The Car, Part One

Rented a car. Two days of luxury. Movement. Land freedom.

As well as ourselves, we’ve stowed a kayak, clothes, a board game, two outdoor plug sockets for the compressor and a large bag of food in the rental car.

How do you store a kayak in the boot of a car, you might ask? Fair question. Hard not to blush a little at this point. It’s inflatable.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with an inflatable kayak.

My old one deflated for the last time six weeks ago. One of the tubes finally punctured. Nothing requiring rescue, just a slow leak. We gave it away to a live-aboard cruiser in Antigua. Told him about the puncture, but he said he didn’t mind.

Jack grinned for a solid hour. In fact, he took it to him in the first place.

I’d bought the kayak just before we left home almost five years ago. It had a lot of use – especially with Fin before she flew home. Taking her to shore to do her business.

How she didn’t puncture it with her claws. She’d regularly hop in and out. My mum and I even took her to the dog groomer’s in the kayak. Parked up on the beach outside the groomer’s house and scaled the hill.

A Sevylor Adventure, the kayak was paddled in loads of different anchorages. Rather amazingly it was never stolen. Who am I kidding? Here comes the sticking point.

‘Don’t like inflatables of any kind,’ Jack’s muttered time and time again. ‘I’ve seen people blown out to sea in them in Borth. Lifeboat called. They’re dangerous.’

My answer’s always been the same. ‘Ok, but I’m not planning to go out in a storm. Just a paddle around the anchorage. Maybe check out a new snorkelling site.’

For this, inflatable’s been the best option. Although many people stow rigid kayaks on deck, it isn’t something we want while we sail. Plus, the dinghy gets stowed on the coach roof.

Yes, there’s Edna too.. but she belongs to Quest. If there’s ever an emergency, Edna is our lifeboat. We also have a life raft.

With the kayak, you can paddle off without being a bother to anyone. The girls take themselves to the beach in it. It’s soft enough too, that if a wave catches them and the kayak overturns, no one likely gets hurt.

Still, I’d be lying if I said this vessel was never laughed at. I get it – it doesn’t exactly look like a hardy piece of marine equipment.

I’ve left it on the beach many times, maybe tied to a tree at best. So far it’s always been there on my return. People are like, you’re good, you can keep the kayak.

So, first day with the car today, and where do we go? First stop: Decathlon. I knew which aisle. We’ve been before. And guess what? Jack carried the kayak to the checkout for me. It comes in a rucksack 🎒.

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