I bought a new toy: a red Barracuda Beachcomber sea kayak. I have been looking Gumtree.com for about half a year and then, while I was in Indonesia, I noticed my friend’s kayak on the site. A quick check of his Facebook page confirmed the exciting news. It’s a known boat. The price was right. And I just know this is the right boat for me.
My friends came all the way from Toowoomba to Redcliffe to drop the boat off because I don’t yet have a car. It was late in the afternoon so I couldn’t go for a test paddle but first thing in the morning I was bouncing out of bed and ready to go. First step: hoist the boat onto my shoulder and walk down my driveway.
Step 2: Cross the road, walk down the grassy hill and step onto the cool soft sandy beach with my new paddle craft on my shoulder ready to go.
The sun was rising steadily over Moreton Island in the distance. It is my goal for when I am fitter and more experienced. How magnificent to see such a tempting goal from my home. It will certainly keep me motivated to train, practice and gain skills.
The boat is much more tippy than anything I’ve paddled before. From 2006 – 2009 I owned a bombproof river boat that was red, short, wide, slow and stable. Compared to that the Barracuda is sleek, fast and sexy. Not to mention practical, long and fitted with plenty of luggage space. I am so excited about the adventures I will be able to take it on.
I enjoyed paddling for an hour out on Moreton Bay just near home. I paddled from Scarborough Beach to the far end of Queens Beach and back again. Not terribly far but it allowed me to get a feel for the boat. I also went out further from shore than I’ve paddled before. That is something I will need to get used to: not hugging the shore line but actually trusting myself and the boat out on the open water. That will come with time and practice. And open up a whole wide world of exploration for me.
I head back to shore, avoiding the jagged rocks at the northern and southern end of the beach. I have a bit of a surf on the small waves; something that feels so much more fun in a sea kayak than it did in my uncontrollable packraft.
I get out, shoulder the kayak (17kg / 37.5lbs) and walk back across the road to my home. I will paddle at least one morning a week before work once I am back from Turkey and also hopefully one longer paddle each week on my days off. I’ll also be buying a car with roof racks so that I can get the kayak to other interesting places to explore. A whole new world awaits …