Hello Y’all and welcome Fall 2017! I hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather these past couple of days that it’s been so nice outdoors. I have always wanted to go kayaking but the timing has been far from perfect. This time, there were few people from my meetup group who were going and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to finally try my hands at it.
Prior to the trip, it seemed everyone and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E had an opinion about kayaking on Lake Grapevine; Even the checkout guy at the sports store said ‘the water wasn’t clear, you couldn’t see the bottom’…Wa! Wa! Wa! In my mind I’m thinking, ‘there’s a reason why it’s called a lake and if you want to see crystal clear to the bottom, you’re going to have to wait a couple more weeks for Irma to be done. 😐 A friend of mine gave me a ‘what to do if you get screwed while kayaking’ list of sorts…ha ha!. Some of the items on that list were outright hilarious. One of them was: ‘If you see something huge moving around or under your kayak, paddle faster’! 😐 To where? If I might ask – when I’m right in the middle of the lake for Pete’s sake. On a more serious note, I found those tips very useful especially if you don’t plan on being a part of the 6 o’ clock evening news. I also did some research and found a couple of tips that would be useful to anyone interested in the sport.
Do’s and Don’ts of Kayaking – 101
- Check the weather forecast.
- Let friends and family know where you’re going, when and who you’re going with.
- Do not drink prior – No mini martinis, wine tasting events or a ‘few’ beers before.
- Use sunscreen.
- Wear water shoes.
- Have a water bottle to stay hydrated.
- A whistle and a light along with your name and phone number taped to the inside of your kayak – necessary if you’re in a big body of water.
- Wear a life jacket.
- Wear polyester – wet clothing made of cotton against the skin makes your body lose heat at a faster rate.
Are You Ready to Paddle?
The weekend was finally here. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shinning but it wasn’t hot. 😀 I arrived a few minutes into and met other members of the group. Our instructor Steve Walls strikes me as an ‘all things outdoorsy’ type of guy. He was very friendly but firm on safety. He was getting the first batch out on the water and then it was our turn. It was one of those days I wished I had a go – pro camera than risk damaging my phone in the water.
Getting into the kayak was when it dawned on me ‘What on earth have I gotten myself into’? After wobbling a few times, I got my balance and headed out with the rest of the team. I learnt certain tricks on how to maneuver the kayak against the tide and avoid running aground.
After the first 30 minutes of paddling, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to vomit or take a nap (I learnt that this is pretty normal to first timers) but since I was in the middle of the lake and I had signed up for TWO WHOLE HOURS of fun, there was no quitting now. 😀 😀 We made it back to the shore and it was awesome!! I hope you enjoy the outdoors while you still have it. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful Lake Grapevine!
Special thanks to:
Steve Walls – http://www.discoverkayak.com (Certified Instructor)
Paul and Kate Kuthe – Canoe and Kayak Magazine (info source)
Until I come your way next time, I remain