Photo by Rebecca D. Higgins.

In July, Barbara Darlene Spurlock launched her kayak at little Owsley Fork Lake in Kentucky. After a long day writing her dissertation, the doctoral student was seeking relaxation. She paddled the entire lake, then paused in front of a little white church. Its reflection stretched across the water invitingly. Barbara paused for a moment of peaceful prayer.

A few days earlier Barbara had become intrigued with the MirageDrive when she came across a Hobie kayak in Rapid Magazine. When a man came pedaling by on his Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14, she felt compelled to speak.

“Excuse me for being so forward, but can I ask you some questions about your Hobie kayak?” Barbara said. Without expression, he looked up and said, “Yes.”

Photo by Machaela Ballard.

That man was Thaveechart ‘Ta’ Cline, out for the first time in 11 months. He just couldn’t let another beautiful sunny day go by. Coincidentally, he’d decided to cast his line out in front of the little white church.

Curious, she fired away with questions. Do you like the pedal drive? How much does the kayak weigh? Is it easy to load? Where have you kayaked?

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“When he told me that he had not kayaked anywhere else, the conversation took off. I shared with him all of the places I had been,” Barbara said.

“She started talking about Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, a favorite place,” Ta said. They made an instant connection.

Photo by Machaela Ballard.

Barbara paddled off to finish her trip, all the while thinking of Ta’s cute smile. He couldn’t stop thinking of her either. They became friends on Facebook, which led to a date. Ta knew right away that they’d marry.

After two months he bought a sparkling blue topaz encircled with diamonds, symbolizing the lake and the little white church. Barbara said yes. In October they married at the lake, paddling away afterward on Ta’s Pro Angler.

They look forward to kayaking together for the rest of their lives.

Photo by Machaela Ballard.