After our adventures earlier in the week where Andrew took me climbing, it was time to return the favour. Instead of climbing we went Kayaking at Outdoor Activities who are based at a gravel pit in South Hykeham, just a few miles outside Lincoln.
I had been Kayaking for the first time just a few weeks ago, so everything was fairly fresh in my mind but Andrew had not done anything like this for many years.
We met up in the car park and walked over to the office, where we was introduced to our instructor for the day Katie. We had a quick briefing and then we where quickly issues with our wetsuits.
Once suitably dressed it was time get into our Buoyancy aids and select our boats and paddles.
One thing I found with the previous Kayaking day, is that getting in is the second hardest part of Kayaking. The hardest part is getting out again!
We were a little tentative at first, the boats were shorter and a little more white water biased then the kayak I had tried out in a few weeks again, so tracking in a straight line was a little tricker.
It was not before we started to really enjoy ourselves, our instructor kept giving us instructions and advice, and we quickly improved by leaps and bounds. It took Andrew a little longer to get the feel of it, so the instructor arranged a swop and Andrew took the instructors slightly large boat out. This was much better and more stable out on the water.
It was a great time and we really enjoyed ourselves. At the end of the session the instructor gave us the option of trying out a practice capsize. As we were in wetsuits it seemed an idea time to give it a try.
It all sounded fairly simple. Tip over, reach forward and bang on the bottom of the boat three times to attract attention, then exit the boat and swim to shore or wait holding onto your boat until help arrives.
Andrew went first, and then it was my turn. It seemed to take forever but it was just a few seconds in total. On exiting the boat I somehow managed to take in a mouthful of water which was most unpleasant. As you can see in the shots above, I don’t look to happy after swimming back to the surface, but it was not as bad as it looked, though the water was cold!
We both swam back to shore, towing the boats back with us. Hauling them back onto the bank we emptied the boats but as we were having such a good time, despite now being very wet we headed back out for another paddle. The wetsuits kept us warm despite the cold water.
Despite the wet, the cold water, we had a great time; we are luckly in having two places locally to try out Kayaking and Canoeing, Outdoor Activities and Lincoln Canoe Club. If your serious about paddling regularly then Lincoln Canoe Club is the best option but if you only want to go occasionally then Outdoor Activities are the better choice.