My son and I spent an afternoon together at the local state park a couple of weeks ago (when it was still warm). I wanted to christen my new kayak (even if it’s just a blow-up boat) and my son wanted to take me hiking to the mineral springs. So I picked him up from school and off we went.
Did you know that it has been two years since my daughter Saver of Bugs first talked me into a kayak? I was shocked when I went through the archives to see when my first venture into a kayak was. (You can read about my first solo trip here.) And I got this kayak for Christmas and it’s christening didn’t happen till now, the end of the season. I really, really need to reorganize my life. This is just sad. *sigh*
It was a transitional day. Dark clouds were scudding across the sky in big swathes battling with the bright sunshine.
Deciding to be smart about this, I headed to the beach for my first ride. I had no idea how stable a blow-up kayak would be and figured I should find out where there were no rocks to hit my head on and where I wouldn’t have to swim lord knows how far if I couldn’t climb back in.
Blowing up the boat. It’s a hand pump, but it didn’t take long at all. There are also nozzles attached for blowing up the seat and the cushion you stuff into the nose of the boat for support. That would be the green pointy thing by the paddle.
Pump and seat attachments.
Attaching the seat. There is space in the back of the boat behind the seat to put stuff. Like say the carry bag the boat comes in and the pump. Or a jacket or something.
Don’t forget to attach the skeg! I do believe I’m going to drill a hole in this, attach a string and tie it to the back of the boat. I’m afraid if I get in the shallow marshy places (where a lot of the birds are) it might get knocked off.
TaDa! I am happy to report that rocking the boat from side to side did not tip it over. I crawled up on the front and back and it wobbled and scooted around a bit, but still didn’t flip. I didn’t stand up in it ’cause I was having a shaky leg day and would simply have fallen out of the boat all on my own. There were no dramatic pictures to show you and my son refused to take any pictures that had my butt hanging out in them. 😀 I was told several times to knock the skirt of my swim bottoms back down to cover up my bottom!
One of the pictures you won’t see is of the people. I turned out to be that day’s entertainment on the beach. Quite a few people approached me about my kayak. Where did I get it? How much did it cost? ($87 on sale on Amazon a year-ish ago.) How good was it? (We’ll soon see!) So I had an audience while I tried out my boat. They liked what they saw and I was thrilled with my Christmas present as well! Spider Bait said while I was on the lake, people spotting the box came over to talk to him about the boat. I think I will probably see more of these boats come spring! On to the lake…
Isn’t that beautiful with all the different color greens?
And what’s this?
A Great Blue Heron! They are regulars here at the park and he even let me get pretty close to get this picture. Sorry it’s fuzzy, but there was just enough wind to rock the boat.
This is what happens when you take that one paddle stroke too many. Boy, was he pissed and let everyone on the lake hear about it!
You can go here to listen to their alarm calls.
I could never get close to this bird and my long distance zoom on my cheapo camera sucks. But from what I could see and much searching I believe it is a juvenile Double-crested Cormorant stopping by during migration. If this is wrong, let me know!
I found this floating in the water. A message winging its way to me.
One last hopeful look at a bird…
One last look across the water.
And it’s time to get out and go hiking!
The next post will be about my trip to the mineral springs. Hope you enjoyed the visit to the lake!