We usually don’t really get a big Christmas gift for each other, but this year we decided to purchase something that had been on our minds for a while…an Inflatable Kayak!
My father is an avid canoer. I grew up spending a lot of time on Swatara Creek and the Susquehanna River and listening to my father’s tales of adventure from when he and his childhood friends would spend days traveling by canoe, sleeping on muddy islands and fishing for their food in true Mark Twain fashion. Chris has also joined us on plenty of canoeing outings through the years as well.
So, it came as no surprise to us that as we traveled the country, we came along many bodies of water that stirred the desire to traverse them properly. A lake is beautiful from the shore, but you can feel its beauty on the water. We felt the call, and we decided that we should heed its direction, as we may only have one chance to explore some of these places.
Naturally, we wanted a canoe, because that is what we are used to; but we quickly realized that we needed to come up with a plan that focused on an easily storable watercraft that was affordable, leaving a canoe out of the question. We have seen others devise ways to attach kayaks to their rv for travel, but we just weren’t interested in that kind of commitment. If we were avid kayakers, I am sure the investment would be worth it. We were looking for something more flexible, and that is where the “inflatable” term enters the story. As we looked at possibilities, the inflatable kayaks seemed to meet our requirements: light weight, easy to store and affordable. So, we decided on this beauty…
It is a Sea Eagle 370K. It is a two person kayak, and it came with paddles, foot pump for inflation and a repair kit.
We waited until the first calm afternoon, and we walked our new kayak to the end of our RV park to explore the Choctawhatchee Bay…
On our first trip out, we learned that we really prefer to treat our kayak like a canoe, in terms of paddling. Flipping your paddle back and forth in true kayak style brings way too much water in to the kayak, and since it is inflatable, it is harder to steer. So, a canoe-style with a J-stroke in the rear is much better for handling – that is just our opinion. The kayak does feel a little bit like a raft, which is to be expected since it is inflatable, but overall we thought that it was much easier to steer than we anticipated. Set-up and tear-down were very easy. Don’t forget to rinse your kayak after using it in salt water! Overall, we are very satisfied with our purchase. We recommend it to fellow travelers, or those who can not store or transport a regular kayak/canoe.
Here are more photos of our first trip, courtesy of my new selfie stick, thanks to my sister. Despite Chris’ worst fears, I never did drop my phone in the Bay, so we are good.
We are so grateful for the new addition to our RV lifestyle, and we are dreaming of all the pristine waters that lay ahead for us.