Ever wonder what happens when a Kayaker attempts to do something other than kayaking?
It was my wife’s birthday, we are heading to go and ‘float’ the Guadalupe (any of your Texas folks know what this means….for the rest, well, it is just plain FUN).
Three days before our ‘float’ New Braunfels gets 10 inches of rain, the River goes from 4ft to 14ft in 10 minutes (from 400cfs to 14,000 cfs)….the River is back down to normal within 48 hours, but unfortunately the outfitter for the float trip is gone, their building is gone, their tubes are gone, their buses are gone. (WARNING: do not store your valuable business assets in a flood plain).
Plan B is enacted immediately, we cannot ‘float’ but we are going to get on the water. My neighbor calls around and finds the last two pontoon boats available for rent on Lake Travis, it isn’t floating but it is still on the water.
Twelve of us split up on the two pontoon boats and off we go, we are prepared, we have enough liquids to last a week. Pontoon A, driven by me, stalls five times getting out of the cove but now all seems good. Pontoon B, driven by James looks good…we cruise across the lake trying to find a good place to drop anchor and ‘float’. It is windy, it is not a good calm day, we are struggling to find a good spot, we decide that we are heading to the party cove and off we steam ahead. 5 minutes into our new plan I look back, Pontoon B is no where to be seen…we turn around and head back, they are bobbing, they have stalled and cannot get started. We call the boat people and tell them that the boat is a POS and to come get it, we all get aboard Pontoon A, the boat people come to their broken boat and we are off….1 hour of our 3 trip…GONE. We steam ahead to our party cove plan, we round the corner and hit the wind and the chop. Twelve full sized (some fuller than others) adults on board, the bow of the boat buries into a wave, under she goes….everyone up front runs to the back, weight is now in the back, all is better, sort of….now water is coming up in the back…the women are screaming that we are sinking (forgetting that there are two giant pontoons floating and it is merely a weight distribution issue.
In the midst of the screams is my dear wife. She is a calm lady (not really) that is now on a mission that we are going back, getting all of our money back and we are going to Carlos and Charlies on the lake. I try to soothe her and tell her it is fine, but I know better, we turn around, we head home.
On the return voyage my neighbor says, “look at those party barges docked over there, let’s go”…I think about what my wife said and say “I’ll sneak us in and see if it is calm”….within 2.1 seconds my Wife’s neck snaps around and she barks “the Hell you will, we are going in”….mind you, she is on the other side of a 23 ft pontoon with a motor running and heard me like she was on my lap (it’s a wife thing). But I am not going to give up that easily, we steam across and into a cliff area, it is calm….we throw the anchor….
….as if you thought this was the end….the anchor line is not long enough, it is roughly 30 feet of line, we are in 31 feet of water….how do I know it is 1 foot more, well, we have our line we brought and we connect the two, get anchored…..ahhhh….boating…this is fun!
The story has a happy ending, my wife had a fun birthday, we floated in the cove not 5 minutes from where we rented the boat, drank our liquids, jumped off the cliff, no one drowned and I was reminded why power boats are just not kayaks!
On a side note, we tested our some of the water guns we sell, highly recommend them! http://www.austinkayak.com/products/2989/Stream-Machine-Water-Gun.html