Even though I don't really have many photos to show, and I don't usually include trips to the neighborhood lake since those don't feel like proper paddling excursions, I wanted to make sure to note the weekend's developments in the kayaking department. See, we'd been considering getting a small, inexpensive kayak for the older girls to try out and see if they like it. I had one in mind at the sporting goods store, so when I got a Memorial Day weekend 25%-off coupon we said what the heck, no time like the present. I took the girls to the store and picked up one of these--normally $120, but on sale for $110 and then the 25% on top of that, not a bad deal at all!
It's a cute little thing, nothing special but nice and lightweight. Hallie was really keen on getting it as soon as I mentioned the idea. Hermione kinda leaned towards not-interested, but she's always like that with new things until she actually tries it and finds she loves it. Anyway, we got it home Friday evening and tossed it in the pool so they could try it out in a controlled environment. Naturally, it was a big hit immediately:
Both girls really took right to it and figured out paddling pretty easily, even though the only paddles I have are adult-sized. They had a little trouble stopping and reversing, but that'll come with time. They also practiced climbing back up onto it from the water, and even standing up on it to see how stable it was. And we had them see what floating with a lifejacket on feels like too, which is good to know.
Yesterday evening our area was dodging some thunderstorms, but they all seemed to be going around us and not coming through, so I loaded my kayak onto its wheels, put the kid kayak inside (perfect fit!) and hauled them down to the neighborhood lake. Took two spins out and back--the first time I had Hallie and Amy on my boat while Hermione tried out the new one, and then Hallie took the new one and I took Amy again. It did start raining, but just a light sprinkle that we hardly even felt, so not bad. And again, the girls both did just fine with the new kayak--really well, in fact. We got out through the lily pads into the open water of the lake, then just paddled around for a while and watched a pair of terns swoop around and occasionally dive into the lake to catch dinner. It was quite peaceful, and I think the girls really enjoyed it too. No photos, though--I wished I'd brought my camera, but I wasn't sure if I'd need to do any rescuing or towing, and with the rain it's just as well I left it behind too. Next time!
I'm really excited that maybe we can start paddling as a family pretty soon! With the new member of our fleet I could take all 3 girls out, with one of them on the little kayak and two on mine. But I think our plan now is to procure one more kayak, a mid-sized one that would work for me when I'm going out alone (the big kayak is nice, but it's such a pain to get up on the van and muscle around out of the water, I worry about how secure it is while driving, and on the water it's a bit slow), but that Hermione or Heather could handle solo too. Then we could all hit the water with me and Amy and another kid on the big kayak, Heather or Hermione on the medium one, and Hallie or Hermione on the little one. Lots of options! I could even see us getting another one of the kid kayaks since this one seems to be a hit, but then it would become problematic to haul all 4 around without getting a trailer of some sort. I guess we'll see what happens.