Thats What Happens When You Go First

A thirteen-mile kayak trip down the river, you say? Sounds fun! And it was. Of course, we’re all a little sore. But anyway, six hours on the river was not only fun, but also relaxing.

About one-third of the way down the river, we were passing my college, and saw my dorm. Yes, I go to school on the banks of the river. Back on topic, there’s a train the crosses the river just passed my school. Of course, as we passed the school, we could hear the train coming. Being me, I wondered what it would feel like to sit under the train as it crossed the river. When the train got to the bridge I was about five-hundred yards away. I know, seems kind of far. You’re thinking I didn’t make it. Well, I did. My arms wore sore from paddling that far as quickly as I did, with no help from the current, but I made it.

There was a light vibration that could be felt if one sat very still. That was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the idea to touch the support post until after the train was gone. That would have been interesting.

After speed-kayaking to the tracks, my arms were starting to feel sore. They weren’t quite hurting yet, but I could feel it starting. I probably should have thought about having about nine miles left after the train tracks.

Anywho, we continued down the river and ate snacks as we floated. Because its the end of summer, and rainfall hasn’t been too great, the river was moving very slow. To keep moving as we floated, we had to paddle a few times every now and then. My mom and I decided that floating wasn’t fast enough. Anyone who knows us, knows that we have a need for speed. Sorry for the cliché.

Occasionally, we hit some rapid spots. Not anything big, but some water movement was exciting. Being in front, and a little more adventurous, My mom and I went through the rapids first, then turned around to watch everyone else. However, one time, I thought I was clear of anything requiring my attention and turned around to watch my mom. Little did I know, I would turn back around just before I ran into a tree branch that was sticking out of the water. I tried to push away from it, and even ducking under it, but with the current pushing me into the branch, and me pushing away from it, I capsized. To make it sound worse, I wasn’t wearing my PFD, or life jacket.

By the time I surfaced, my mom had done the same thing I had.

When everyone else caught up, they helped us empty the water out of out kayaks. It’s harder than you think. You can’t just flip it over. You have to lift it and let some of the water drain out of a tiny little hole before you hold it up and dump the rest out. And those things aren’t light.

I only put the PFD back on so I wouldn’t have to carry it. As soon as I was back in my kayak, I took it off again. Those things just get in the way. You can’t paddle as fast, and in the event that you do capsize, They make it hard to pick your kayak up to empty the water. Now, if I was whitewater kayaking, I wouldn’t have taken it off. For one, because there’s a higher chance of capsizing, and two, because the water is moving faster. Plus, those things are not made for people with boobs. Boobs are a built-in floatation device, PFDs just get more in the way.

Anyway, my mom and I both capsized. No one got hurt. Nothing got lost. Everyone had fun. I always hoped my first capsize would be in awesome rapids that would make a fun story. Unfortunately, it was all because of a tree branch. Oh well. I guess you aren’t a real kayak-er until you capsize. Just like you aren’t a real horseback rider until you fall off.

What did I learn from this? It’s a good thing I left my phone in the car. Not that you should always wear your PFD, like many people would say. My mom was wearing hers she said hers was just in the way.

If anyone decides to go flat water kayaking, your PFD will probably annoy you. Just take it off. It won’t do you any good. Unless you don’t know how to swim. In that case, I would suggest staying on solid land.



3 thoughts on “Thats What Happens When You Go First

  1. Very, very good that you didn’t have your phone. That would be what I was most happy about, too!
    It was fun reading this. I have never been kayaking, but now I kind of want to. Both so that I can have fun adventures, and so that I can use the word “capsize.” What a cool word.

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