Yesterday was the last full day for our daughter Tiffany and granddaughter Destiny to be with us, and since it was one of the few nice days weather-wise while they have been here, we decided to introduce them to kayaking. You might think that people who live in Arizona don’t have enough water to go paddling in, but they live in Show Low, in the White Mountains, where there is an abundance of lakes. It’s just something that they’ve never done and we decided we needed to remedy that.
We took our three Old Town Predator kayaks down to the boat launch in our little private community, and Terry gave the girls a short lesson in paddling, explaining how to get in and out and how to steer the kayaks with the paddles. Then she put Destiny in her kayak, and as you can see, she was excited to head out onto the water.
They paddled over to the side of the fishing pier and waited while Terry got into a kayak and was ready to join them. We have three Old Town Predators, as well as two Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks, and we had talked about me using my Sea Eagle PaddleSki, but I decided to let them have at it while I waited on the pier.
It didn’t take the girls long at all to get the hang of it, and they started paddling away in search of adventure.
Terry kept them close to shore for a while until they were comfortable in the boats, and then they moved out into more open water. There they go, the three amigos.
They paddled around for a while and then went down to the canal where we usually see manatees and paddled into that. But again, there was not a manatee to be found there. I don’t think we’re going to have any this winter, and that’s sad because we love seeing them.
I hung out on the pier for about an hour or so before they came paddling back toward me. Tiffany and Destiny were in our regular thirteen-foot Old Town Predators, and Terry was in the Predator PDL, which came with foot pedals, making it the perfect fishing kayak. The only problem is that sometimes the water here is very shallow, and when you’re going into those areas, the pedals are more trouble than they’re worth. But they are easily removed, and a while back, I took them out and replaced them with a storage console that dropped right into the opening for the pedal assembly, giving it a flush floor. It takes just a minute to change back and forth between one or the other.
This was the first time we had had that kayak in the water since making the switch, and I wanted to try it, too. So Terry and I changed places and I paddled out to the girls. As I was going out, a dolphin surfaced right in front of me, and before we knew it we were surrounded by them. We have seen a lot of dolphins since we have been here, but this was the first time that we found ourselves in the middle of a feeding frenzy. I can’t count how many dolphins were around us, jumping and going after a huge school of baitfish, but there were more than we could count, and it went on for longer than I could believe. Sometimes they were within just a few feet of us. What an experience! I said later it was like the dolphin version of a fireworks finale for the girls’ visit with us.
Tiffany said that except for the birth of her two children, it was the most memorable experience of her life. I can believe it.
By the time we got back to shore, both girls were hooked on kayaking and wishing that the weather had been better earlier during their visit because they would have probably spent all of it out on the water.
I have written many times about our two Sea Eagle kayaks and we loved them when we were traveling fulltime in an RV because they were easy to store and carry, and the darn things are bulletproof. You just can’t hurt them. We’ve been hanging onto them for a long time, but we decided that we’re going to try to find a new home for them and use the money to purchase one more Old Town Predator. That way, when we have visitors, we’ll all be able to launch and go paddling quickly. If anybody is interested in the pair and is anywhere near us in central Florida between Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral, we have both a Sea Eagle PaddleSki 435 and a 385 Fast Track, along with an electric pump and foot pumps, seats, paddles, and accessories.
The girls flew out at 6:30 this morning, which means we had to drop them off at the airport at 4:30. It’s been a wonderful visit, and we’re sorry to see them go, but we know they’ll be back again, and we’re all looking forward to it.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Driving Lesson by my friend Ben Rehder. While Ben writes some excellent mysteries, including the wildly popular Blanco County series, this tale of a boy and his grandfather on an unplanned road trip across the country is a coming of age story that will tug at your heartstrings. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – Support bacteria. It’s the only culture some people have.