Over the winter our daughter and son-in-law presented us with a pair of kayaks as a housewarming gift for a house we were building in Maine. Recently, we took a break from our chores of getting the house ready and decided to get the kayaks wet.
In the past, my kayaking experience has been to go out in a two-seater boat with my husband. He, of course, claims I did very little paddling on those expeditions. Going solo was going to be a whole new experience! I wasn’t even sure I would get my small skiff off the beach.
It was with some trepidation I helped load the boats into the truck and headed out to the nearby lake. Fortunately, the lake was calm for my first outing. I was able to nudge the kayak from the shallow water and start paddling. Soon I was comfortable enough to enjoy the sights around me. It wasn’t long before we observed a loon swimming and diving very close to us, so we paused to watch his antics for a while.
Now, my partner does not believe in allowing a person to become comfortable with one skill before presenting a new challenge. So it wasn’t long before he called me over to view some flowers growing on a ledge beneath some overhanging shrubs. As I approached the ledge, I realized I needed to either stop the boat (which I had not yet mastered) or position myself parallel to the wall but not so close that I was in the bushes. Too late in my turn, I found myself trying to paddle and push myself away from the embrace of the branches. Somehow, I managed to escape from this predicament and steer back towards unobstructed water.
For the remainder of my first outing, we stayed out of shrubbery and enjoyed the calm water of the lake. We paddled around a small, occupied island and headed back to shore after spending an hour on the lake.