Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Kayaks

As you might have guessed from my blog header, I now have a kayak. In fact, I have two kayaks. I decided that it would be nice to have two for when the kids come to visit. It has already proven to be a great plan. David came for the weekend right after I bought the kayaks, so he came out with Jay and me to give them a test paddle.


In case you are wondering how someone without arms manages to paddle a kayak, have a close look at the picture on the bottom left. David has worked out a system where he holds the paddle in the crook of his arms and rotates the paddle from side to side from that position. It takes a lot more work to do it that way, but then that's how it is with most of the things David does. This probably explains why he consumes so much food!

Jay had never been in a kayak before, but David and I managed to get him launched. Jay is a fisheries biologist and has spent a lot of time on the water, but all of that time has been in boats where there was a little more distance between him and the lake. I don't think he will be a frequent paddler.




Then Rebekah came to visit. We managed to walk Teapot Hill and go kayaking all in the same day.




Next up were Jay's sister Maureen and her husband Robert. They came over from Vancouver Island to stay with us for a couple of days, and brought their kayaks with them so all four of us could go out together. It's okay to laugh. We look pretty ridiculous.



Kayaking is a lot of fun. Putting the kayaks on top of the vehicle, then taking them off at the lake, then doing that all over again when it's time to come home isn't. In knitterly terms the kayaking itself is like knitting a beautiful project. Loading and unloading them is like sewing up the seams once the knitting is done. Just so you don't think I'm exaggerating, a friend of mine just bought a couple of sea kayaks and she told me if she and her husband didn't come up with a better system for getting those things on and off their truck their marriage might not last.

My kayak - the mango coloured one in the blog header - is a Wilderness Systems Pongo 120. I needed a kayak that was light enough I could get it on and off my vehicle on my own if I wanted to go out on a regular basis. I didn't need something as long as a sea kayak, but also didn't want a short kayak like the kind used on rivers. I wanted something very stable. The Pongo 120 is what is classified as a recreational kayak, and was exactly what I was looking for.

It has been a dream of mine for a long time to have a kayak. There is something so incredibly peaceful and restorative about being out on the lake, paddling along, enjoying the scenery, the gentle sound of water splashing against the boat, and the smell of woodsmoke wafting across the water from the nearby campsites. Here is a glimpse of the view Rebekah and I enjoyed the day we went out. That's Mt. Cheam in the distance.




Can you tell how happy I am?


36 comments:

  1. You look great! AND happy. So glad the move is working out. But my Starbucks card is feeling very unused these days :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been meaning to call or email, but it seems like every minute since we moved has been packed with stuff to do. I have decided unpacking the boxes is actually the easy part of moving - it is all the other stuff that takes awhile to do. I miss our Starbucks knitting/visiting times a lot. My card hasn't seen any use since I moved either. :-(

      Delete
  2. You do look happy! You love very proud and accomplished too. I have never tried kayaking but my husband enjoys it. I actually had no idea about David's arms, I had never noticed before, but I am very impressed with his skills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David is a multiple amputee, but the reason you haven't noticed before this is probably because he does everything an able-bodied person does.

      You should give kayaking a try sometime when your husband goes out. It is a lot of fun. :-)

      Delete
  3. Isn't it amazing...I have been kayaking for a few years...bought a cheap sit on top one but I'm wanting to upgrade. Even with significant fibromyalgia symptoms it is still one thing I can enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know you kayaked! All that time I was living in Kamloops I wanted to find someone to go out with. If only I had known! I have heard the sit on ones are a lot fun.

      Delete
  4. Who wouldn't be happy, kayaking on a beautiful lake among beautiful mountains? A dream life!
    -- stashdragon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying it very much! Of course, there are still the day to day things like cooking, cleaning and paying bills, so that smile isn't always plastered on my face. :-)

      Delete
  5. Pity you can't bring your kayak to Wales - our sailing club has a rapidly growing canoe/kayak section, and our lake (Llyn Clywedog) is great for kayaking! The group meets on Thursday evenings, so if you're in the area do try to get along (although it's not the easiest place to get to without transport). I'll e-mail you with contact details and a photo of the lake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I really wish we were able to go kayaking with you on your lake, but we have a very limited amount of time in Wales. I think it is going to end up just like my trip to Scotland - I will be wanting to come back for another visit as soon as I leave. I would love to see your pictures!

      Delete
  6. why would you ever want to be indoors, not that I fancy kayaking myself. Your walk up the hill was safe then, no 4 legged predators?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The walk up the hill was fine. I have gone several times since the cougar incident, and I have to confess to looking over my shoulder on occasion when I hear rustling in the bushes, but so far it has only been my imagination keeping me company as I hike. :-)

      Delete
  7. You look wonderfully happy and very fit too Kirstie. You live in the perfect country for kayaking; all those gorgeous waterways, among the mountain scenery. Looks fantastic! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, Patricia - it is the perfect country for kayaking. There's no shortage of water here!

      Delete
  8. Wow, that's great exercise. And it's fun? I've never been in a kayak, but I can imagine the sense of freedom you have out on the water. It's great to see you looking so happy. Is kayaking a spring to fall activity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's exercise, and yes, it's fun. It's a rather unusual combination, isn't it? :-)

      I would say it is a late spring to early fall activity, at least for me. I don't like being cold.

      Delete
  9. At 71 and 79, my mum and her partner are thinking of selling their sea kayaks to get kayaks like those ones you've bought, specifically for the weight reason, as they find they just aren't using the sea kayaks as much as they used to.

    A wheeled trolley for getting them to the water and to storage is also really nice, we always made them from go kart wheels and wood picked up at the thrift shops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's neat that your mum and her partner are still kayaking. I can understand why they want to go with the lighter kayaks though. They are a pain to put on roof racks, and the bigger they are the worse it is. A wheeled trolley is a great idea, but we live a bit too far away from the water for it to be practical. Great idea to make your own!

      Delete
  10. Ohh I'd love a kayak too - and a lake to paddle it in! Sounds like you are living the best life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great place, but of course there are still the daily things like paying bills, cooking and cleaning to be dealt with just like anywhere else. But I am trying to get in as much hiking and paddling time as I can. :-)

      Delete
  11. Looks like so much fun....I am envious of your locale....kayaking, walking, lakes and hiking trails on your doorstep. Now you need to get The Dogs in on this...I think there is enough room in the kayak for a wee doggie...one in each?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I might try taking Fergus out. I think he would like it, but I guess I need to buy him a doggie life vest first. And I think I need to get a bit more confident in my kayaking abilities before I try it with an energetic dog in the boat with me. :-)

      Delete
  12. I too have a kayak and a spare for a friend to paddle with me. Alas, I can't seem to find anyone to go with me. Too bad I live in VT else I'd invite myself to join you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I wish you were here! I would love to have someone close by to go out kayaking with. :-)

      Delete
  13. I'm so glad you're enjoying your new kayaks -- I knew you'd love it once you got on the water. We love ours, but I totally agree with you about the loading/unloading process...it's a pain in the butt, for sure. First you load them up at home, then you drive, then you unload them at the lake, then you paddle, then you load them up again, then you drive home, then unload them. It's worth it for the peaceful experience on the water, but I'd still give anything to live on a secluded lake with my own dock. Easy in, easy out....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! It's the ugly, untold story of kayaking, that process of actually getting the boats in the water and back out again. :-)

      Delete
  14. How wonderful to be able to enjoy the fantastic scenery from the water, you all look as if you are having such fun in your new kayaks. How nice that your move has given you the opportunity to allow one of your dreams to be realised.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been nice. I hope that continues as we move from summer to fall. The change of seasons will mean more rain, and that means less time in the outdoors. I am trying to enjoy every possible moment now while the good weather lasts.

      Delete
  15. Looks like you are in your element! There's certainly something so rejuvenating about being on or near calm waters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really hoping that you will come down and try out that guest kayak!

      Delete
  16. How green am I?! It, you, there ... all look fabulous :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are probably the same shade of green I am when you talk about going for walks over the moors. :-)

      Delete
  17. Looks like lots of fun being had! Beautiful scenery! Ros

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tons of fun! I just hope the good weather holds. Once it gets really cold I think the kayak will be put away for the winter.

      Delete
  18. You look so happy on the water amid that breathtaking scenery, Kristie. I'm glad you've managed to achieve your dream at last. I'm very impressed by David's ingenuity, but can imagine how much more energy he needs to do it this way.

    I canoed a little as a teenager, but have never tried kayaking, but my DH has a (fairly heavy) kayak which he still enjoys using, though his back now makes prolonged paddling very uncomfortable. It all comes of getting older....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Canoeing is wonderful too, Perpetua! The place I bought my kayak from also sells canoes. They had some of the most beautiful canoe paddles on display - they were works of art. It was almost enough to make me consider getting a canoe instead of a kayak.

      I wonder if your husband got one of the newer, very lightweight kayaks with the adjustable seats if he might find it easier on his back. ??

      Delete