Every year we have a little family tradition where we all go on a kayaking trip for the day – my brother Oakley and I included.
So early in the morning we pack up our gear and kayaks and head up river. At the start, Oakley and I pick out which kayaks (or paddlers) we’d like to command, yet this always ends up changing once we start hopping to other kayaks or falling off and being picked up by someone else.. Sometimes even ending up on the same one!
We prefer to each captain a different kayak though so we can keep track of who’s ahead of who. If you haven’t realized by now, brotherly love is often a matter of competition. You may also notice that in many of the following photos Oakley is all wet, which is of course because he’s always falling in.
I kept telling him not to get so far over the front tip of the kayak. Yet, he was always just so excited that he’d be hanging right over the edge – so much so that his balance would be compromised at the slightest irregular movement in the kayak, thus leading to a little dip in the river.
I didn’t make too big a deal of it, because after all, it was an excellent source of entertainment throughout the trip.
Anyway, whoever we’re with, you can tell we get frustrated with our paddler at times for not keeping a satisfactory speed – hence the need for us to switch boats occasionally. For instance, I can count on Dad for good speed bursts (which however makes the kayak a little unstable for me), while Mum is good at a nice continuous stroke.
Occasionally, Oakley and I would end up on the same kayak. Being the eldest and the lifetime-appointed expedition leader, I held the position at the front as commander and captain.
(As a sidenote, I think that at this point in my celebrity career I need not even mention that I’m flexing – it’s a given).
At times I worried if taking the very front spot of the kayak was a good idea. Oakley was always trying to butt in from the side, but I didn’t want to give it up. It ended up that we were both barely balancing on the tip of the kayak while Oakley kept pushing me closer and closer to the narrowing tip.
I’m not sure if he just didn’t realize that he was putting me in a precarious position or if this was some tactic of his to toss me overboard as an “accident”. That would be more like a wire haired to do. Anyway, it didn’t work – as I never fell off (from that).
In fact, I’d say it backfired because Oakley ended up falling in a few times while trying to edge me off. I couldn’t help but lick my chops in satisfaction!
After a couple hours of kayaking, we stopped for a nice break and lunch on a sand spit of the river. This is a great time for us to go stretch our legs, run around a bit, chase some squeaky balls, go for a swim, and crunch some sticks.
Oakley had a blast retrieving the ball in the water, as the little guy just loves to swim. I prefer to just let him retrieve it for me (I’m not as much a water guy).
We also soon discovered that when you throw a ball in shallow water, Oakley has a very nice ‘water-gallop’, which you can see in this video – as filmed with GoPro:
Then it was back to the kayaks for the final stretch!
When we weren’t on separate kayaks competing for leadership of the pack, it let us better appreciate our beautiful surroundings. Here we are together, no worries in the world except what might lie around the next river bend.
As we slid under the last bridge before the exit, Oakley lost his footing and somersaulted frontwards into the water. It was the best thing ever, and I so wish someone caught it on film.
Oakley just loves the water though, and no matter how many times he fell in, it didn’t phase him one bit, while I on the hand will shiver and demand to be wrapped in a blanket for at least 10 minutes before re-emerging to take my position as captain once again.
So that was our kayaking adventure. I look forward to next year’s trip!
My vacation with Oakley may be over, but I have one more adventure of ours to share with you, so the summer’s not over yet!
What fun activities do you do with your dog? Let me know in the comments!