My husband and I purchased kayaks last year and then the rain dried up. The rivers were also gone and by July 4th 2012 weekend were all but soggy muddy areas where there USED to be rivers. This year is the opposite with lots of flooding in our area making our rivers swell and sway. Since we haven't received rain in a couple of days we decided to make "date night" out of kayaking in our local river.
The beuaty that captures your attention while on the water is exhilirating! I never feel as close to nature as when you are all alone in it, with no other living being around except who I wanted to be with! On our trip this time we saw an 8-point buck and a great horned owl.
We also found out a great lesson. Trees pack up in areas carried downstream and cause rapids. They may not look small, but they can be dangerous and turn a light kayak over in a heartbeat. I watched my husband flip then I over-reacted, overcorrected and flipped as well. The water rushed around us. I flipped my kayak over pretty quickly and wedged the boat and myself up against a huge tree root, my husband wasn't so lucky. His shoes went flying, his shirt went flying and his phone(in a plastic bag at least) was shoved into his mouth to keep it from washing away. The rapid continued to roar around us, all the while the birds sang their cheery songs. It all happened so quickly that it was terrifying. Husband was able to flip his kayak and empty it of most of the water and then we made our way to a sandbar close by to assess our damages.
In all the chaos, only one lost shoe. Everything else was found and saved. My phone, just for safety sake, was put in rice as soon as we got home.
It taught us some important lessons: We were able to react quickly in a scary situation and even though I was trembling with fear and clearly stating it ("I'm in panic! I'm in panic!) my husband kept a level head and clearly told me what to do! We worked together as a team, encouraging and helping each other, giggling about it as we later went on our way. We didn't blame each other, or be mad about what happened. We just kept going and still enjoyed the rest of the ride. We have never had that experience and were later commenting that at least now we know what to do. Kayaks are fun but rivers can be dangerous. Know your rivers. Know your abilities. We misjudged both.
We decided that the next time we have the opportunity to kayak in rough river or smooth, go with the smooth!