Saturday, May 29, 2010

On the water

I hiked to the reservoir this morning and rented a kayak from the marina. It has been about 35 years since I did my first kayaking, mostly on drowsy south Texas rivers, and I was curious to see whether I still had any aquatic chops.

The kayak, invented by palindromic Inuit millennia ago, was originally a long and narrow boat constructed of driftwood covered by sealskin. By contrast, my boat this morning was a stubby and wide boat constructed of yellow plastic. It resembled the offspring of a genuine kayak and a child's wading pool and is designed to provide maximum stability for the novice kayaker. (And it offers the further advantage of not smelling like wet seals.)

My watery adventure began awkwardly. When the marina attendant launched me from the sandy beach, I wobbled in the kayak like a four year-old learning to ride a bicycle. After this first rush of panic subsided, I cautiously paddled out past the docks and took a nervous snapshot, flinching with each passing swell.

Happily, my old kayaking abilities soon awakened and by the end of the hour I was bobbing and splashing through speedboat wakes like a frolicsome porpoise. Hooray!

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