Looking forward to exploring water

Published 10:12 pm Monday, April 25, 2016

Admittedly, I’ve been a landlubber most of my life.

After a single, memorable experience in high school involving a rocking canoe that ended with me stumbling out of Lake Butler, I pretty much avoided any watercraft without a motor for years.

At least, I didn’t seek out the opportunities.

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Then, a few years ago, I went sailing with a friend for the first time and I was hooked. There’s something glorious about the silence, when all you hear is sails snapping in the breeze and water lapping against the side of the boat.

Since then, I’ve gone kayaking several times. Again, it’s the feeling of oneness with the water that I love.

That’s why I was excited to attend last weekend’s opening for the city’s new pier and kayak at Sleepy Hole Park. The 361-foot pier is in a beautiful location and is the city’s first public access for non-motorized boats on the Nansemond River. It’s handicapped accessible — hence, the length to accommodate wheelchairs — and will be a great asset for kayakers, fishermen and people who simply want to enjoy the view.

A similar one is in the works for Constant’s Wharf and will open later this summer.

Both the city and the two non-profit organizations that lobbied aggressively for the project, Nansemond River Preservation Alliance and Suffolk River Heritage, are appreciated.

I’m looking forward to exploring the river more — although I promise, it will never be from a canoe.