-- Last Updated: Apr-04-13 3:58 PM EST --
I should have realized that.
Re the rest, you are trying to gain safety by the boat you buy. It is a normal response, but it doesn't work when you are talking ocean. Add in cold water and relatively remote areas in terms of others who might see if you are in trouble, and it really doesn't work. Preparation and skills do.
Here's an example - one that could easily be the start of dozens or hundreds of stories that made headlines on the evening news over the years. You go out with dog and boyfriend and the ocean does what she likes - whatever weather report you started with is no longer correct. The wind is coming up in a direction that pushes you away from a safe landing, and is creating waves that are bigger than you can manage with yourself plus entourage. It doesn't take gale force winds to start pushing water into quite noticeable waves over a long distance without land barriers.
Someone stiffens up, or shifts weight, or a particularly big wave comes in and swamps the boat. Some or all of your entourage ends up in the water, and is is damn cold and the dog will start being hypothermic within maybe 20 minutes at the temperatures I expect the water is now. (Did you check this yet?) Water robs body heat 25 times faster than air does, and you can't put the dog in a dry suit.
And while you are sorting out how to get the boat(s) upright, two people and a dog into them and emptied out out of water, the wind is still blowing you away from shelter. It often switches that way in the afternoon.
Here's the question - if you have not learned how to handle that, and if you have added impediments like the dog that will confound any typical rescue procedures for kayaks on open water - how do you save the dog? Let alone you or the boyfriend.
No boat in the world can fix this without you having the skills. Someone will mention sit on tops, which should ideally simplify getting on board. But I can tell stories of people who could not manage that themselves, let alone help a dog do so. And even if you all get back up there, you still have to paddle back against the wind and waves that capsized you in the first place, with a dog that is shivering dangerously.
An inflatable offers more protection in some respects that a full out sea kayak, but add the dog and you really haven't made things a lot better.
I wish this was far-fetched. Unfortunately it is not. This happens, and you need to take this whole thing a lot more deliberately to make sure it doesn't happen to you. At the very least, leave the dog at home until you are safe out there. He/she should not have to risk sharing in your learning curve the hard way.
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