Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Assignment #4--Outdoor Play

That's an easy one for me....One of my favorite ways to play as an adult is kayaking...Here I am in a rental...or rather, here are my feet!

I've just gotten done paddling across a busy channel, narrowly being hit by a big yacht that wasn't watching for little boats. I paddled like hell to get across the channel, misjudging the speed of the yacht. Kinda scary seeing that big honkin' ship barreling down towards me! But I got across safely and took a much needed breather. My heart rate was definitely up!

I love kayaking. I started ten years ago, paddling the rivers in the northwest and northeast parts of Indiana. I had an eleven foot "Tupperware" boat, one of those polypropylene, some kind of plastic boat. It was great for rivers. It got pretty banged up, lugging it around all over northern Indiana, in and out of rivers, banging up against rocks. It was great! I didn't have to worry about knocking a piece out of it, like you do with fiberglass. But it was HEAVY, about 40 pounds.  I considered it great exercise, getting the boat up and down off the roof of my car. Being single at the time, I didn't have anybody to help me.

I had Thule saddle kayak holders on the top of my CR-V. It was the type of setup where I could load the boat myself. Put the bow up against the car against a towel, lift up the rear end, slide it forward, and TADA! All that was left to do was tie down the boat. I went all over the rivers in the northeast corner of the state. I'd paddle every weekend in the fall. Sometimes I'd paddle with the Fort Wayne group of paddlers. They were a FAST bunch!

Getting underway
It wasn't long before I was wishing for a longer, sleeker boat that would boogie across the water. The Fort Wayne kayakers paddled mostly lakes in the area. So I bought a fiberglass boat. That boat would FLY across the lake waters. But you really had to watch for rocks and be extra careful launching the kayak. Unfortunately, not long after that, I was going to start full timing in the motorhome, and two kayaks just didn't want to be schlepped all over the U.S. on a car rack, worrying about being stolen. So I sold them. Sigh!

Wherever we traveled and there were kayak rentals, I would rent one and head out on the water. I love the peace of the water, the quiet, the solitude. In our travels, most of the time, we are in areas with quiet water, not the whitewater rapids. I ended up getting a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak to be able to go out anytime. It's a great kayak for RVers, inflates easily, is extremely sturdy, it tracks really straight and is holding up well. It's my play of choice...out paddling for several hours, looking for wildlife, watching the birds. I don't have to paddle fast any more, I just need to paddle.....It's my favorite summer play.....

1 comment:

  1. Great post - I've always been kind of afraid of the water, don't swim, and hate the cold water. But for some reason, kayaking looks really good to me. As long as I had on a life vest - which is probably required, anyway - I think I would enjoy it. Maybe some day... I'm glad you had a fun play day. :)