A quick update on the kayaking skills. At 22 months, we took J again to the Russian River in Sonoma. This time, we were up there for a week of summer vacation. Unfortunately we hit an unusually cold week, with afternoon temperatures reaching upper 70s/low 80s (around 27 C) in the afternoon. Still great swimming temperatures for adults, but definitely going into teeth chattering territory for smaller kids once the wind picked up around 6 pm. I will definitely look for a toddler wetsuit to expand our season and also for our upcoming Hawaiian adventure. This article has some good general guidance on thickness of wetsuit based on water temperature, and also gives some recommendations on reasonably prized brands with good seam quality.
Back to our adventure. We started out as last time, with Dad paddling in the stern, while J and I were duffing (sitting in the boat without paddling) as much toward the bow as possible to balance the boat. After a day, we switched from me sitting on the bow seat and J standing to J sitting on the seat, and me sitting in the middle. and of course, J needed to have his own paddle to hold and skid along on the water! As J balanced so well, I decided we should try something different.We have a Nalu Kayak/SUP hybridNail Kayak/SUP hybrid. So the next day, we put that in the water, and I sat down J between my knees facing me. He was quite happy on it, since he could both easily put his hands into the water and also drag a small paddle along. With that, we could paddle 30-45 minutes at a stretch between beach breaks. And I finally get back to paddling myself!