|Heather and I all geared up and ready to learn!|
I have a bucket list. I’m probably not the only one out there. But there are some things that I would love to cross off that list! A few years ago, I was lucky enough to cross off a 1/2 marathon. That was pretty sweet, but HARD! Not gonna lie. This past Saturday I am excited to say that I crossed off another one…kayaking! Might seem like a strange bucket list item, but for me this is a big deal. A) I don’t like being in water that I can’t see the bottom of and B) it was just something new for me that took me out of my comfort zone.
We signed up through Shank’s Mare Outfitters for a 5-hour comprehensive kayak course. At first I thought “wow, that’s a LONG time”. But it went really fast and we learned a lot.
The first 1/2 was done on land. They went over the anatomy of a kayak. What everything was and what it’s purpose is. Then we went over the paddle. Different paddle strokes, different ways to position your paddles (feathered or straight) and how to use a paddle to get yourself INTO the kayak itself (this was a great trick, would have never thought of it). We practiced getting ourselves in and out of the kayak. And also practiced putting the skirt around the cockpit (to keep water from splashing into the cockpit) by ourselves.
We took a lunch break, then it was time for the water part of the course. (YIKES!) They were very upfront with what the water part would consist of. The very first thing we had to do was do a “wet exit”. In Amber terms, that meant “TIP YOURSELF OVER IN TO THE WATER AND GET YOURSELF ABOVE WATER”. OK, the Amber term sounds scary, but to me it was anxious anxiety till it was my turn to do this. The reason they have you do this first was so that it was out of the way. Everyone would realize that as soon as you tip over, your legs automatically pop out of the cockpit and your life jacket brings you up to the surface. I admit, I did not like this, but I did it anyway. LOL I survived. (side note: there was a qualified instructor standing right beside your kayak while you did this and we were only in shoulder-deep water.)
Once everyone went through the wet exit we paddled out pretty far for the next part. “Rescues” GULP! There were three kinds of rescues we learned. Self rescue, T-rescue and the group rescue. They demonstrated each one with a volunteer (no, I did not volunteer). It was a very good learning experience. I liked knowing how to use all the emergency equipment.
After that we took a group tour up the beautiful Susquehanna River (not too far).
|here’s a view of our beautiful Susquehanna River (taken by me)|
I’m happy to report that I escaped with no bruising (I bruise easily!); however I did receive a cut on my leg. I walked in to the back of someones kayak and the rudder cut my leg. DUH!
|My only battle scar (this is a miracle for me!)|
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The weather was perfect, not a lot of wind and it was not as humid as it has been. We had a blast and I think I am ready to do a little kayaking on my own thanks to our two awesome instructors!