David Anderson and his miniature schnauzer, Jack, in his Sea Eagle 330 sport kayak on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario.

It’s one of those funny stories the family laughs about around the dinner table but a tragedy was averted when a small dog started swimming after his master in a very large lake.

David Anderson lives near Toronto, Canada, and is an avid Sea Eagle boater. “I go out boating pretty much every weekend,” David told us, “especially since I live very close to Lake Ontario.”  The smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is BIG — 7,540 square miles — almost as big as the state of New Jersey. It’s an outstanding area for boating and fishing, but can be big trouble for a little dog that tops out at about 15 lbs.

David and his dad set out for a pleasant paddle in their Sea Eagle 330. Little did they know theyd soon be on a rescue mission!

Last summer, David and his dad inflated David’s Sea Eagle 330 and went out for a paddle while David’s mom, Elizabeth, stayed on shore.

Elizabeth tells the story. “My husband and David launched the 330 while I held David’s miniature schnauzer, Jack, on a leash on shore. Suddenly, Jack broke away and started swimming out toward the kayak. I was yelling, of course, and my son and his dad turned the kayak around and came back and rescued the dog. It all turned out very well. We all love the kayak, including the dog.”

David told us, “Any time I leave Jack, he freaks out. He went off his nut, got away from his leash, and swam out to follow me. We were able to pick him up and brought him back to shore safely.”

Dog on board

There’s an even happier ending: David now takes Jack with him in his Sea Eagle. “He was very nervous at first but now is quite comfortable on board. And I like having him on the boat with me.”

David’s not alone in combining his love of boating and dogs. One of the most frequently asked questions Sea Eagle buyers ask is, “Can I put my dog in a Sea Eagle?” And our answer is, “Yes. All Sea Eagle boats are tough enough to accommodate your pet.” See this and more FAQ’s on the Sea Eagle website,

Swan rescue, too

David seems to have a knack for rescuing animals in trouble while boating. He tells us that while boating on the Credit River  in his Sea Eagle 330, “I saw a fisherman on the shore doing something with a swan. He signaled me and I paddled over. The swan had a rope wrapped around his wing.”

Swans  are big birds that can weigh up to 33 lbs. and can have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. They can also be decidedly unfriendly, particularly when one is trying to remove a rope they’re tangled in. “I held him by his little pink feet while the fisherman cut the rope away,” says David. The swan paddled away — shaken but free.

Boat racing & cardiovascular exercise

David and his family have a rich boating history. “My whole family was involved in boat racing,” he tell us. “We raced kayaks and canoes in regattas throughout the Canadian provinces.” David says there are regatta plaques and trophies all around the family home.

These days, boating’s part of David’s fitness training program that includes weightlifting and bodybuilding. “I’ve been involved in sports all my life — karate, hockey, football, soccer, and lacrosse,” he tells us. “Kayaking in the Sea Eagle provides a cardiovascular component.”

When not working out, David’s working in marketing for CBS Outdoor Media. And he’s making plans for some outdoor adventures of his own – a kayaking and camping trip to Algonquin Park, Central Ontario’s famous provincial park that features over 2,400 lakes and almost 750 miles of rivers and streams.

Packs small, “cooks” through waves

When we asked David what he might tell someone who’s thinking about a Sea Eagle, he had some very practical advice. “I was looking at hard-hull kayaks, but for an apartment dweller like me, the Sea Eagle’s perfect. It rolls up small and stores easily in my back room.”

David & Jack, happy after their adventure in Lake Ontario.

What about performance? “It cooks through the waves,” he said. “I’d tell people who’re interested to purchase one for the convenience alone. It’s light and very durable. It can carry up to 500 lbs., can go anywhere including rough waters. I endorse it 100%.”

Our guess is that Jack the miniature schnauzer does, too.

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  1. Great story, I’m one of those who are afraid of boating in the event that my kayak flips over with the waves or I get drifted away by the winds etc. Any sharing of experience with the sea eagle is helpful I am ready to face my fears this coming summer Thanks.

    • Keep at Heman! You WILL get the hang of it and before you know it you will be cooking through the waves! Like anything you are not used to.. you will adapt.

      Take care, good luck,
      and Be safe.

      David Anderson

  2. Lots of neat stories here. We hang out on the Suwannee River between the gulf and the Santa Fe river. We love long distant riding on our waverunners. We occasionally take the boat and go fishing but we are not good fishermen at all. Some very nice fish here.

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