We haven’t been out on the water since we sold our boat. I used to swim a lot in the sea too, but since all this Covid business Barn’s surfing lessons have been cancelled, and that was the time I took to swim. It’s funny how you can miss something without realising you do, and when you get out of the habit, it’s not that you forget, but you fill your time up with other things and it’s easy not to do those things that you used to enjoy.
Most weekends we end up driving out to Rock to drop Barn at work. He gets the bus in the week but at the weekends the times don’t quite match up with his shifts, so it’s easiest for us to take him. We often plan it, at least when the weather is nice to take Stanley to the beach which is lovely. It’s nice in some ways to have a reason, to be almost forced out of the house to do something. I find it so easy not to go out, so having that reason really helps. It’s a bit like having parkrun or a race used to make me run more, I seem to need things to help with my motivation.
Anyway, on Saturday, just before we were going to leave the house, Lee suggested taking our kayak. It’s been over a year, closer to two actually since we’ve used it, so as we didn’t have much time, I quickly checked Stanley’s life jacket still fitted while Lee bundled it all into the car and off we went.
We don’t like an audience when we do things. It’s one of those things that puts us off. Some people thrive on being watched, while we just like a bit of space. It’s one of the reasons the boat we had was so remote, it was just us when we were out there. When we ventured down onto the beach, after paying the harbour master, we found a quiet corner out of the way of inquisitive eyes. It’s always fun trying somewhere new, but of course, it’s also hard when you don’t know the beach well, or the current, so there’s a lot to consider, and that’s without a three year old running around!
Once we were out on the water though, it was perfect. I forgot how peaceful it was, how soothing. Of course, it was hard work too at times, paddling upstream and trying to keep out the way of the rest of the boats out on the water, but it was lovely. The tide was going out, and it uncovered a large sandbank in the middle of the estuary, which is usually inaccessible, so we pulled the kayak up and let Stanley out to explore. He loved ‘Pirate Island’.
Of course we got pretty wet, but it was so much fun! It’s a lovely feeling to feel tired from doing something like that, to feel that we had spent time together doing something fun and effectively free. Stanley never sleeps in the day, but we must have worn him out because he slept the whole way home.
The simple things in life are great, I’ve realised that more and more in the time I’ve been sober. I don’t need shopping and expensive things to make me happy. I just need the people I love, and a bit of an adventure.