Just to manage in the everyday is a victory, but now time has come for more challenges: a job, hobbies and leisure activities. A friend is an avid kayaker, and he convinced me to try his newest kayak: a Seabird expedition. We had to put our heads together to figure out a way of getting me in and out of the kayak.
We put a board from land onto the back deck of the kayak, my friend assuring me that the back deck could hold the weight. I managed to use the board to slide first onto the deck, then into the cockpit. We had loaded some jugs of water into the space where normal paddlers put their legs, to act as ballast. Of course I can’t use the foot steered rudder.
This type of kayak has an integrated pipe in which a rod with a paddle float can be attached. This really helped with balance for those first wobbly moments. After 20 minutes I felt secure enough to try without the paddle float. My friend was on land, biting his nails, while his son was accompanying me in his kayak out on the water. I quickly discovered that I would need something to keep my stumps in place, to paddle more effectively. I also have to use a personal floating device with a head support to keep my head above water in case I fall in the water (and my friend tells me that it will happen at some point!).
The day of my first kayak outing was a beautiful fall day, with completely flat water, blue sky and no wind. A perfect day. I felt in control, balanced and like this is something I can learn to master with some more practice. It was wonderful to move in the same way as all other kayakers.
Now I just need my own kayak!