When I was a kid and lived near a lake, there was a special treat I enjoyed every now and then. As it didn't cost a lot and used a bit of energy, I got a bit of exercise along with my fun. Paddle boats were among the canoes and yachts, hired out at my local lake. As a youngster, there was little problem with my brother or a friend and I hiring one. Then an hour or so in the sun, around a marked course, splashing the occasional paddle boat that got too close and getting splashed back of course, was a lot of fun.
Even when I started dating, it was a great place to encourage my girl friend to join me. We spent many romantic hours just cruising round the bay, deep in discussion, holding hands and laughing. Occasionally we chased the other boats and got chased ourselves, around and around.
When my kids came along, to my surprise, the paddle boats were still for hire. Now I could take them for a paddle too. It was a challenge for them to reach the pedals, but they really enjoyed our time together on the water. They got the opportunity to steer us around too. Great fun at minimal cost, a controlled environment, with the safety boat always nearby. Not that the boats could ever sink. Made like a giant float, they are virtually unsinkable. They even look like fun, before you step aboard. Even the smart Alec's ran out of puff pretty quick. These boats are built for cruising, not racing. They quietened down pretty quick, once they got going.
There a quite a few places you can hire these now. There always seem to be kids, adults, lovers and tourists aboard. Enjoying the sun, the sea and the harmless fun of pedalling these little boats around. Its quite remarkable that over my many years, these little machines are still around. A bit more stylish now, some even have space for 3.
Brightly colored and suitable for almost anyone to navigate, you wont get into much trouble with one of these.
If you find yourself near a lake, a quiet river or a picturesque beach, take the opportunity to have a ride. A great way to see the wildlife on a coral reef , watch the fish in a wildlife reserve or get to know someone better, over an hour or so's puttering around .Article by John Franzis.