Column - Summers Trips: Catching a wave a blast unless crashing waves sink the adventure

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Adventure is not outside; it is within."

-- Ray Stannard Baker

I love a good adventure. My wife knows this and usually is fine with whatever is on the agenda. I have been told no only once, when Page and I wanted to go shark fishing. She obviously watched Jaws one too many times.

On the last day of our beach vacation the boys were getting just a little bored. I do not understand why two teenage boys would not follow the lead of their 40-something parents and read, nap, and imitate the beached whales.

The only way to cure the boredom was a new adventure -- ocean kayaking!

We rented a kayak from a beach vendor and the adventure was on -- after the brief safety disclaimer lecture from the vendor.

The boys and I have been kayaking for several years now in the local streams, lakes, and rivers. We thought we were skilled and ready for the challenge.

We were wrong.

Justus was up first and he paddled out into the crashing waves. The key going out and coming in is to keep the boat straight into the waves.

If the boat gets even a little sideways, it is all over and a big flip is on. Justus made it out and back without incident.

Page was next and did great going out but took a big flip for the team on the way in. No injuries other than the worst kind -- a bruised ego. Page mounted up again and did great the rest of the day.

I, on the other hand, started out a little shaky but did make it out further into the big waves than either son. The big waves were totally a trip.

The large waves would crash into the boat, and then it would be like going down a big slide on the back of the wave.

When it was time to turn and ride back in to the beach, the real fun would begin. When a wave was caught correctly, speeds faster than I had ever gone in a kayak could be reached.

A little adventure is a great way to cut through a little vacation boredom for all the boys in our family. I honestly think that Beth was the mastermind behind this operation as she received a complete day on the beach without three boys pestering her.

Why didn't I think of something like that?

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