This morning I was out on the water by myself in a kayak. For so long the days have been windy, Small Craft Advisory in effect, that when I saw there was no advisory until noon, I packed up at 8:30 and took off for Nick’s Fish House—12 minutes away.
I took this picture when I was there on Sunday with son Pete and his wife, mother-in-law and grandson Noah.
It was a gray and rainy day.
Today the sun was shining. I parked quite close to the Canton Kayak Club dock.
My mission was to find out whether I could handle a kayak by myself. I found out that I couldn’t—at least this time. With experience, I may be able to do so.
I successfully opened the combination locks on the lock-box and the kayaks. I found a PFD that fit me.
This one was much less bulky than the ones used in training. I could move my arms freely and it was not nearly as heavy.
The paddles were marked with numbers so that it was easy to find two ends that mated.
I got a kayak off the rack, choosing the brand that trainer Nick had recommended—Venture Kayak. It was third from the bottom on the rack. Surely it would have been easier to take the bottom kayak, but I had been alerted that some of the other brands were “tippier.” Notice the cables that secure the kayaks to the racks.
Off the rack, I proceeded to drag it down this ramp:
When I had gotten a few feet beyond the ramp, a marina worker called to me and pointed to the place where I should launch the kayak.
It was close to the kayak rack, but I had failed to see it.
By this time the helpful man had already picked up one end of the kayak and we walked it to this site, where he slid it into the water, depriving me of the experience of doing it myself. He also held it while I got in, though I am sure I didn’t need that help.
I paddled for 15 minutes, staying within the marina. I went behind the boats docked here:
(Note the bridge.)
And into the open area beyond the end of the dock.
A man with a bicycle on the bridge overhead called to me that I was exceeding the speed limit.
Being out on the water felt wonderful. Although I realized that I had not adjusted the foot pegs and could not without tipping over, I was able to maneuver the kayak and to enjoy just sitting in it on the water on a perfect morning.
When I got back to the launching device, however, I could not get the kayak into it. The bow kept banging against it, instead of riding over it. For several minutes I tried to haul myself onto the dock. I tried several ways without success. It was too high. By this time, my arms were tired. I knew I couldn’t do it. I blew my whistle. The kind marina worker appeared again and pulled the boat into the cradle, or whatever it’s called. He said it was too high and that’s why the kayak wouldn’t ride into it. He held the boat as I got out. Then he helped me put it back on the rack.
After he left and I set about threading the cable through rings on all the kayaks on the rack to secure them, I discovered that the ring of my kayak was at the other end of the rack. I tried for several minutes to turn the boat over and get it off the rack to turn it around, but I couldn’t do it. So I walked to where several men were working and asked for help. Another man came back with me and told me that when a storm blew some of the kayaks off the rack, it took two men to get them back on it.
Unless I can learn a better way to do it, I cannot get a kayak back on the rack by myself. Not UP on the rack, that is.
This morning I went paddling after swimming 2/3 mile in our pool, as I do Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I went paddling instead of doing my usual workout after swimming and had a thorough workout. I’m feeling sore muscles all over. Just took Tylenol.
Okay. I needed help. But this was the first time at Nick’s Fish House and the first time alone. I didn’t capsize.