Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm a Kayak girl. Well, not really. HELP!!!

My husband is my valet. My kayak valet

We had big dreams of buying a boat this year, those took a dive along with the value of our home and the ever escalating rate of our credit cards. (Damn you Citibank-but that’s a separate blog.)

But after bitterly watching others head out for evening cruises, music blaring, ice chests overflowing with beer, the kids prancing in delight, dogs taking the position in the bow (that is the front of the boat right?) like something out of Titanic . . . well, we couldn’t take it anymore.

So we started researching Kayaks. Cuz we were going to get on that flipping lake somehow, dammit.

After dealing with some really odd Craigslist people, many phone calls, more research, deals were negotiated.

(Hey, we negotiate deals for a business, but nothing got more of my attention than these Kayak buying plans. Did the price include paddles, how about throwing in the life jackets, is that dog of yours available?)

And then we had it. We brought home our first of two kayaks. Hearts hammering, palms sweaty, it was like falling in love all over again.

Until it was time to actually “get in”.

And btw, once you are in? The kayaking part? A lot of fucking work I tell you.

But back to the getting in.

So every time we go kayaking I require my manservant to help me. By “manservant” of course, I mean my husband.

Because there is the packing up: the vests, the paddles, the water bottles, the towels, the SEATS! (And I could write a whole separate blog about my new “kayaking” wardrobe, complete with crocs, which we refer to now as our “kayak” shoes.)

Then there is the several block haul to the lake.

And then the real fun begins. The dock is old and seriously splintery. (By seriously, I mean there is a visit to Urgent Care in your future. )

There is the squatting down and unlocking, then untethering the two kayaks. Then tethering back the one that isn’t going on this trip.

There is the putting in the seats.

I’m telling you, from the time I said: “Can you help me get the kayak in the water?” an hour has now passed.

Now there is the getting in part. I’m sure I’ve told you, but I have terrible joints. It’s sort of a congential gift from God – back surgeries, titanium spine, hip replacement, torn knee ligament . . . so the bending down and getting in? Ya, it’s like something out of Laurel and Hardy. Not that I’m old enough to know who they are. (Shit.)

So getting from the dock, down into the kayak seat in the water? It seems impossible.

So I turn around three times like a dog before she lies down.

I panic a little bit.

The whole while my ManServant is holding the kayak next to the dock, trying not to snap at me. (Cuz that could put his career as my ManServant in jeopardy, for God’s sake.)

Then I sit on the towel on the dock (with help – ground sitting is not really easy for me) and I try to slide (I believe “plop” is the better word) into the kayak.

But I’m a big girl and I go with FORCE. So my husband … uh, manservant is stretched out across the dock (no towel for him – he’s manly) trying to hold the kayak even so I don’t capsize before I have even begun.

As the kayak fills with water, covering my specially clad ass (I wear “swim shorts” from the Solar Protection Clothing Store), I grab the paddle he is handing me, and off I go.

My kayak valet, of course, sits on the dock until I return.

Cuz you don’t think I can get out of that thing by myself do you?

Thanks James. I mean “Honey”.


  1. oh boy do I understand.
    I had a new hip in October 2009 and started kayaking this summer. We put the kayak at the top of a slope and two people help me get in. Then they launch me down the slope until I hit water and can shove off with my paddle. That is relatively easy.
    On returning to shore I beach the boat at the bottom of the slope. The kayak is now sloping with the front end significantly higher than the back. I'm so totally stuck its funny. Three people help me get out.
    What am I going to be like when i get the other hip and one knee done - ho hum life is fun!

  2. We LOVE kayaking. I have always canoed with my oldest 2 ( that would be 22 years shut up). But we chose to start kayaking about 7 years ago with the youngest, my tall skinny man servant and matching son do not understand why I, with my more aptly shaped like the number 0 with back and joint issues require their silent assistance at all entry and dismounts. We have hilarious adventures. It's the best. Except this year when it busted out my mini van windshield ( the kayak) that was not so hilarious.

  3. Hi Dee and James, I'm glad you got your feet (and your seat) wet kayaking ;) I found your blog by the photo of the racks on the dock. My name is Thom and I invented the Suspenz kayak storage racks. It just so happens that I also operate a Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals business called ... Kayak Valet (visit As we say on our website "getting into the sport can be a bit overwhelming". Good news is ... once you're in it does get much easier. I wish you the best in your newfound passion. Kayak Valet is located in central Florida if you have friends and family that might want to rent before they buy. Happy Paddling, Thom


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