“I’m a retired United States Health Officer. I spent much of my life living and doing health work on Indian reservations. I did a lot of boating, canoeing, and kayaking during that time in the mountains of Arizona and Utah.
I’ve done quite a bit of kayaking — parts of the Colorado River, the Verde, Salt, White, Green, Russian Rivers, and south fork of the American River. I have a trip planned to kayak in the Carson River in the Sierra.
“It’s only natural to want to stay healthy”
After a career in public health, it’s only natural that I like to stay active and healthy. I go boating and ride my bike for exercise — on short trips around town, I take my bike more often than my car. I live in Northern California near the Russian River. The river is a very valuable resource as this is wine country with hundreds of vineyards. Lately, we’ve had a lot of rain and the river’s flowing nicely with stretches of both flat water and rapids. Just 10 minutes away, there’s a three-mile river route and an eight-mile route.
I’ve been going on Meetup.com to find local kayaking groups. One meetup group near here has 1,000 members who go river running, hiking, and more. It’s fun to go out in groups. I’ve posted meetups online and have organized kayak trips with anywhere from four to a dozen boats.
“When I started doing more white water….”
My first boat was a canoe. Then I got a couple of kayaks — a one-person and a 2-person kayak. I did enjoy those in flat water. But recently, I’ve been doing more whitewater kayaking so I got on the internet and got the Sea Eagle 380x.
I like the 380x because it’s the right size for single or double kayaking. I can go out alone or with a partner. I thought about getting a shorter or longer kayak but this one has the versatility to take one or two passengers comfortably. It’s small enough that I can handle it solo, and when I go out with my partner, Elizabeth, there’s plenty of room for both of us. It handles our weight well. It bounces off rocks well, too!
Between the nice seats and the stiff floor, the 380x seems more comfortable to sit in than other boats. I like the 380x’s drop-stitch floor because when inflated, it’s rigid and it makes the kayak very solid and comfortable. On other inflatables, the floor is an air-filled tube. And there’s no way to put a skeg on as you can with the Sea Eagle. I like the drains because I can leave them open for whitewater kayaking and closed in flat-water lakes and rivers. The price is reasonable and I find it’s a better boat all around than those I had earlier.
Kayaking’s meditative, too
When I’m out there solo, it’s very meditative. I may paddle a bit to get a workout then, at some point, just sit out there in the middle of the lake. If I go on a weekday, especially in the morning, it’ll be very still and peaceful, often without any other boaters on the water.
— David Nelson, Sea Eagle 380x Owner, Northern California