Fast forward a decade or two, casting thoughts of sub-zero temperatures aside, I got back in the ‘saddle’ when we bought a caravan and wanted something to accompany us on trips to the coast.
Portability was key, as I wasn’t sure we’d use it enough to warrant strapping it to the roof of my car or feeding it through the front window of the caravan, only to stumble across is each time we arrived on site.
Inflatable kayaks seemed to tick a lot of the boxes, but I wasn’t sure about taking to the water in an elongated inner tube. A quick chat with a local kayaking club reassured me and the chap said they could be a great deal of fun if used with a degree of common sense.
Winds and currents are natural enemies of inflatables, but for paddling close to the shore or riverbank, they are perfect for spotting wildlife in its natural environment, as this calm, carbon-free mode of transport allows you to creep along almost undiscovered.
Touring Brittany in the Bailey of Bristol Phoenix 760, we upped the ante, hired a pair of rigid, ocean-going kayaks from the campsite and tried sea kayaking. As you’d expect, precautions must be taken and before we settled on a departure time, we went through the tide times with the site owner and plotted a suitable route on a map.