Kayaking as Character Building

Spent a great weekend in Monterey. Kayaking, biking, great food, and swimming at the hotel–something for everyone.

Went out in the kayak this morning before heading home.  Our goal was 1) otters and 2) beat the wind. Saturday the wind was gusting by 1 o’clock.

So we launched at the boat ramp and planned to row around the harbor and take a peek around the jetty. Both boys came out with me; I was my thrilled.  No otters. We decided our last trip was otter and pup season; October or December was the time. Seals abound so that’s always fun.  And it was sea lion pupping on the beaches where we biked earlier. Time to peek around the jetty and consider a paddle back to the kelp beds.

Jacob, my almost-nine-year-old, was instantly done kayaking. I had guessed as much. He isn’t one for paddling around anyway. Friday’s kelp bed adventure was mostly a snail hunting expedition for him. Dime to quarter sized snailish creatures were clinging to kelp here and there. Like Where’s Waldo–Jacob loved it. He’d haul a snail in, lay it in a heal hold of the kayak and watch the filter feeder attached to the snail’s back gently fan the cup of sea water for morsels. Then we’d find a kelp frond to release him to and find another.

But the swells and large expanse of ocean at the jetty was not his cup of tea. We rowed back to shore and let him out with dad. Josh and I returned to the jetty.

We did get our peek around the corner. Josh loved the slap of the swells as we rode over them.  We were hoping to see some dolphins or glimpse the spray from a whale in the distance. Josh said the whole thing made him feel peaceful. He further ruminated that it wasn’t a very peaceful thing at all and how odd that he would feel that way. Odd indeed.

Our kayaking partners thought it wise to turn back and not get caught in more ocean than we could handle. Agreed.

So character building… Jacob was our marine biologist-for-the-day.  And Josh was our open water kayak-adventurer.  Two characteristics of the boys new to me.  Jacob generally has difficulty sitting still, enjoying the less dramatic aspects of life. Josh is a total homebody, happy in the known and predictable.

So this was fun.  A new light shed on two human beings I am very close to and prone to closely observing. Exciting developments. And an awesome weekend.

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