Step 1: Watch a bunch of YouTube videos about kayak rescues. We spent an afternoon watching wet exists, T-rescues, bow rescues, hip snaps, sweep rolls, C-to-C rolls, and more from the comfort of my mosquito-netted bed (those bugs are everywhere in Belgium!). I attempted to demo a roll using the little rocking chair in the living room. Funnier than effective.
Step 2: Find someone who will rent us sea kayaks. (Read on!)
Your turn, Henk! Once he decided what he wanted to do with his paddle (he decided to stick it in his armpit), over he went! Three bangs on the bottom of his boat, grab loop released, and out he came in perfectly calm fashion. He attributes his comfort under water to extreme swimmer rescue courses he followed when he was younger, in which he had to practice escaping a fake helicopter under water (they had to wait until it was full of water before exiting!).
We took full advantage of our time on the water, arriving back at the kayaking shop just minutes before it closed at 6pm.
More pictures from our trip on the Moervaart in Wachtebeke:
Distance: 20 km (12.4 miles)
Duration: 6 hours (including lunch + rescue practice)
Weather: Started cloudy, moved to super sunny and warm. Breezy.