Wednesday, August 17, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 12 "It's Not a Crime in Test Paddle a Yak"

Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 12: "It's Not a Crime to Test Paddle a Yak"

One day in May 2011 Don and I decided to do something off the cuff. We had been hearing about fiberglass kayaks and wanted to see (and feel) the difference for ourselves. So it was off to the gulf coast of Florida we went. 

We decided to make it a day trip and enjoy our time seeing sights we don't normally see both to and from our destination. We love taking the back roads and getting "lost" in the moment of some of the most scenic roads on the planet.

We arrived and were elated to find 2 fiberglass kayaks we could test paddle. We can't describe the excitement we had doing a lot of "firsts" on this trip. Our first first was entering a kayak from a dock. We had always entered at the edge of the water, so learning the entry from a dock was really quite cool! 

To best describe this task we have turned to Alex in the YouTube video to show you a few different techniques of entering and exiting your kayak from a dock...take it away Alex!

Don and I both entered the kayaks with ease. These techniques are some great "aces in your back pocket" for sure.

Our next first was feeling the difference under our bums of just how much smoother a ride a fiberglass kayak delivers. With big smiles on our faces we picked up the pace and headed out of the small channel and into the Crystal River.

It was love at first sight! The noses of our kayaks "kissed" and we knew it was going to be a good day.  

It wasn't long before we both noticed how differently our kayaks were paddling without a rudder. It took some getting used to, but we mastered it and continued enjoying the test paddle.

Another first for us was having the privilege of discovering spider lilies. It was a thrill to paddle right up to them along the shoreline and snap a few photos.

Dipping our hands in the cool clear water as we glided along, seeing a manatee, and discovering new territory for the first time made it a delightful hour well spent while we were...shall we say...testing the water? 

We returned to the dock, and utilized the handy dock-exit technique only to find ourselves popping right out and up on the dock in no time. 

When we left we both knew a #WildernessSystems fiberglass tandem kayak would be added to our manual "yacht" collection in the future...we just didn't know how distant in the future it would actually be.


Kayak Tip of the Week: Be eager to learn something new when it comes to kayak techniques. You never know when one of those techniques may come in handy...or possibly even a life saver!


Don Kayaking on Crystal River
Janet Kayaking on Crystal River
Don Holding Onto Janet's Kayak for a Quick Pic

Janet enjoying the refreshing feel of the water thru her fingers

From the Nose of Janet's Kayak: Spider Lilies

Spider Lilies

Manatee in Crystal River

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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)