Monday, September 5, 2016

The Big Banana ...

I can scratch another item off my wish list (which remains a mile long regardless! :)).

For the past 2 years I've toyed with the idea of obtaining a kayak. I kayaked once--maybe 8 years ago--in Los Angeles, in the canals of the part of town called Venice (of all things!). My friend and his partner who live in Long Beach took me. It was great fun and it's been on my mind since.

Since I first caught sight of Spectacle Pond just 10 minutes (at most) down the road, the desire to get a kayak has only got stronger. I kept my eyes open last year for a good used one, but even at that, the price still seemed a bit too lavish for the times.

Last week, I was in downtown Plymouth and saw The Plymouth Ski and Sport store's sign--by the common--advertising "used kayaks" on sale. They had one on the sidewalk out front of the store, on consignment for an older gentleman who can no longer enjoy it. An older 14' Wilderness Systems "Seacret" for $250 and it came with an expensive (I was told) wooden paddle, bilge pump, skirt, and a few odds and ends. I snatched it up!

Being solid yellow, at 14 feet long, it looks like a big banana and that's precisely what I've christened it: The Big Banana.

At 59 lbs., it's as much kayak as I can manage to handle. Any heavier and I'd need help getting it on and off the car and into the water. But it's quite doable and a good workout as it is!

I signed up for a 4 hour class with L.L.Bean Saturday on the Connecticut River in Wilder, VT. It was a very good class, thorough, educational and taught by 2 very pleasant, encouraging instructors. I can highly recommend their classes. I learned the basic paddling techniques, braking technique, nomenclature, safety, launching, etc. It was lovely out on the river on Saturday; very sunny, very clear skies, very pleasant temperatures.

This morning I went out for my first foray on Spectacle Pond down the road from here. We had another beeeautiful day today--clear skies, very sunny, very comfortable temperatures, and the water was calm. When I arrived at the public beach, a couple from a nearby town were enjoying the water with their 2 chocolate labs--who were having the time of their life fetching balls and frisbies from the water.

I set off and paddled around the perimeter of the pond, cutting short at the far side, deciding to do the remainder of the pond--beyond the narrower passage--next time. Being my first time 'solo' it seemed reasonable to remain somewhat near the shoreline (although I cut across the pond to make my return).

I was half way out when I realized I'd left my camera in the car! But I have a picture of Spectacle Pond from a few weeks ago, taken from the public beach (I've never seen more than 4 people there at once!):

Oh, it's peaceful on the pond. Oh, my. There are no more than half a dozen camps on it's shores, including one girl's summer camp and the children are gone for the summer. I can't wait to spot my first moose or bear on it's shores. Thinking I will, one of these days, go out at dawn to watch the sunrise on the pond.

There is also Stintson Lake up on Stinton Mtn. which is also pristine, albeit a bit more populated. There are no public beaches on Stintson, but there is a public boat dock and I could use that.

So begins my kayaking adventures.

P.S. I started my third towel this afternoon (of six). Had one of my quilt tops quilted at the local quilt shop last week and am sewing on the binding this weekend. Thinking I should bring the spinning wheel down one of the days... starting to get itchy about spinning again.


  1. Hope it came with a life jacket, just in case! I loved kayaking. I found it to be so peaceful just gliding above the water while seeing so many fish around me at times. My biggest
    difficulty was exiting the kayak. I was a sight to behold!

    1. I bought a "pfd" (personal flotation device) as they are now called. Plymouth Ski & Sport had their used pfd's on sale really cheap. Yes, getting in and out can be challenging. My kayak is narrow enough that I can straddle it just in front of, or behind, the cockpit.


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