In my case, I consider a numpad-less keyboard is an optimal design. I detest number pads (and caps-lock keys but that's a whole other story) with a burning passion. Way back when, that's why I bought a Happy Hacker keyboard (PS2 interface, sadly). The gap between the keyboard and the mouse is annoying and physically bad for your body (though it may be fine for left-handed mouse users?). For same number of folks that do number crunching enough to actually need a numpad more than they need comfortable text typing, I wish the market would make standalone usb numpads more popular. They're ideal: pull one out when you're number crunching, puss it back when you're not.
I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.