Friday, April 24, 2009

New friends

Here we are at another weekend, and I still haven't written about last weekend. I must go back, because it must be shared! After several weeks of debating and then waiting, our new kayak arrived last weekend. Markus always waffles for ages over items that indulge his interests (though never for a second when he indulges me or the girls), but he has been wistful over the Hobie Adventure Island for quite a while now. Hobie makes unique kayaks in that they don't require use of a paddle. The drive system is pedaled by foot and operates two fins beneath the kayak. The rudder is hand-controlled by a small steering pin, and you wouldn't believe how quickly that thing can scoot! Of course, this isn't just about the drive system. The real draw of this kayak on Markus's outdoor-loving soul is the sail and outrigger system. This kayak has it all! Okay, okay, I know I sound like a salesperson, but this kayak is seriously cool. When you come visit, I promise we'll let you have a go.

Anyway, we picked it up on Saturday, and by Sunday morning, we were both eager to give it a go. Markus went on ahead to the river to set it up, and the girls and I soon followed with a picnic lunch. The day was gorgeous (as ever), and the conditions could not have been more pleasant. I just wanted to try the kayak part, so Markus disassembled all the rest and pushed me off the shore so I could drop the drive system fins. As soon as I started to turn out into the river, there was a large splash off to my immediate right. DOLPHINS! Ever since I first learned to kayak on open water, I have wanted to paddle with dolphins...and here they were! Two of them had been swimming along without surfacing until I pushed out. They must have been curious, so they popped up to see what I was doing. They were off like a flash, but I was so excited that I wasn't about to let them get away. I chased them, and instantly appreciated how quickly that drive system allows the kayak to move. I caught up with them and doing so renewed their interest. They swam with me for several minutes, slowing each time they got ahead so I could catch up again, dancing and turning beneath the water (so clear I could see them well), watching me with their lovely eyes, surfacing on either side of me again and again...I was in seventh heaven! I was laughing and talking to them and pedaling for all I was worth to make it last as long as possible. Soon, we were out near other (large) boats, and my new friends swam away. I was elated. I pedaled back to shore in a euphoric stupor. No, I didn't have the camera. There are no photos to share. But those dolphins gave me such a joyful gift!
I never would have kept up with them in a regular kayak. I may be the biggest fan this Hobie kayak ever had.


Karly said...

That is so totally awesome!! I LOVE dolphins :)

Anonymous said...

This is seriously COOL ! You are so lucky to have had this experience! Too bad about the camera, but what a joy to have this wish come true!



p.s. Karly, Stop channeling me! Stop it!

Christine said...

How wonderful - I've been chased by a seal in a kayak (well he was in the water - I was in the kayak!) but to be so close to dolphins would be fantastic :)