White Salmon, WA

After my highly enjoyable paddle on the Columbia River in a Maas boat last year, I wrote to the company to ask if I might be able to borrow a boat for training purposes. To my delight, they said yes.

So last week I went to their premises in a far-flung part of Point Richmond, north of San Francisco, to collect a brand new shiny Aero 21.

Doug Kidder, the boss man, proudly showed me around their premises. On the wall of their office was a photo of the company’s founder, Chris Maas, surfing a sculling boat down a sizeable wave. These boats are built to last – although when it comes to ocean rowing I’ll stick with Sedna. You could fit a few LaraBars in the hatch of an Aero, but not much more. Certainly not three months worth of food.

Quackers and I got a few strange looks on the 11-hour drive from sunny California back up to the snowy north. When I stopped for petrol a lumberjack gave the Aero a hard stare. “Sure is a funny looking toboggan”, he muttered….

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