Patrick is five and this is his third year kayaking with me. A few weeks ago I came upon a deal on a kids’ kayak that I couldn’t pass up (a Perception Prodigy XS). Last year we paddled a cheap barge of a tandem together and the year before he squeezed into the cockpit of my WS Tsunami 140, so this will be his first year on his own, in his own kayak. On Sunday we went out for a few hours!
We did a lot: talked about safety, tested how far he could lean his kayak (and feel how far it would go up on edge), practiced going forward, backward, and turning. After doing all of that for a while (while staying close to shore) Patrick insisted on racing with me (in a P&H Cetus HV), which was pretty funny — and he knew it! He was eager to hear some tips on technique and quickly picked up on taking longer strokes and how a good catch could really help. It was still certainly not a race, but he was able to really get the kayak moving and it was interesting to see how well the little kayak handled. We headed back to shore and started to get out, and he insisted that he wasn’t ready to go yet, so we headed out to the other side of the pond for a bit. After, he told me he had a great time.
Anyway, our destination was Holbrook Pond. I’ve paddled there before and it was nothing special, however this time was a very different experience (well, aside from paddling with Patrick, I mean). There were a lot of fisherman there — both on the shore and out in kayaks — and unfortunately they (and others) were all clearly bad sportsmen, leaving lines, bait, dead fish, and garbage everywhere. The place was a mess. Also, the area around the pond smelled horrible. I recommend not going there.