I grew up kayaking on tranquil lakes and rivers but developed a taste for brutal oceanic waters when I lived in Washington. It was a thrill to paddle furiously trying to conquer waves that tossed you like leaves in a tornado. I loved the push, dizzy unpredictability of which direction you'll be facing next and the necessary hyper-awareness of the balance of your boat. One tiny off-center moment could result in a dunking.
Yesterday's excursion through a marshy nature preserve was a relaxing reminiscence of early kayak days. There was no danger, no choppy ship canals or 6ft waves to navigate, just glass-like water, the sound of the breeze skipping like a stone & the occasional call of a morning dove. The thrills were subtle: spotting a great blue heron, seeing the sky reflect perfectly in the water.