|Our maiden voyage on our new kayak "Banana Boat"!|
There are SO many options out there, but the very first consideration we thought of was a hard-sided kayak or an inflatable. While it would be possible to strap a kayak on the roof of whatever RV we happened to be travelling in, the idea of climbing on the roof and muscling down the boat was not appealing. Plus, it would substantially reduce our clearance, and likely catch branches or worse if we weren't extra careful. Inflatable was definitely the right choice for us, and these days, they have inflatables of great quality and durability. Bonus: It stores in large carry bag that you can easily store and transport.
The next logical decision was whether we wanted 2 single-person kayaks or 1 double-person kayak. This invoked some lengthy discussions and we tried to visualize the pluses and minuses of each one. It came down to the benefits of having only ONE boat to care for and carry and the obvious likelihood that would very rarely every be paddling alone or to different destinations. We chose a double-person model. Dad began his research on quality vs. value and performance and we finally made our choice and ordered it!
We had to buy a manual pump to pump it up, and chose a two-way pump (it works in both the UP and the DOWN stroke to move air twice as fast, it also doubles as a heck of a workout!) We ordered two excellent quality paddling-style PFD's (lifejackets) and some paddles. I also threw in a waterproof bluetooth speaker for some tunes and we were ready to hit the water!
Our opportunity for a maiden voyage arrived on father's day and we stopped into the day use area of one of our favorite Washington State parks that had a small lake. We wanted to be able to focus on learning how to maneuver the boat without having to worry about having the skills needed to navigate more challenging water like rivers with rapids and having to fight current. It was perfect. We fashioned a "picnic" for our maiden voyage of corn chips and dip and wine. Incidentally, an empty water bottle holds just about 2 glasses of wine it turns out... Off we went!
Everything went great and we were more than pleased. We can't wait to take it along and hit some of the great places we come across. We are also already starting to want to take it down a river... I know, thrill-seekers, that's us! Well, you know how dad thinks he knows everything about boating, so I am going to make him prove it. He says he is white water qualified, but I bet he's just making it up, so I'll let you know how qualified he is.
What's next? BIKES! We miss our bikes and we are looking into getting two more. We are even thinking of getting the new (VERY expensive) electric bikes because they have about a 40 mile range! We could go on very long trips (with HILLS) if we had those. So many times bike trips get ruled out because of the hilly terrain, and that would overcome that. I'll keep you posted!