After a few days of sailing on the Baltic Sea I spent a night in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. I had Lutske with me, an inflatable Stand-Up Paddle board and new tender to Balkonia, and wanted to try and see how she would perform on some ‘long-distance’ paddling with light luggage.
I had picked a short canal between the towns of Bützow and Güstrow, aptly named the Bützow-Güstrow-Kanal, for the trial. The canal was built as part of a larger route between Berlin and the Baltic Sea at the end of the 19th century, which was – unfortunately – never finished. It is only 14 km long. The stretch I had picked for paddling was even shorter: 10km from Bützow to the historical draw bridge near Lüssow.
The canal is beautifully located and quiet. The weather was amazing. Lutske performed well. However, being new at SUP paddling, I certainly didn’t manage to release her full potential.
After 5.5 km the canal started to be quite infested with weeds which the aft fin got entangled in and subsequently slowed me down a lot. I removed it from the board. This helped with speed but not with directional stability. The experiment ended after 6 km and approx. 2 hours. In my defense, this included a few photo stops as well as two portages.