Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I started running through some happy memories of the cottage (always a sweet way to fall asleep). My mind stumbled across our adventures with watercraft from our early cottage days, and I couldn’t help but chuckle, so I thought I’d share it.
Shortly after our cottage adventures began, we came to the conclusion that we needed some sort of watercraft for our kids’ (not-really-kids anymore) entertainment.
At that time we were still insisting that “we’re not boat people” so a boat wasn’t on our radar yet. Hmmmm what do you get when you want a watercraft that’s not a boat, we wondered. A canoe seemed a little cumbersome to deal with since our cottage isn’t on water. Hmmmm….think….think…think.
As luck (and Canadian Tire) would have it, we stumbled upon the idea of kayaks! That’s right, we were walking through Canadian Tire, saw a display of kayaks with one, of course, on sale. Perfect! We’ll take two! … and don’t forget the paddles and life jackets! I’m only now seeing the joke of thinking that two kayaks would much less cumbersome than one canoe.
We piled the kayaks, life jackets, paddles, beach accessories, snacks, 2 not-kids and two adults into the car and drove the short distance to the nearby beach, usually a good walk or quick bike-ride away. We bundled all of the gear down to the water’s edge and set up for the afternoon. WHEW! I’d need a good couple hours on the beach just to recuperate from that ordeal.
And then we discovered that maybe we didn’t choose the most appropriate kayaks. The boats were tippy-top heavy once the boys got on and started to paddle. That’s okay; they figured out quickly that it was easier to maneuver by hanging their legs over the edge to steady themselves. We can make this work!
The fun lasted maybe 30 minutes and at that Brian and I thought we’d done pretty well. Brian’s brain immediately got to the task of figuring out how we can make the kayaking experience better for them.
Soon Brian had the solution. He spoke of metal and nuts and bolts and holes in boats (I think) as he described it to me. All I could think of was adding a first aid kit to my beach bag, but he was certain his invention could work so I went with it. Sometimes you’ve just got to let things play out.
The next time we were up for the weekend, Brian got to work. A little bit of grinding, some sparks and clanging and behold, the Catamarak was born!
We piled the kayaks, life jackets, paddles, weird metal bits, beach accessories, snacks, now 3 not-kids and two adults into the car and drove the short distance to the nearby beach. We bundled all of the gear down to the water’s edge and set up for the afternoon. WHEW! I’d need a good couple hours on the beach just to recuperate from that ordeal.
First, just for fun, the not-kids took the kayaks into the water as singles. By now they were pros at flinging their legs over the sides and paddling off with confidence. I think we were all letting the suspense and excitement of the Catamarak’s maiden voyage build.
It wasn’t long before the spotlight moment came; it was time to assemble the invention near the water’s edge and give it a try. To the curious glances of our fellow beach bums, some clanging and clanking, the Catamarak was born again!
I don’t recall if the boys drew straws to see who would be our first test pilots or if they had to negotiate for the honor. Either way, our fearless (I think) explorers hopped on, figured out how to work together, and paddled happily … for a little more than 30 minutes before moving on to other water games.
And then we got a canoe.
P.S. No kayaks were harmed in the making of this Cottage Adventure.