A friend of mine was kind enough to let me try his Hobie kayak yesterday, off the beach of Hove.
These are clever. Instead of using your arms, you use your feet. They have paddle efforts, a bit like a turtle, so you can use the big muscles in your legs to cut along, instead of your arms. Brilliant. After a while, I had not a twinge of backache, which is my usual problem with kayaks. I thought it was great.
One of these chaps would be a good way of getting to the many coves around here which are inaccessible from land. They even have optional little electric motors, with batteries. And fold-out solar panels, which will keep one pottering along at a walking pace all day long, if the sun is shining. And a sail, if there is a bit of wind.
All pretty neat.
So, why hesitate?
The bloody government of course. Not only do they tax you on a purchase of one of these chaps, but then there are 101 regulations they impose. I starting looking into it. I think I would need a licence, which would involve paying the government more money. Then they have a raft of rules you have to comply with. You need to carry a whole load of prescribed stuff, including an anchor, a torch (even at noon) and a bucket (!). And if you don’t, they fine you, which means a whole load more money down the bottomless pit of totalitarianism.
And presumably the Black Order of the Hooded Plover would complain. They complain about everything else.