Friday, July 29, 2016

Day 29: The Kayak

[Public domain]
via Wikimedia Commons
Water spiders may not be large but they are rather bold. The way they all appeared as if out of nowhere when the dock was bumped by my clumsy handling of the kayak, and then vanished just as quickly was rather disconcerting. I was left wondering if I had just imagined them.  All eleven of them.

Yesterday, I was given a very brief lesson on how to get in and out of the kayak, but today was my first actual attempt.  I am proud to say that other than the brief questioning of my sanity noted above, I managed both successfully.

I have canoed solo before, and used a rowboat, but the kayak was a new experience for me.  At first I seemed to go mostly to the right and then suddenly was going too far left.  It took a few minutes of paddling before I got the hang of it.  I was sailing along at what I felt was a rather admirable pace when a young man, yes half my age at most, came cruising right on past me.

I stopped paddling to watch him figuring I'd learn something and I did notice that he was handling the paddle differently.  I attempted to mimic his form and while I can't say I went much faster, the paddling was definitely easier.  And I had fewer issues with weaving side to side.

I was about 15 minutes or so into my paddle when I heard the wooofhhh woooofhhh of bird wings.  I looked up and had the pleasure of watching an eagle fly about 15 feet above my head and the off into the trees.  I was also treated to the sight and sounds of a pair of loons.  And on my return to the camp a large turtle swam slowly past me.

I'm willing to call the first full day of my vacation a success.

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