This was my maiden voyage on the new kayak that Sandra and the kids bought me for my birthday. I took it out on Colonel Francis Beatty Park. I chose the closest, smallest body of water possible. After spending an hour this morning trying to strap it down I told Sandra that I knew this first time would be about more than me on the water. After 51 years there are a few things I know about myself. One is that ratchet tie down straps are in the top 3 most confusing concepts on the planet. But a helpful YouTube video moved me along. Thank God for YouTube. Can I get a witness?

I knew today would mostly be about how to get the kayak to and on the water. But I finally got it strapped on…I’m gonna stop right here and stop calling it kayak or it and name it. Blue. That’s her name. So Blue and I were ready to go after much to do. We got to the park and I wasn’t sure where to put Blue in. I asked a tattooed dude who was sweaty and pouring water over his head because he looked like he’d know. Turns out he’s training for a 50k run (that’s 31 miles people!) and sure enough he told me what I needed to know.

I unloaded Blue on to my furniture dolly and strapped her on and we were off to the water. Yeah, a furniture dolly with bungee cords is redneck, but I haven’t committed to a full-on kayak dolly. The maiden voyage was great. Honestly, the most enjoyable part was the men I met on the lake. One was a 72 year old retired gentleman from Long Island, New York in a tricked out fishing kayak. Blue is a fishing kayak also by the way, but my Long Island friend had the Mercedes model with a fish finder. I have Walmart’s best. He said he could see lots of fish, but was frustrated because he couldn’t lure them in.

Another guy I met, Jason, was about my age and was in a 17ft canoe. He’s a hobby expert in Japanese fly rods. Very interesting. We had a good talk on having children trying to be adults. I could discern within a few minutes that his dream is to design and make Japanese fly rods. He just didn’t know how to get there. To me it was clear. I’m like that. I’m better figuring out other people’s lives.

What I figured out about Blue is that she needs a better seat. She’s bad on back support. But honestly, I didn’t figure that out. I just confirmed what a YouTube guy said. So now I’m eating lunch on my way to Dick’s to buy a better seat.

I did learn that human kind is not trustworthy. I left my furniture dolly in the high grass near the dock and someone stole it! I think this is the first time in 51 years that I’ve been the victim of theft. It saddened me. But it’s my fault. I should have returned it to my car. But still it made me sad.

I also learned that I’m not 18. Because some rat turd stole my dolly I had to carry Blue 100 yards back to my car. In my mind I think I’m as strong as me at 18, but my body says something different. But I got her there. My body did need a beer later.

Overall, it was a great day. The most important thing I learned is that my family loves me. Sandra has wanted me to get a kayak for over 10 years, but I’ve always put every other priority in front of it. So finally she took away all of my excuses and worked it out with our kids to give me the money.

What was I to do?

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