My husband, Studly Doright, and I recently purchased a home, Doright Manor, on a small lake near Tallahassee, Florida. We are not lake people. We are Texas panhandle people, born and raised in the dry, dusty plains and ill-prepared to handle any body of water larger than the occasional rain puddle.
When we bought our lake home we both envisioned rowing hither and yon around our lake for hours on end, working those muscles that spend too many hours typing on a keyboard and too few doing actual labor. We were going to get in shape! To that end, Studly bought us a two-person kayak. Thank goodness he had the foresight to purchase a fishing kayak–broad on the bottom and damned near impossible to tip over.
Our first venture into the world of kayaking was tense. I yelled. He cried. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate, that was just the part where we tried to get into the vessel without getting wet. After several borderline pornographic physical manipulations, Studly and I found ourselves seated in the appropriate slots. To us it made sense that he take the front seat and I take the back. Him: Strong. Me: Weak. We: Wrong.
The back person does all the hard work. All of it. The front person is just there to look pretty and occasionally help steer. We discovered this at the halfway point. There was no way we could switch places without one of us getting drenched. I had to shoulder the load–the big load where the pretty one should be.
Slowly I rowed. Inch by painful inch I paddled and an hour later we found ourselves at our dock confronted with a final challenge. How the heck do we get out of this infernal thing? My arms were shot and Studly couldn’t get enough leverage to pull himself up onto the dock. You see, boats don’t stay still when you pull them into the dock. No. They continue to move in all sorts of ways. Back. Forth. Sideways. They rock and roll. They Zumba.
But, we are not quitters. Nossirree. Neither of us wanted to die out on that lake mere yards from our own back door. “Let’s back the boat away from the dock,” said Studly. “We’ll aim for that grassy area beside the dock, get a running start and shoot onto dry land.”
“Yea,” he said. “Just help get us out into the inlet and I’ll power us onto the grass.”
“Sure.” Wearily, I pushed against the dock, and then stroke, stroke, stroked out into our little inlet, giving my man plenty of room to make his final stand.
He instructed me to lift my paddle and be ready to spring out of the boat as soon as we hit the shore. Spring. Yep, he said that. I’ve never seen arms work so powerfully. Boom, boom, boom and we hit paydirt. My spring was sprung and I fell onto damp grass, almost, but not quite, touching my lips to the solid ground.
“Quick! Grab the boat!” Studly yelled. Just in time, I caught hold to prevent him from floating away. I steadied the vessel as he rolled out, sprawling in lake mud. I’d have laughed at the sight, but I couldn’t summon the energy.
We both recovered. Slowly. And we’ve been out in our kayak many times since that first one. Every time we learn something new, but getting out never gets easier. I keep intending to google the topic. “How do I get out of my kayak without inflicting mortal wounds on my partner?” The good news? I think I’m developing an arm muscle. But it might be a mosquito bite. Time will tell.
Above is glimpse of our lake taken from the safety of my back porch.