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Paddle Pals

September 7, 2015

 

Traveling with … my Sea Eagle.

I had a successful run with my rationale this weekend.

I recently purchased an inflatable kayak, a Sea Eagle Sport Kayak SE-330, despite lots of advice that I wouldn’t like it. My contrary and insistent thoughts ran along the lines of that at 26 pounds, it would travel so easily in the back of my car so that I could impulsively set off on a pretty morning all by myself. No worrying about anyone else’s schedule. Light enough to hoist, heft and launch all by my lonesome.

Sunday became that pretty day. Labor Day weekend. Nearly cloudless skies. Cool in the morning, but warm enough to get wet. It was time to test my theory.

With traveling friends in Paris, DC, Portland, Scandinavia, and just plain out of town, I could gauge if I liked being on the water by myself.

Just under ten miles from my home is a county park with a smallish dam and correspondingly smallish lake. The real bonus to Walnut Creek was a barely sloping, grassy bank right up to the water’s edge. I was parked and paddling less than an hour after leaving the driveway. With an old iPhone in a water-resistant pouch slung around my neck as a camera, I found pleasure in navigating on my own timetable. I investigated the sounds of my 11-foot, 33 mil Polykrylar vessel as it slid across lily pads. I breathed the air of solitude while still admiring the sights of families negotiating bike trails together or gathered under beach umbrellas at the lake’s one sandy beach. We were all taking a break from our traditional labors.

I pursued a Great Blue Heron at the far edges of a narrowing inlet. I evaluated a wet mud slide a few yards away, tracks careening down one side of a mound of sticks and brush; I concluded beavers were in residence nearby, though clearly more shy than the fleeing heron. A turtle wouldn’t let me paddle very close either before plopping off his floating perch near the shore.

No matter. My morning’s companions— even Cliff who walked to his car for quarters, that I might attempt to coax a soda from a beachside vending machine—gave me confidence that having a Sea Eagle to call my own was, on this morning, a fine decision.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Paula permalink
    September 7, 2015 11:29 pm

    Love the selfie! And I’m glad your plan worked as you thought!

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