Monday, September 12, 2011

Jumping Right Into The Boat

Literally speaking that is how it all began the weekend of September 10th when we were Rv'ing at the Pedder Bay RV Park. Robyn and I have always wanted to try our hands at kayaking and we had seen the rental kayaks at the marina before and with the extended summer weather and calm winds we figured why not.

We checked in at the office and were very surprised to find out that the minimum 2 hour rental rate for the single kayaks was only $10 per hour and since we have a Pedder Bay 10% rewards card this meant that it would only cost us $9.00 per hour! What a bargain!!

The marina was busy with fishing boat rentals, so one of the girls from the office gave us a hand getting the polyethylene 14' Dagger Specter kayaks ready. Although she didn't seem to know much about the set up of the kayaks, we assisted her in getting them into the water and checked out the laminated map of Pedder Bay outlining the boundaries. Having some previous boating experience, we adjusted our personal floatation device (PFD) properly and I helped Robyn get into her boat. Now, not having any experience of proper entry and exiting a kayak I think we did pretty good as we didn't end up in the water (LOL) and were soon on our way.

Robyn safely in the kayak and ready to give it a try.

It didn't take us long to realize that the secret to keeping the kayak stable was letting your lower half of you body (hips and legs) become one with the kayak and only use the top core of your body for the paddling strokes. One thing that we neglected to do (we didn't know) prior setting off was adjust the rudder peddles to properly brace our feet as well as assist us in the turning a tracking of the kayak. My rudder peddles were almost at the right position and I was able to use my toes to slightly move the rudder in either direction. Much like a rudder on an aircraft works, I found that the rudder was quite useful in the slight breeze and in the currents to keep the kayak on the heading that I was going. Robyn on the other hand couldn't use her rudder at all so she had to change direction by paddling.

Using the map provided we headed up the east side of the bay towards open water exploring all the small bays along the way. From time to time we came across a seal who seemed to be curious as to what we were doing and wasn't the least bothered by our quiet paddling. It didn't take long to get past the "No Wake" zone and we got to experience some small waves created by the sport fishing boats coming into the bay. By simply turning the kayaks into the waves we gently rode them out until they passed us by. At no time did we feel unstable or have the feeling of tipping which reinforced our belief that this is something we might like to do in the furure. My Dad, sister and niece had been out for a run in our 16' fish boat and we spotted them heading back into the bay and I think we surprised them a bit how far out we were.

Crossing Pedder Bay - Picture taken from our fish boat "Tilly-Anne"

After a little visit on the water we headed across the bay and headed back to the marina down the west side navigating through the rocky reefs and small coves. We soon came across an  abandoned dock that was over grown with sea grass, and covered with crab shells which was home to a family of sea otters. While most of the family retreated under or in the dock structure the alpha male stood guard and voiced his opinion of us with a series of "snorts" and "grunts" while pacing back and forth. The great thing about being in a kayak is that we made no sound and simply let the tide and wind take us by the "otter house".

The "Otter House"

We arrived back at the marina and after a little figuring out how to get out of the kayak and onto the dock we were pretty pleased with our first experience as "paddlers". Needless to say for next couple of days that is all we could think about and it didn't take long for us to sign up for the Ocean River Sports Introduction to Kayaking course being held on Oct 1st.

Robyn and I look forward to sharing our kayaking adventures and if you enjoy our blog please feel free to comment or contact us at or if you want to head out onto the water and experience and enjoy what paddling has to offer.