I am out on the water at least half a day most weekends with my six-foot-six sweetie Richard either in kayaks or these days in an 18-foot red Royalex Mad River canoe we picked up from Craigslist. I stand five feet tall if you stretch a point, and it's easier to keep up with him on the water than on the hiking trail -- especially when we're in the same boat. And there are so many wonderful places to kayak around the DC area, from local rivers to the Chesapeake.
One of our first dates was a flat-water kayaking trip to Gunpowder Creek, not far from Ramblewood, the (old) site of the FSGW Getaway. This was my first time ever in a kayak. He sped along in the elegant wooden Chesapeake Light Craft Greenlander he'd built several years before (it's painted mud-green/brown for swamp camoflage) while I struggled to keep up in his spare boat, a plastic Zydeco Dagger, a fat little thing intended for river work. It was like riding a Shetland pony and trying to keep up with a racehorse. I capsized it, too, when I got cocky and tried to push my paddle way down to see how deep the water was. Of course the corks in either end weren't properly secured, so the Zydeco immediately filled up with water. But both air and water were warm, and I guess it was a good sign to Richard that I laughed it off -- it was a good sign to me that he didn't get mad at me, either, especially since he lost a pair of neoprene gloves in the capsize.
We've now been living together for about two years, and I have my own kayak, a mango-colored rotomolded Current Breeze -- "Pumpkin" is sort of a quarter horse, to carry the equine analogy -- intended for fishing and birdwatchers, she can go fast for short distances, but is more stable and forgiving than Richard's temperamental Greenlander. She does "weathercock" pretty badly in any sort of wind, though. We've done the three-hour paddle from Annapolis to Kent Island (along the path of the Bay Bridge) a couple times, and even did an afternoon trip from the MD side of the Potomac over to Dogue Creek (near Mt Vernon) one fall afternoon to fish for snakeheads -- didn't catch any, but it was a lovely paddle. One goal is to put in at the upper navigable end of the Patuxent River, and take the requisite two days to paddle all the way down to its end at the Chesapeake near Solomon Islands. Maybe next year?
We've rigged a small sail to the canoe/kayaks, but it's more fun to fly a parafoil -- like a kite but it can really pull us along.