Practice Sign-up link on the right hand side of the page, and direct any questions or concerns to  So excited to see everyone this weekend!!

May 2 – Spring Club Meeting and Luau!

We are excited to announce that on Saturday, May 2, 2015, we’ll be hosting our spring meeting from noon – 1pm, followed by a potluck May Day celebration from 1-3pm!  Everything will be held at East Shore Marina.  Excited to see new and returning faces as we kick off the season.  Please bring a dish to pass.  No RSVP needed, but feel free to contact us with any questions or ideas.

Rigging this Sunday!

Aloha, paddlers!! It looks like the weather should cooperate this coming Sunday, so we’d love to have you out to rig our canoes! We’ll begin at 10am at East Shore Marina, and if all goes well we should be finished in under 2 hours. Please email me at if you are interested so that we are sure that we have enough hands.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

anxiously awaiting “spring” in ithaca!

Greetings, soon-to-be paddlers for the 2015 season!  We had our first board meeting of 2015 and are excited to welcome new and old board members!  Our lineup is currently:

President – Blair

Vice President – Cynthia

Secretary – Ryan

Treasurer – Sally

Member-at-Large – Scott

We are working to plan a fun and motivating season, and we are hoping to participate in some ECORA races and local events this summer … just so anxious to get out there and start paddling!  Unfortunately, the lake is currently frozen over …

but hopefully the water will thaw soon so that we can get out there and paddle.  Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!  Stay tuned for updates on a rigging party (if we are lucky enough to have a warm weekend on land sometime soon!) and our inaugural paddle of the year.


season is under way!

As May already comes to a close, we have several practices and events to be excited about!  We had our two novice practices where we had a total of 13 new paddlers come out!  Some were seasoned SUP-ers and kayakers, whereas a handful had never been in a boat before!  This year’s novices caught on remarkably quickly, and we’re hoping to see many of them return for the rest of the summer as the club continues to grow.

We also participated in the Plastic Tides event on May 18 ( on Cayuga Lake; a short “race” from East Shore Marina to Stewart Park designed to raise awareness and funding for the organizers’ trip to Bermuda where they will continue to combat pollution in our waterways. Our crew of 5 took off at the start of the race (trying to get out of the way of all of the SUP-ers battling the waves and trying not to crash into us!) and had a neck-and-neck race against one of our kayaking friends, Alan.  It was a good test of our canoe Hoku’s stability (and Cynthia’s masterful steering!) as the waves and wind were picking up and nearly gave us an early huli drill for the season!!  We ended up winning the 1.5 mile “sprint” and then paddled back to East Shore to warm up and head back to the BBQ.  It was fun to see so many friends on SUP boards and first-time paddlers out on the lake. Must note that the water was very brown from all of the runoff we’ve had from major rainstorms and some minor flooding earlier that weekend.  Thankfully our crew didn’t have to “swim” as much as those on their SUP boards! Fun day for the club, first “race” for one of new members Ryan, and a pretty cool cause to be supporting locally.

upcoming novice practices in May

As the water slowly warms up, we are planning novice practices on Saturday May 3 and May 17 at 10am.  This will be an opportunity for new paddlers of any experience level (or lack thereof!).  We will start with a brief workshop on land to review safety procedures and paddling technique, then spend some time in the canoes and plan our “workout” based on how everyone is feeling!  We had a ton of fun with these last year, so we are very excited to be starting back up and see some new faces, or older faces just hoping to slow it down and work on technique.  Our novice practices typically run about an hour to an hour and a half but may be modified depending how many participants we have and the experience level of our crew.

Please email me directly at to sign up or if you have any questions.  We will only go out if we have enough to fill a boat.

There is a suggested $10 donation to participate in novice practices.  If you decide join COCC, this will be applied to your dues.  Paddles and PFDs will be provided.

You will need:

– shoes that can get wet — we walk the boat in, so you will definitely get wet!  The water is still very cold, so Neoprene booties are ideal, or wool socks with high rubber rain boots.

– water-appropriate clothing.  NO cotton.  Please wear layers of synthetics if possible; fleece is great if it’s cold, headband if windy, otherwise a polyester top and shorts/pants are fine.  Dress for the water, not the air!  You will warm up while we are paddling, but it can be chilly when we stop, and painfully cold if we end up in the water.

– water bottle

– leave a towel and change of clothes in your car

We’ll post any other relevant info as the novice practices approach!

update: rigging on Saturday, April 5

Just to note: we moved the rigging session to this Saturday, April 5.  10am, East Shore Marina.  We are hoping to have everything completed in two hours and should have a pretty good turnout of club members.  Looking forward to seeing everyone this Saturday, so we can actually be on the water very soon!!