Suggestions for combating sea legs

Thought I’d post this here and am hoping someone has some suggestions. I’m a fairly new kayaker–only been doing it for a few of years now, and I’ve always had a really bad case of “sea legs” every time I’ve been out. Getting out of the kayak has always been challenging for me, as I have trouble getting my legs to cooperate–after any amount of time being in the kayak, they feel incredibly weak.

Last year, I had a horrible time with my knees and was eventually diagnosed with arthritis in my knees (which probably didn’t help the situation of getting out of the 'yak). I went through physical therapy to get to the point where I could walk without significant pain and I swim a couple times each week to strengthen my legs. However, I still have pain and limited movement–even sitting in a regular chair for any length of time can make walking those first few steps challenging.

Although I’m really looking forward to going out this year in my kayak (I didn’t go at all last year because of the pain), I’m really hesitant at the thought of getting out of the 'yak. I’d rather not spend time swimming as I dump the 'yak trying to get out of it.

Any one have any suggestions for getting out of a kayak with limited mobility? I almost always go out in local lakes and oddly enough I don’t have any problem hoisting the 'yak on and off the top of my car, or carrying it to the lake, or even getting in–it’s just getting out of the damned thing. The thought of not being able to go out this year makes me very…sad.

Edited to add: My 'yak is a sit-in style. Although a sit on top would be nice, I’m not able to replace it at this time.

Pre-medicate with some tylenol or ibuprofen before you start your expedition. See if that helps.

BTW, the standard definition for “sea legs” is “a person’s ability to keep their balance and not feel seasick when on board a moving ship.”

This is probably not feasible, but…could you rig up a trapeze bar, of some sort, so you could use your arms to pull yourself up out of the kayak?

If you could pull yourself up, and swing yourself over to the dock, and just sit there for a while, you could do stretching and mobility exercises until your legs are back to full agility.

It’s not pain that’s the problem getting out, it’s more like there’s no balance or strength to my legs.

I know, but you’d be surprised at what a little pre-emptive prostaglandin inhibition (which is what tylenol and ibuprofen do) can do for that problem. Worth a shot, anyway.