Here on my days off, with a friend from Texas, I'm learning how to chose and navigate with a kayak. True, I'm only learning on a lake, but the lake is bedeviled by strong currents and wind sweeping down from out of nowhere, or so it seems. Yesterday, while plodding along in the shortest yellow one (second from the left) I struggled to return. My friend suggested the next day I take a long sleek vessel, and choose a longer paddle.
Upon putting the kayak in the water, I immediately sensed the difference. It was fast but initially quite unstable. He quickly pointed out that mine had no groves in the bottom and also my weight wasn't enough to settle deep in the water.
After heading across the lake, read turbulence, I took cover behind a secondary island. Much better. We landed, checked out the various artifacts (plastic, feathers, charred fire ring, fishing lures) then headed onward.
Now I put my life jacket behind my back, so I could sit up straighter. He said, its all about your butt staying centered.
Eventually I got the hang of things, able to navigate in and out of inlets, stands of water lilies and arrowroot, around fallen logs, off submerged rocks. By applying a brake with one paddle, and stroking deep with another, a quick about face is possible.
Perhaps an extended voyage is in the making.