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We started out in low tide; the river was beautiful, like glass, calm and quiet. We paddled quite a distance to a music festival that was going on this particular weekend and got to listen to the music for free in our kayaks. We took a few breaks, which was nice to get out and stretch my legs. I felt a bit cramped in such a narrow cockpit.
On the way back, the tide was high and the current stronger, but I like riding small waves. Before we knew it, 3 motor boats passed us and all of a sudden 4 foot waves were slamming our kayaks in the rear and the sides. I was scared out of my mind and yelled to my friend who was also caught in the high current waves. He has had more river kaying experience than I did and he yelled back saying he was also scared. He made it through the waves before I did. Had I capsized, I would have drowned even with my life vest on because the cockpit was too tight with the thigh brace and the fact that I had a small cooler between my legs, I could never have slipped out of that cockpit. I paddled with all my might and with God's help began praying out loud, "Jesus help me, Jesus help me." God steered that kayak for me, keeping the kayak straight into the waves. Had I not prayed out loud, I would have panicked and fogotten to breath, which could have been another cause of my death had the kayak flipped.
Lesson to be learned: Never paddle a boat that feels too tight for you especially on a river where you are against tides.
Never wedge a cooler between your legs especially if you don't fit well in the cockpit.
The Hudson River is a beautiful river to paddle, but not for a novice paddler, as I felt I was even though I tandem kayaked the river for 5 years prior to this trip. Tandem kayaking is so much easier than solo kayaking and there is that other person who can help you out if your arms get tired of paddling!
Touring Kayak Paddles