This summer I bought the "10 punches for the price of 8" punchcard at my local kayak dock. Why? Because I love being out on the water, especially along the shore, watching the cranes and herons startle up, the turtles sunning on the logs, the dragonflies skimming over the water. But also because I like the company. Each punch I've been getting out with someone that I've been meaning to talk to, someone who I see in passing at church and always intend to invite to chat about something, but rarely see, or someone that I only ever see in large groups. Kayaking, though, offers the perfect one-on-one time. Consider:
* It's an event. You can invite someone kayaking, but if you invite someone, say, on a walk, it seems like snoresville.
* It's semi-active. You're paddling around and can feel good about yourself for getting out and getting some fresh air and exercise.
* It's Austin-y. Some of the people I've been going out with have never been kayaking out here despite having lived in Austin for some time and they all say that they've always wanted to go. It's nice to be there with someone for their bucket list.
*It's quiet. It's not like chatting over a movie or even in the back corner of a party. For the 1 hour that the punch gets you there are no claims on your attention other than the person you're talking to and the splashes of swan wings and unbalanced paddleboarders.
*You're together...kind of. In two single kayaks, you can chat to each other without screaming, but you can also separate. If you like hugging the shore (as I often do) and they like riding the current, that's okay. You can talk, but you can also just... be. There's not pressure to gab constantly because you can be straining at the paddles or just admiring the light on the bridge.
* You're in a swimsuit, in the sun. Which is just plain pleasant.
I've gotten to know some acquaintances, and even some friends, quite well through just an hour on Town Lake. The summer's half over and my punch card is half full, but I'm looking forward to more kayak adventures. If you're interested, please feel free to call me up and I'll grab my swimsuit, my shades and my towel and we'll go. I'd be thrilled to.