Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kayaking Weekend

Last weekend we went to visit our friends, the Andersons.  They invited us to go kayaking!  

Avery and Elena

I'll admit, I was very nervous.  Josephine wasn't worried; she said Avery took right to it, and she thought E would too.  While there are lots of similarities between Avery and Elena, sitting up straight with straight legs out in front--"long sit"--isn't something Elena does well.  I was concerned about 1) tipping out of the kayak--E can right herself in the water with a swim vest, but it might not be as automatic in cold lake water, 2) E's posture resulting in an unsuccessful kayak experience.  I still "engineer success" when I can for Elena, as I strongly believe it is one of the reasons she is excited to try new things.  

The car ride wasn't that bad; the girls read lots of books, and were ready to play with the Andersons when we got there.  All the kids played well together, ate some lunch, and then we went to a park--to "test out" the kayak.

The body of water was a small riverbed (creekbed?), and on that day, the water was maybe 1.5 feet deep.  Avery went first, while Elena and Vivian studied what she did.

The kayak had a "seat back" for back support.  Here is Elena, trying the kayak with a swim vest, her shoes/braces on, and the seat back.

Paddling isn't easy

With this combination, Elena was frustrated.  The seat back was in the way of her elbows when she tried to paddle, as was her swim vest.  Ditching the swim vest really wasn't an option, but we decided to try it in the creek b/c the danger was minimal, and we wanted to see what would happen with her paddling ability.

No vest, with seat back and shoes/braces

When we removed her vest, she still had issues with the seat back.  In this configuration, she couldn't manage to sit up and try paddling without resting against the back support.  So, we removed it--and her shoes/braces.

There she goes!

It's still a challenge for her to sit comfortably in the kayak while paddling--the tone in her legs makes it hard for them to be at rest--but this combination (no shoes/braces, no seat back) seemed to give her the best results.

Bonus Vivian!

Viv's a natural!

Then we were off to the Lake!

Viv and Brogan, buddies on the dock
The Kayak Team (one adult, one child) and the Paddleboat Team (one adult, up to 4 kids) ventured out onto the gorgeous lake.  Avery and Josephine went kayaking first, and I took the kids on the paddleboat while little Oliver stayed with Gabe on the dock.  E even helped propel the paddleboat!

One BIG feature of the Kayak Team was the tow line; the child kayak was tethered to the adult kayak by a thin cord.  This played a HUGE part in our success--the kids got to do the paddling, but ended up staying close to the parents and got the feel of moving around the lake.

Avery and Viv ready for paddleboating

E's ready to try it!

Gabe and Elena

What a view

Mom and Viv

Mom and Viv


E and G circle the Paddleboat Crew--Ahoy!


It was a PERFECT day to be outside--and I'd have never have tried this on my own.  It was a fantastic experience for all of us--patient instruction, quiet water, beautiful weather, lovely scenery--an amazingly successful adventure!

After we finished up at the lake, we all stopped for dinner at a great local restaurant.  The kids get along  so beautifully...I wish we lived closer (it's a bit of a drive for a day trip).  

Thank you so much Andersons, we had such a great time!  

1 comment:

Josephine Andersen said...

I am so glad you all came! We had a great time, and I am SO HAPPY that Elena did such an amazing job :) It would be nice to live a bit closer to each other, wouldn't it? :)