lessons in kayaking

today was a beautiful day.  Sunny, nice breeze, warm but not oppressively hot.   Nice day to rent a kayak with Princess and float around the lake.

Or so I thought.
It was indeed beautiful.  We headed down to the Cove (Trey was home with Little man, who was napping) planning on a 3 hour rental for a canoe.  As we were driving to the park, I heard on the radio something about the dragon boat races sponsored by the local Christian radio station, Love89 (www.love89.org).  Hmmmm.  That meant that the Cove would be a bit more crowded than usual, but at least there would be something to watch while we were out floating.
It was indeed crowded.  It took us hours to find a place to park, then we had to hike the AT back to the boat rental building.  When we arrived, I talked with the girl behind the counter about kayaks vs. canoes.  We decided on a kayak – nothing like trying something new!  So I loaded up our water bottles and sunscreen, checked that my phone was in my pocket and put on the straight – I mean – life jacket and we headed out.  So far, so good…
It was indeed breezy.  As we were heading out of the protective shield of the trees into the vast lake, we were pummeled with gale force winds and waves surfers dream about.  I think there was a hurricane somewhere to the east of us.  We watched a couple of the races then started towards another section of the lake, with the wind at our back.  We trespassed near a hawk’s nest (they didn’t really like us all that much) and passed a sailboat marina.  Once we passed the boats, I stopped and rested and checked my phone to see what time it was.  Note to self: don’t take a cell phone in a kayak if it isn’t waterproof, or at least in a plastic bag, or else it’ll get wet and not work.  
Well, that’s no good.
So we turn around and start back.  Paddling against the wind is much harder than paddling with the wind, did you know that?  At least the waves were bigger going this way.  Actually, bouncing on the waves was pretty fun.  Princess kept squealing and laughing so I was enjoying that – even if my arms did want to fall off.  By the time we got to the Cove park, I was exhausted, so we floated around a little bit and watched another boat race before heading back to the cove where there weren’t any gale force winds threatening us.
I found out what time it was and realized we had only been out there for 30 minutes.  30 minutes, huh?  I was getting nervous about not having a working phone (how did we ever survive without cell phones???) so we stayed in the little cove.  I let Princess try paddling for a while.  After ducking a few times as she helicoptored the paddle, I decided it might be prudent for me to take over paddling.
We headed back in, packed everything up and called Trey from the rental building (he was on call so I wanted to make sure he didn’t need me to rush home).  He wonderfully suggested that perhaps I should have put the phone in a plastic bag.   Gee, thanks.
All it all, it was a good day.
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