When the weather won’t cooperate to sail, what’s a family to do? Get out on the water anyway. This past weekend the water was mirror still and although that’s beautiful, it’s not especially conducive to sailing. Rather than fill another day with boat work we decided to head out onto the water.

Alex and Kinsley set out rowing in Wren, the sailing dinghy Alex built as a first foray into wooden boat building. Owen hopped atop his kayak and prepared to get wet while I set off in Alex’s second wooden boat, my kayak. We’ve paddled and rowed around the marina before before but wanted a bigger adventure this time.

Off we paddled to the Charlestown locks. The kids and I walk over the locks a few times each week on our way to North Station or to the North End. It’s fun to watch the boats passing below you while the locks operators raise and lower the water level to move from ocean to river level and back again. The walkways swing open to let the boats pass through, a bit like moving walkways in the Harry Potter movies. Today it was our turn to wave to the pedestrians above while the water swirled into the locks, raising us from low tide to river level.

We paddled under the train bridges that lead into North Station. More than a little nerve wracking, the siren went off and the bridge lowered while we were waiting. I wouldn’t want to be underneath when a train went by, those bridges are low.

From there we kept company with Duck Boat Tours while paddling in the fresh water of the river.

Owen did his best to join a flock of Canadian geese but they weren’t convinced it was a good idea.

After a while Owen pleaded sore arms and Alex towed him back to the locks before setting him loose to paddle home again.

We were out for nearly an hour and came back feeling refreshed and ready for more adventures. There will certainly be more paddling adventures in our future.