Today, I offered to go with my sister and her teenage daughter as they tried out their new boats on Healey's Pond. My 10 year old daughter, Bridget, who's had an "on again, off again" interest with kayaks was adamant about taking her Mom's boat for a spin. The wind was a bit high but I gave in - knowing that I'd be right along side her and that she is a bit of a "water dog" so she's not afraid of the water. She took my wife's Prijon Seayak out first. The Seayak does not have the lowest of profiles anyway and due to my daughter's sub 100 pounds, it rode high in the water. She handled the boat quite well given the gusty winds but she was having real trouble with the cross wind and with keeping the boat straight into the wind. You have to know Bridget to realize that she was not going to give up!! She can also over-react and I was finding that she was starting to get scared yet not willing to admit it. Erring on the side of caution, I basically forced her back to shore. She was not happy. I told her to take a little break and calm down.
Bridget in the Seayak
Later I dropped my Baffin off at shore and took the Seayak out for a spin. When I did that Bridget jumped in my boat and came back on the pond. The Baffin has a much lower profile and takes the winds a little easier. Anyway, here she was in my boat and using a Greenland paddle. She pointed that boat into the wind and put the "pedal to metal" and just took off. No joke but I had to work hard to catch her and she just kept going. I was truly working to keep up with her. Later she was turning the boat no problem - and it's a skeg boat so she had no use of the rudder. I explained to her about using the stern rudder and she was paying attention and actually using the strokes. She was really moving this boat quite well and fast, too. Then she wanted to do a wet exit but I told her the water was too cold.
Now, she wants to "go to the pond a few more times before she goes on the ocean" She normally has a fear of water when she can't see the bottom but today she was in the middle of the pond with no such fear. A corner turned, perhaps? We'll see. She wants me to take her back to the pond tomorrow after school. I think that if the winds are down, she will have a much more enjoyable time and learn some basics and then? - who knows, she may just want to keep coming back!!!