Guess what y’all?! I finally got a kayak! ABAK had their end of season sale on Saturday and I figured it was the best bang for my buck for getting a sea kayak. They had one particular kayak that I was set on buying, but when I got to the sale, someone had literally just bought it. I was kinda bummed, but I’m actually really glad that happened, because then I ended up getting my 2nd choice… this blue beauty!
Right now I’m calling her Ol’ Blue. I feel like she needs a proper name though. I’m sure the right name will come to me after a couple trips on her 🙂
I got her on Saturday, and I was itching to try her out asap. I was dead set on going for a paddle on Sunday, and when I woke up to see it dreary and rainy, that didn’t even phase me. I wanted to paddle at Mendenhall Lake but when I got out there, it was super foggy and I felt it probably wasn’t the safest choice with such low visibility. I do carry a VHF marine radio, air horn, and first aid kit when I’m out on my paddleboard or kayak. I need to get a couple flares as well, especially when I start doing longer overnight paddles across channels to island camp.
I ended up going out to Auke Rec since it wasn’t too windy there. It was rainy with a little chop, maybe 1 ft seas at most. To be 15.5 ft long, she’s surprisingly pretty light. I have no trouble getting her on and off my truck by myself and carrying her short distances. I hauled Ol’ Blue and my gear down to the water and set off towards Indian Point. I forgot to adjust the foot pedals for the rudder before I left and they were a couple inches out of reach of my feet so I just didn’t use the rudder. Even without the rudder in the light chop, she tracked fairly well. Honestly I am furthest from a kayak expert so I don’t really know how a good tracking kayak feels haha, but to me she was pretty easy to keep straight.
I got surprised by a big ol sea lion that almost made me piss myself. He popped up maybe 15 ft behind me and followed me for about 30 seconds. Sea lions are cool and fun to watch from a great big boat, but they are very territorial and have been known to harass kayakers and paddleboarders occasionally. I was a little on edge but it didn’t take long for him to get bored with me and go back to being a stinky ol sea lion. Here’s the route I took, just a short and sweet 2.5 miles. It took maybe an hour and a half from start to end, including stopping for lunch and wandering around on Indian Island a bit.
Here are a few photos from the paddle. It was a super relaxing and peaceful little trek on the water and I’m super pumped to do more of it!