Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kayakin' Heaven

There is something about the quiet calm of kayaking that gives me strength. I wish I could explain.

I always marvel at kids (boys especially, but I do know a couple of girls too) who love hockey... around here, they love it, passionately. They play it all winter, at ungodly hours, it cold rinks, and then play it on the roads, and in the gym...they play it on video games and they watch it on TV. I have NEVER loved any sport that much that I make it a way of life.

But, I can slightly understand the love, just slightly, because I love Kayaking. I won't change my life for it, and I won't kayak in all weather conditions, or watch it on TV (well, maybe for a bit).... but even the word KAYAKING makes me go ZEN.
Canada Day started off a fairly clouding morning but we thought we would hit Aylesford Lake bright and early before the bad weather hit. It was our first time putting the kayaks on the top of the car on our own, so it took us a little longer to get the routine all worked out. We enjoyed the drive up the mountain and as we passed the Kingswood Camp entrance I was whisked back in time to Brownie Camp, and sweet times with all our little brownies and my two wonderful friends Debbie and Dianna. I couldn't help but shut my eyes and smile at the memories of those days. As we turned the corner to Aylesford Lake I started to get nervous. I wasn't sure if I would like these kayaks because I only got to test one in a weird little fast moving brook and I didn't do very well with them.
As we got closer to the boat launch, the wind was up, the waves were choppy and I was feeling sick to my stomach. Emotions... they play havoc on the soul. It took us about 10 minutes to get all the gear put in the right spot, the kayaks on the ground, the car put away and the sunscreen on (wishful thinking). I was cranky at Terry, I was not comfortable in the kayak, the life jacket was weird, the footpads were too far away, the paddle was too long... the rudder was too sticky... Ohhhhhhh...... Terry, the saint of patience... just let me rant. He stayed close and didn't comment. He helped me when I was overwhelmed with the rudder, but I bit his head off anyway. 5 minutes... after 5 minutes.... I paddled away.... I just paddled.... I looked around... I closed my eyes... .I thanked Dad........for what, I am not sure... but it felt right. I had a little cry and then I paddled away.... I melted into the water and it was perfect. The kayak was sleek, straight, fast and smooth. It cut through the waves like butter, and it fit me perfect.


Aylesford lake is 5 km long. We paddled the top half, and then up the Loon Lake Channel at the end. The wind was refreshing, and the sun was shyly hiding behind the clouds but it was nice and warm. When we got to near the end of the channel and the opening to Loon Lake, we decided to turn back. We sat for a long time close together, not paddling, just letting the flow of the channel take us back to the lake...
Once we got back into the lake, the wind was against our back, the sun popped out, the paddling was easy and the landscape was amazing. Halfway back down the lake, we cut across the whole lake and raced back to the boat launch. We were out just 2.5 hours but it felt like a whole day. Next time we will need to bring a snack. I was starved by the time we got out of the water. We met two other kayaking ladies who told us about a great spot to Kayak at Mahone Bay so we are looking on the map tonight for a new adventure spot.

5 comments:

GailM. said...

Nice. Those sure are pretty kayaks. I sense your nervousness. I haven't been out yet this year, but maybe this weekend. When you come for a visit, we can all go for a paddle...

Taryn said...

Donna, I love your posts. They are so...well...honest. Happy paddling!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful experience.. but I'm still not getting in one! See you tomorrow.. love Albert

Jill said...

I am having a cry too. So glad that the kayaks make you happy.
I spotted a kayaking location on the #10. It's a kayak/canoe launch. Maybe we can check it out sometime?

ancient one said...

Kayaking looks like fun.. everytime I see someone skimming along, I think.. wow that looks like fun...but have I ever tried it... no... always afraid I'd turn over..LOL

Loved the photos... a beautiful lake... I'm sure your dad would have loved that you were out enjoying your day!