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I was robbed! It was at a campground just outside of Parry Sound, a place I decided to stay for the night on my way north for a twelve day solo trip. I had put the tent up, finished dinner, and decided to use the last bit of fading light to test paddle my brand new Rob Roy canoe from Nova Craft, which I picked up that day; along with an elite, top of the line, light weight carbon fiber double bladed paddle by Aqua-bound.


It was a quick paddle due to an approaching storm but I immediately fell in love with my new paddle (and Rob Roy Canoe). The storm hit seconds after coming off the water and after stashing everything into my vehicle, I bee-lined it to the tent and waited out the storm. A couple hours later I crawled out to pee and noticed my back hatch was open. In a rush to enter the tent, I had forgotten to lock the vehicle. Heck, I was at a campground in a thunderstorm — who thinks to lock their vehicle? In any case, the $375 Aqua-bound double-bladed paddle was gone, along with my favorite reflector oven, MSR Reactor Stove and fishing tackle.


I reported the robbery in the morning to the park wardens but they had no success in finding the culprits. Both the wardens and myself strongly believed the thieves were my neighboring campers, especially since when I went over to ask if they had seen anyone take my stuff, their replied with a "Get the F* k off our campsite you asshole canoehead!"


Good news was they didn't take everything, especially my brand new Rob Roy. And I was able to resupply at White Squall Outfitters while continuing north for my trip.


In hindsight, it might have actually helped if they did steal my Rob Roy. There's no other boat like it and it would have definitely helped the police locate the robbers. I had it made special at Nova Craft. The company came out with a Rob Roy design this spring, celebrating Scottish outdoor writer, John MacGregor's hybrid canoe/kayak used in his famous book A Thousand Miles in a Rob Roy Canoe (1866). The book became an instant best-seller and is said by some canoe historians to be the book that initially popularized recreational canoeing. The boat was named after Scottish folk hero and outlaw, Rob Roy.


My Rob Roy was slightly different Rob Roy I had a good chunk of the deck taken off so I could place packs in without having to stuff them under the deck, and my dog Ellie needed room as well. My plan, for dealing with rough water, is to soon replace the missed decking with a nylon spray skirt attached along the sides by Velcro (and decorated with my Scottish tartan, of course). Canadian flags were painted in the bow and stern and my tartan was also layered in with the Kevlar, beautifying the interior. I love it. It weighs 32 lbs. and it paddles like a dream — it just would have been nice to have used my new Aqua-bound double-blade with it as well. I hope the robbers get good use out of it.

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