For Mike's birthday I bought him an inflatable kayak, which was a genius idea for a number of reasons.
- Mike loves being on the water.
- Inflatable kayaks are sturdy, lightweight, and fold up small enough for apartment dwellers.
- I found the exact one I wanted on Craigslist.
And so I did my research, then bought it. Used, off a dude who brought me to his sailboat to take a look at it. Not only did dude insist on me checking out the inside of his sailboat, but he tried to get me to walk into one of the bedrooms. He was a nice guy, but I am still amazed that I didn't wind up chopped into bitty pieces.
So I bought it. I laid out the money (which was still a decent amount, even though the thing was used) and got us a kayak. I feel pretty secure in saying it was the best present a girlfriend has ever gotten a boyfriend in the history of all time.
We took it out the first weekend we had it, for a paddle around Tomales Bay. Here it is getting blown up, which takes less than five minutes:
It's about 15 feet long and 56 pounds (on the heavy side for inflatables), but it has room to hold gear so we can go kayak camping. It feels great in the water, and has the added bonus of keeping Mike so entertained that I can stop paddling and take pictures.
But tragedy struck! The second time we took it out (just a few minutes after buying lifevests), as we were carrying it down to the water, it busted a seam. Booooooo. I was humiliated, and furious at myself - I had gambled by buying from a person instead of a store, and I had lost. Big time. Who spends money on a used inflatable object? Who buys used things for birthday presents? Who trusts dudes with sailboats? Me, me, and me. Fail.
I took a few days to recover, then pulled myself together and called the guy I had bought it from. It took some back and forth and a busted kayak handoff, but the guy took it back to the store and got them to replace it fo free-zies. So Mike and I are now in possession of a completely brand new version of our kayak!
Pictures to come when we triumphantly set sail (paddle?) again!