Kayaking for Elders

Previous: Tours for Seniors

Kayaking can be as energetic or as relaxed as you choose. You won’t be asked to harpoon a whale amid floating ice floes in Perth. At the other extreme, you can go to sleep as you drift down the river.

Seniors in Canoes

These elders are just coming back in after a leisurely paddle on the Swan River. All the kayaks here are single-seaters. I notice that they are not wearing life-jackets. That is very naughty, but there is a motorboat standing by. More information about Kayaking in WA.

If you want to go on a tour in a kayak, don’t expect it to be the cheapest option. Of course, you can buy your own kayak. But unless you want to paddle both ways, you need a boat trailer to drop you off, then drive to your destination and wait to pick you up.

Of course, you could learn to do eskimo rolls in a swimming pool, if your arms are still strong enough to bring your head back above the water after capsizing the kayak. I rather liked the idea when I was younger, because if I learned the roll, I would never have to worry about a strong wind capsizing me. But you need to buy a trailer and a kayak and I never had that sort of money.

You will have to hire a canoe. You’ll have to pay for someone to lower a canoe into the river and help you to climb aboard, wearing your hired life-jacket. You’ll then lace yourself into the waterproof seal around your waist, and accept the paddle handed to you.

Then somebody has to drive the truck to the point on the river where you will be picked up, and wait until you arrive. You’ll have to pay for the truck, and the driver’s time. If you camp overnight, you’ll have to pay for the tent and inflatable mattress.

What is the hardest effort that you’ll need? Inflating the mattress takes a lot of puff. Of course, if you are more energetic and experienced in kayaking, you could paddle upriver instead of drifting downstream.

Many years ago I took two days to paddle down the river to Mandurah, camping overnight. Even though I paddled all the way, my muscles did not ache the next day, which tells me that I wasn’t doing any hard work. And it would have been even easier to drift, with an occasional stroke of the paddle to keep in the middle of the river.

If you are not an expert, do not even think about trying the Avon Descent. You would get the bottom ripped out of your kayak, and repairs or replacement are not cheap.

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