Posted on

How to sail with no ocean nearby

The closest ocean being the Pacific ocean, from Boise Idaho is plus or minus 1,000 miles away. This may be a good thing since we are so new to sailing, with no sailing lessons, training or crewing or riding on someone else’s sailboat. Starting off small was a good thing. 

Since we don’t have an ocean or a large body of water anywhere near us—where do we sail? There are a few bodies of water nearby—Lucky Peak Reservoir, a lake in a nearby city Nampa, Idaho, and 100 miles north, Payette Lake in McCall Idaho. 

Lucky Peak is located 8 miles SE of Boise, ID. It has an area of 4.406 mi² and is 12 miles long. Lucky Peak Reservoir is a reservoir on the Boise River in the U.S. state of Idaho. It is located mainly in Ada County, extending into Boise County and Elmore County. It was created in 1955 with the construction of Lucky Peak Dam. Lucky Peak State Park surrounds part of the lake.

The views are hilly and dry looking. It’s very dry. We’ve sailed here only a couple of times. This is due to a few reasons. The lake being so close to the city makes this a busy recreational area for all kinds of boaters. The second reason is that this reservoir is skinny which makes sailing it difficult. 

Lake Lowell – Part of the Boise Project, this 14.5 square mile (9,800-acre) reservoir with 28 miles of shoreline lies within the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. Boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing are the major recreation activities at Lake Lowell, located 5 miles southwest of Nampa.

We’ve never been. Over the years there have been many times where the water is not safe to swim in due to high concentrations of a toxin-producing cyanobacteria which were indicated in the lake.

Payette Lake – is located plus or minus 100 miles north of Boise, ID. It has an area of 7.792 mi² and is 22 miles of shoreline. Payette Lake is a natural lake in the western United States, located in west central Idaho at McCall. Formed by glacial activity, it is situated in the upper drainage basin of the Payette River, which drains into the Snake River.

I would call this high elevation lake our learning to sail/fail stomping grounds. This lake has been something we’ve been visiting for a long time. It’s where our family reunions every year have been held for the past 35 years. It’s where I (Bryan) learned to love water sports and just the water in general. 

The town is small but beautiful and so is the scenery surrounding it. The sailing community has been amazing! One of the things we’ve found we like most about sailing is the sailing community. 

The anchorage we stay in on the lake, Duck Bay is small, quiet and protected. It makes a great place to avoid all the recreational activities happening on the lake and great place for the kiddos to get out and enjoy the water. 

Although we do look to sail the ocean, it’s nice to be able to jump in the water and know nothing is in the water here to eat you, you don’t have as harsh of elements trying to break down your boat and the protected sailing helps you focus on honing your sailing skills.