Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The One About the Kayak

No vacation is really complete without at least one embarrassing incident. I usually prefer it be someone besides me, but alas, such is not usually the case.

Our days at the Briarpatch kind of all blend together in one collage of water, boats, sun, libations, power lounging, and crabbing. Relatives come and go, meals are thrown together at the last minute by whomever has been shopping last. We've done this so many times over the years, it really does just flow now. You gotta embrace that mentality, though, or you'll spend a lot of time contacting people and planning things that inevitably don't work out quite the way you imagined. It's called vacation people, please just relax and enjoy. (Not that the family members to whom this applies are reading this...but it needs to be said.)

A typical day starts with The Engineer making big breakfast. Pork fat of some sort, eggs of some variety, bread of some category, whether “bread” is waffles or pancakes or actual bread fried in bacon drippings. (You do know that what you eat on vacation doesn't count, right?) The Engineer making breakfast means I sleep in. Wow. That's my definition of vacation.

Then commences the sunscreen battle. “Why do I need it? I'm already tan!” “ My legs are going to be in the water ALL DAY.” Shut up, don the sunscreen. And be grateful that the hideous burn/rash on those legs isn't worse. That the scabby, peeling mess that used to be an earlobe didn't just give up and jump ship.

Head on down to the dock, following the path that's been used for over forty years. Grab your chair, and commence some serious lounging. Watch the kids play on the “relaxation station” (there are SUPPOSED to be pictures of all of this, but my pesky camera has decided not to let me have them...grrrr.) This is a ten foot diameter floating round sofa, complete with cup holders, and netting in the middle. Perfect to slide into and cool off, then climb back on the sofa with very little effort. Or you might enjoy the “hamster ball”. This five foot diameter ball with one way in was great fun for the kids. You can run in it just like a hamster, but if you get going really fast, it will spin out of control and dump you out. But kids love that. You could also choose the kayaks. Either get in over at the boat launching ramp, or climbing in from the dock. May I suggest NOT getting in from the dock during low tide? Yup, learned that the embarrassing way.

We had four kayaks, borrowed from DataBoy. The plan was to get our whole family in them, and then he'd take our picture. Um, yeah. There I was, just about to get in, and realizing how far down it was. But I'm no chicken (just a klutz).  I decide to get on my stomach and use my arm strength (stop laughing) to lower myself in with both feet at the same time, then quickly sit down.   And it almost worked. I let go of the dock, tried to sit down, and just as I think I'm golden, I teeter  just a tad to the left. But in a kayak, a tad is too much and I was immediately dumped overboard, losing my glasses and favorite hat, and getting bonked on the head by that same kayak. In three feet of water. Retrieve glasses and hat. Try to right the kayak. Too much water in it. How in the on earth do people handle this when they can't stand? It took The Engineer AND DataBoy to empty it. All the while teasing and tormenting me. If my brother hadn't been wearing a camera, I would have shoved him in. But as he pointed out, it could have been worse. He could have been wearing his video camera. Oh well, the water was refreshing, and we did get our picture. I'll post it when DataBoy sends it.


Brian Miller said...

oh, we so need a video...smiles. happens to the best of us...now about that breakfast...

Aging Mommy said...

I have actually never been in a kayak but imagine negotiating one's way in can be tricky!

Your vacation by the water, the dock, the all of it simply sounds wonderful.

Amanda said...

Ah, the surprise dunk! Been there. Kids and husbands think it's hilarious! In fact, my husband has been known to pay the kids to "accidentally" flip the canoe (with me in it, of course).

Linda said...

Really sounds like fun the 'dunk' included. Oh and that would be me also...cant wait for photos!

Jenny said...

Love your vacation! I want to use the hamster ball for sure!

Kat_RN said...

That is what vacations are all about. You are right about the flow, when things just happen, it all works the best. Nice story.

steveroni said...

Breakfast sounds great...now, about lunch--when IS it? Wonder which will arrive first, picture, or lunch?

You spin a good yard, almost like Seinfeld, a lot about nihil

steveroni said...

YESSSS!!! It IS meant as a COMPLIMENT, Tina! OMG! I DO see how it could be taken otherwise. Especially by a "truly sensitive" blogger as myself--grin!

I would never intentionally hurt you nor ANYONE on here, believe that!

(Unintentionally? Well, ya never know--grin!)
Your blog-Friend,

H said...

My eldest son and I kayaked on Llyn Padarn in N Wales last summer. He is a dab hand. I am not! But I'm an ace swimmer, so I wasn't worried. The guy in the centre didn't seem overly motivated. He gave us our wet suits, pulled out a couple of kayaks and pointed out the best way to the lake.

What I hadn't realised was that there are different kinds of kayaks. The short kayaks are really for more experienced practitioners! I also hadn't realised that. as you slow right down, a kayak will automatically turn round to face backwards. I spent more than half of that time facing in completely the wrong direction (with Mark dancing rings round me, in perfect control of his equally short boat!!) and managed to capsize just before the little steam railway chuggged round our side of the lake, with all of those happy, laughing, waving people!!

I did enjoy it though; enough to want to go again on our last day. This time, the (different) guy in the centre was brilliant. He listened carefully and picked me out a slightly longer kayak with a fin. We kayaked the entire length of the lake and up (and down) the river at both ends, including some sprinting in the wash from the weir!

Wanna go again!!!