Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Learning to Kayak

This was my second visit to Summer Sun Winter Moon for kayaking. Four of us girlfriends carpooled up north for this adventure. It was so much more relaxing this time, simply because my friend Katy and I had done it before. I love how Kathleen Anderson, the owner of the facility, makes sure that everyone is fully trained in all the safety procedures and is completely comfortable at each step. For a wimp like me, that makes all the difference between being stressed out and having fun.
This time I had two new experiences. It was my first time paddling and steering a tandem kayak and I really liked it! It was not much longer than a single, and was surprisingly easy to steer, especially with the rudder on the flat water kayaks we were using. It felt very stable. Kathleen pointed out that you can buy one tandem for less than two doubles. It is a lot heavier to put up on a car, but then, there are always two people around to help!
The other new experience was rolling out of a kayak. Even though it was on purpose, I was really nervous. But Kathleen was right. You just pop right up with the lifejacket doing all the work. The hard part was hoisting myself back up on the kayak, but with Kathleen coaching from another kayak, that went well, too. I now feel much more prepared to go out with friends, without a coach.
Kayaking is really enjoyable. It’s so quiet and peaceful. It would be hard to carry all the camping stuff you can load into a canoe, but if you are a minimalist, it is certainly possible. The paddling motion is easy on the joints, and having someone show you how to be efficient really helps. You both pull and push at the same time, so it is a very balanced feel.
We had perfect weather, and of course I was perfectly dressed in my quick-drying QuikWik Capri’s. CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL OUR QUIKWIK ITEMS. Other memories: The Milky Way above and stars down to the horizon, s’mores around the campfire, our cute off-the-grid solar powered cabin and sweet little outhouse, the sound of a wolf howling in the night followed by the chorus of her 40 sled dogs, a real Finnish sauna after a not-so-hard day’s paddle, walking the sled dogs in the morning, picking wild raspberries, seeing eagles, lovely food, interesting conversation, great friends. Perfect. Check it out.
-Anne Kelly
Founder and Chair of Junonia
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