Camping and “The Kayak Incident”

This past weekend we went camping up at Donner Lake (for those out of the area, it’s where the famed Donner Party ate themselves to death).  We hadn’t been out of the car for 90 seconds and the boys were covered head to toe in dirt.  Andrew’s first official act of the trip was to dump a shovel of fresh dirt on the newly unfolded and yet to be erected tent.

All in all it was a fun trip.  The lone tragedy of the trip was what will from here forward will be referred to as “The Kayak Incident”:

On Saturday we went to the “beach” on the lake and built “sand” castles.  Another one of the families who came up brought their colapsable kayaks (they fold down to be about a foot wide and four inches thick (but the full length)).  I’ve been trying to get Gregory more comfortable on the water in my multi-year project to get him sailing at a young age, so I decided to take him out in the Kayak.

So I start out in the Kayak with him in front of me repeatedly wailing “no, no, no…” and hope that he’ll calm down and see that there is nothing to worry about.  After about 5 minutes the wailing has reduced to a muttering and I’m getting hopeful.  After another 5 minutes of muttering I decide to head back because it’s clear that muttering was as close as we were going to get to enjoyment.

As soon as I turn around and he can see the beach, he got much more content.  You could tell he wanted to go back.  But, the waves from the stern were getting larger and some of them were swamping over the low stern of the kayak.  I paddled in as quick as I could and tried to get my weight forward in the kayak.

However, I was neither quick enough nor forward enough because about 10 yards from shore a wave swamped and capsized the boat.  As I fell into the water my first thought was “so much for Gregory ever going sailing” because I knew he was going to be in a panic.

I quickly stood up (the water was only 3 feet deep this close to shore) and grabbed Gregory who, as “luck” would have it, was trapped under the boat.  He was going ballistic.  I tried to comfort him and tell him it was OK, but to no avail.  The only solution to his problem was mommy, who was quickly on scene to assess the damage that her husband had inflicted on her son.

15 seconds later I was all alone, drenched and standing in the cold water with the upside down kayak.  All in a father’s day of work…

One Response to “Camping and “The Kayak Incident””

  1. Ken's Brother Says:

    gee Ken, great job taking him to Donner Lake. I could make a comment about the quality BBQ, but in the interest of good taste I’ll pass and wonder aloud when the family will take a camping trip high in the Andes, somewhere between Argentina and Boliva specifically?