You are going at kayaking a little bit backwards. You are in an exceptionally nice area for whitewater paddling.
The Nordkapp is not all that tippy at your weight you should be fine. Get a pump and a sponge and some nose plugs and practice wet exiting without a skirt and then with the skirt. A good video to learn a roll without help is Eric Jacksons Rolling and Bracing. Get a friend to stand nearby and spot you when practicing rolling at first.
You might think of taking a trip out to San Diego and signing up for a seakayaking series with Aqua-adventures if you want to do travel kayaking. You are not going to have any exposure to coastal conditions. Down river on Colorado streams is not going to be real enjoyable in a Nordkapp and can also be dangerous in big moving water, as the boat is not braced to prevent folding up when pinned.
Not real close by but Blue Mesa was also a spot I enjoyed in Colorado, try also Flamming Gorge, Great Salt Lake and Bear Lake in Utah. Look into going down through Ajo Arizona to Puerto Penasco on the Sea of Cortez. It's not that far away, but go with a group.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
The Kayak Wing
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