Paddlin` where you want to go - it ain't so hard

Some canoeists wobble and meander all over the lake, frustrated with not being able to go where they want to go. It doesn't have to be. You happily can go where you intend to go... it is easy when you know how.  
This series  will look at Bow and Stern paddling tips! This first  article has ABC's of Stern Paddling... Next articles: Bow Paddling - the real force in the canoe!   Plus...Physics and finesse of paddling.

If this is new to you - Ask some of the RACCC instructors or experienced paddlers about these strokes and tips. Ask for some coaching on your next outing.  and...... take some of the flatwater training courses -  they're great!

A. choose a point to head towards and stay on target (at least most of the time?)
That point is 12:00 (or Noon) so to speak.
Keep the bow of your canoe pointing towards Noon.
Do your correction strokes as the bow STARTS to swing towards `5-to or 5 after` 12:00.
(IF you wait too long...e.g. ``10 to`` or ``10 after``... it takes lots of effort to get the canoe back on target)

B. Here are  3 simple correction strokes to use while stern paddling: 
(there's waaay more than that... but these are  excellent starter tools)
1. Forward stroke - this turns the canoe bow away from the side you're paddling on)

2.  J-stroke (this turns the bow of the canoe back towards your paddling side)
Flat water paddling uses the elegant, precise J-stroke vs the `stern pry`used in whitewater ...
Note:  the stern pry is called a `River J`in white water paddling BUT in flat water is also known as the Goon Stroke. (!)

3. Sweep stroke (turns the canoe bow 'away' from your paddling side)

ahem: Message to stern paddlers who switch sides to steer e.g. - 4 strokes on the right, 2 on the left, 6 on the right...........I know, I know..... It does work... but, you will be greatly admired as a cool, skilled, well informed, trained paddler if you learn to do all your steering strokes on one side. 
Trust me - it is easier, is less tippy, shows more finesse and knowledge, is more accurate..(and...besides did I say you will be looking cool....and the physics works MUCH better.)

C. Paddle in Cadence with your paddling partner...it is easy, elegant, very cool ... and... the physics is great!
more info in next week`s posting:
Paddling in cadence is lovely to behold.... and, check out the physics!!