Sunday, September 28, 2008


I get very content in my boxes. And stepping outside the proverbial box isn't easy. Not impossible but not easy. Taking an intro kayaking lesson at Paddlefest two years ago was one of those times that I dabbed a toe outside my comfort zone. Then wading further into the abyss, I took another lesson with Hawk at Humboats. I took a couple demos with Greg at ProSport. I took a few classes with Marna from Kayak Zak's, including my own personal prerequisite, Rescue and Recovery class (I thought it best to know for sure I could get myself back on board should I somehow fall out). I spent a Saturday afternoon falling out and getting back in a kayak, using a variety of methods before I was convinced I was ready to purchase my own vessel. A couple of weeks ago, I finally bought a Kestral 140 in highly visible Mango yellow. With a bit of engineering, I was finally able to transport the beast on the roof of my xB and decided that Paddlefest was the perfect opportunity for the virgin voyage. Stepping out of the aforementioned comfort zone generally comes with butterflies. This time, butterflies were non-existent. Instead there were Tasmanian devils whirling my morning mocha into a froth. We got the kayak on the roof, strapped on and tied down and off I went to the launch ramp. I knew I could do it but was afraid I couldn't. I had intended to join in a 10:00 tour of the bay and Eureka Slough so had the incentive of a schedule to goad me along. I loaded safety gear, donned wetsuit and personal floatation device and was on the water by 9:55. Couldn't find the group tour anywhere. I hadn't really paid much mind to the location, presuming it would be an obvious gathering of kayaks but, alas, I was mistaken. So, I took a two-hour tour by myself.

With some effort, I paddled against the incoming tide around Woodley Island watching all the while for the promised boat parade and Blessing of the Fleet scheduled for the Maritime Expo. How did I miss an entire parade? I was REALLY looking to get some fallout from that blessing. But I did have fun exploring those quiet corners of the Bay. Sneaking a photo of an egret was not so easy. I'd pull my camera from it's little waterproof box, get it focused right about the time the current would turn me away from my quarry. I'd set the camera in my lap, steer the bow back around just in time for the damn bird to fly off. *sigh* I WILL get better at this.
I pulled out of the water about noon and called Hope, who had planned to come down and demo a kayak or two. When it turned out she was uneasy being out there alone, I put back in and joined her on the water.

So I've done it. I loaded. I unloaded. I put in, took out and loaded up again. By. My. Self. YES! I say to heck with the box. I have successfully built a staircase out of my rut.


heraldo said...

Good job!

Kym said...

Hooray for you! I wish I lived where I could get in the water like that. I've always wanted to!