love canoe14_JPG_t285I found the site Outdoor Love Map the other day and got a good giggle. So did everyone in my office. It seems many of us share this little secret of making love outdoors somewhere in our lives.

For us Canadians, making love in a canoe beats joining the mile-high club hands down. In fact, ever since Pierre Burton wrote his notable script "A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping" the sexual act has been attempted all over the country; in boats made of light-weight Kevlar, non-splinter resistant cedar-canvas, and even bum-numbing Grumman boats. So, there's no question most canoeist wish to give it a go. What's stopping them is the consideration over what position is best — without tipping that is. Well, even though Philip Chester once made the claim "Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart," the most preferred position is actually over the thwart!

Embarrassingly, my first time doing it in a canoe was the night before a cover story article I wrote for explore magazine on the subject hit the news stands. I had written the entire article, submitted it to the editor, and cashed the cheque for the job — but was still a canoe virgin; and I was okay with that. It was my wife, Alana, who was ashamed. She insisted that I (we) made love in a canoe before the magazine hit the news stand. Doing the act on a moments notice was a challenge, however. Alana left me to figure out the details while she went up stairs to put our three year old daughter to bed.

Actually paddling out on water was going to be impossible of course. It was too short notice and we live in the middle of a city. I first thought a quick substitute would be just to flip the canoe over right where it was being stored on the back lawn. But then I thought about how nosey our neighbors seem to be, not to mention how much it lacked any a romantic quality to it. So instead I put the sixteen foot boat right through the back window of our house, rested it upright beside our living room fire place, rested a couple glasses of wine on the bow plate, and placed a "nature sounds" CD in the stereo.

The mood was set. I sat in the stern seat, wearing only my bathrobe, and waited for Alana to walk downstairs for the big surprise. And a few minutes later she did, but with our daughter in her arms. Kyla had a slight fever and needed a bit more comforting before going to bed.

It was an embarrassing moment for any father. That's a given. But Kyla saved me by immediately spurting out the question "Are we going camping dad?" I replied "yes" and spent a good hour playing camp out with Kyla and her dolls.