Step 1. Approach the boat carefully. They are slippery devils.
(As I mentioned, my daughter and I got up early to go out on the water. The kayak, a birthday gift from some time ago, is awesome. It fits in a bag you can carry, along with two paddles, a pump, seats, and everything you need… but it might be one size two small for me)…
Step 2. Straddle the boat… (we can all be thankful Mollie didn’t get a picture of that)… and then lower yourself down into the seat slowly.
Step 3. After centering yourself in the boat, and getting the wobbles under control, ask your assistant to hand you a paddle. (If you don’t have an assistant, get a bigger boat, or put the paddle in first, which will make getting in even more difficult. Do not try getting in while holding the paddle, this is asking for trouble.)
Step 4. At this point, you will notice that the skag… (that is the plastic, shark fin-shaped thing that snaps to the bottom of the boat to help you keep moving in a straight line)… is firmly wedged into the mud. To get it free, wiggle side to side gently, but only paddle forward. If you try to actually move to the side, you will break the skag off. Oh, and skags are also called skegs, or scags, or scegs, depending on who you believe.
Step 5. When you at last realize that the skeg/skag/sceg/skeg isn’t budging, try pushing the boat by jamming your paddle into the mud.
Step 6. Smile! You are free! You haven’t tipped over! You haven’t ripped the bottom out of the boat!
Step 7. Do the ‘raised paddles of victory’ celebration! (Flipping the boat over at this point will seriously undermine your credibility.)
Step 8. Start paddling somewhere. It doesn’t matter where, as long as you look like you know where you are going… (and don’t flip the boat over)… You are the captain… because you are alone in a boat, and that puts you in charge.
Step 9. Keep going… yes, I know… your arms feel like they are going to fall off. Nobody said this was going to be easy.
(My favorite part of that picture is how high the bow… the ‘front of the boat’ for you landlubbers… is sticking out of the water. That is because I am alone in a two-person kayak, that, as mentioned, might be one size two small for me)