Friday night my nieces and nephew came home from their 3-week vacation. After a good night’s sleep, they were up and about Saturday morning, and asked if they could try out my kayak. Since none of them have ever been in a kayak, and since their parents are — I’ll just say it with italics — safety conscious, I figured the best introduction to kayaking would be to put the kayak in their swimming pool.
Well, the kids astonished me. They took to it like they were born in a kayak. The 9-year-old did a dock entry and exit as easily as she climbs into bed. And the 6-year-old — who was terrified of water last year when they moved into the house with the pool — jumped right into the boat without a second thought. She paddled — with my full-size adult paddle that I swear she could hardly lift — to the end of the pool, did a 180 degree turn using backstrokes and paddled back to me. I think part of the reason she was able to handle it so easily was that the Oru is so light.
Later that afternoon at a birthday party, one of the neighbors told their mother that she has three kayaks — including one double — that they can borrow any time. I’ve already mapped out where I want to take the family for their first “real” kayaking trip. Now the only challenge will be to find a day that isn’t fully scheduled with birthday parties!