Last weekend, I was invited to the home of my best friend’s parents. They recently inherited a lake house from her mother, and as my friend said, “We have our summer place back again.” In years past, this was the house where the whole family would gather to take a dip off the boat house dock, feed the ducks, fish, and enjoy the water. I was pleased to be invited, and offered to bring my kayak. Her whole family would be there. Her brother and sister are my age, and the grandkids run the gamut from 17 to 2.
My friend was thrilled. Her father was considering buying one, but hadn’t had a chance to try one out yet. They have a canoe, but he wanted something that he could take out by himself. My mate and I packed up the truck, slid the kayak into the bed, and headed down to the lake.
I’m always glad to bring the “yak” whenever I can. Though we are primarily sailors, there are some days when I don’t want to go to the trouble of rigging a sunfish just to go drift around on the water. Some days there is no wind for sailing, and some days, I really just want the upper body workout that paddling provides. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone else with a kayak, so I’m on my own. I’m also glad to let anyone borrow my sit-on-top model boat so they can give it a try. If I can get more people interested, I may be able to get some paddling buddies to join me on my lazy Sunday lake trips.
Sure enough, her dad gave the kayak a try and had a good time. Soon after he got back, my friend’s brother went for a long cruise. He came back complaining of sore arms, but grinning. Once he was out, my 15-year old friend Hannah wanted to go out. We gave her a quick lesson, strapped a life jacket on her, and away she went. She went to the end of the cove and back, then paddled around the docks for a while, then went back out. I had to wheedle her with promises to get my boat back so I could go out for a while, and when I got back, the seat didn’t have a chance to cool off before she was in and gone.
And so the day went on. The kayak was a big hit, and I enjoyed seeing other people trying something new for the first time and liking it. I think I made some converts! With any luck, “Grandpa” will buy a kayak or two for the lake house, and the next time I visit, Hannah and I can pair up and go for an adventure down the lake.