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In the Beginning There was Grasshopper

Updated on April 29, 2012
Nick and I get ready for the kayak's maiden voyage.
Nick and I get ready for the kayak's maiden voyage.

In the beginning there was sea and sand and sailboats, and life was good. But there were also plentiful kayaks, none mine. To say I have always wanted a kayak would be a gross overstatement. I only really wanted one for about 6 months before got the kayak. At once I was both enthralled and fearful. Here was something I could do anytime and practically anywhere with Nick, and virtually for free (after purchasing all the necessary equipment). On the other hand, we would be REALLY close to the water. Having grown up on much larger boats, that proximity to what I know resides beneath the sometimes crystal clear and calm surface was unnerving. Nevertheless, a sit-on-top kayak joined our family.

Finding it and getting it home were relatively easy. After that it took three long weeks to get it on the water, but get in on the water we did, on a Saturday afternoon just before a cold front moved in. Winds whipped from the south at 15-20 mph and of course, the tide was soaring in when we got to the kayak launch at the marina.

We paddled out from the beach, caught the full brunt of the wind and tide (both flowing in the same direction), paddled back in - maybe 100 feet one direction. We turned around, did it again, over and over for an hour before the painful reality of unknown muscles settled in and we called it quits.

Bit by bit, we get the hang of paddling.
Bit by bit, we get the hang of paddling.

Mom and Pop stood on the beach, camera in hand (the photos herein courtesy of them), grins illuminating their faces. Pop even tried it out himself. Finally, we packed up, went home, unloaded, cleaned everything, and practically died from exhaustion! If you've never paddled a kayak, it's a workout. We probably should have chosen a calmer day for the maiden voyage but after waiting weekend in and weekend out, I was going out on it no matter what. The conditions were bad enough that when we got home, my neighbor (who HAS kayaked) said, "You went out in THIS?" Well, yeah, why not...

My dad tries out the kayak.
My dad tries out the kayak.

The difficult part in all this wasn't the actual paddling, it was naming the kayak. Don't laugh at me for doing so! The debate between Nick and I went something like this:

Me: "Let's name the kayak Grasshopper."

Nick: "No, let's name it Fwoggie."

Me: "Grasshopper."

Nick: "Fwoggie."

And so on for about twenty minutes. We named her Grasshopper, mostly because I'm the mom and I pulled rank.

So our kayaking adventures began, and have evolved into somewhat of an obsession for me. We go out once or twice a week and always have a story to tell...

Maiden voyage a success, we prepare to load Grasshopper and take her back home.
Maiden voyage a success, we prepare to load Grasshopper and take her back home.

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