How Not to Kayak

My dad put the kayak rack back on the truck after a few days of begging. I love to kayak. It makes me feel at one with the ocean and a warmth always radiates throughout my body when I’m out on the water – oh, wait, no that’s just a sunburn. Regardless of the harmful UV rays, kayaking is one of the most peaceful but challenging ways to spend your time. And when I say ‘peaceful,’ I mean, there are many moments in which you think, “Well, it’s been nice existing. Goodbye, world,” because you will probably die if you don’t make that turn and ram straight into that cliff. So, it’s peaceful in that it forces you to make peace with death.

What colorful deathtraps.

What colorful deathtraps.

Once, my best friend and I spent six straight hours circumnavigating the world  an island and only rested on a rocky beach for a brief moment. We laid down on the shore and put hot rocks on our closed eyelids (because we thought that’s what rich people did at spas – note to self: they don’t). After that hot rock treatment, we continued on our merry way. We kayaked through caves and only almost crashed into a cave wall four times, which is really quite impressive.

Anyway, after that particular excursion, I felt pretty on top of my kayak game. I took a tandem kayak out with one of my friends who was very excited to try kayaking. Unfortunately, there was a high surf advisory that we had failed to notice. When we finally launched the kayak into the water and got past the rolling waves, we paddled toward some interesting caves. However, we would periodically rise five feet and then drop five feet because of the crazy ocean current which was scary but also fun – sort of like those questionably old carnival rides from the 70’s that are not up to code but everybody rides anyway.

We were basically on our own Discovery Channel show. Definitely not Shark Week though. More like one of those really slow-going nature shows with a male British narrator detailing the mating habits of shellfish.

Things would have been better had an Eskimo been there to show me the way.

Things would have been better had an Eskimo been there to show me the way.

Although our time in the ocean was fun, it was getting late so my friend and I prepared to make our re-entry on land. I watched my brother go before me in his single sit-in kayak and swiftly make his re-entry like he had been doing it his entire life. My friend and I waited for the right moment to ride a wave back onto shore. Unfortunately, we were doomed from the start because the waves were entirely too large for  the bulky tandem kayak to  navigate.

We missed the key wave we were trying to catch and another much larger wave followed behind and instead of safely riding that wave onto shore, the big wave combined with the smaller wave in front of us with such a force that it nosedived the kayak into the sand below and flipped us all the way over.

My friend and I were okay, if not a bit shaken up. Physically, we had survived but as we trudged up the sand, we looked onto the beach and saw we had a crowd of at least fifty people watching us on our walk of kayak shame. I’m pretty sure I saw somebody do a slow-clap but my eyes were watering too much from seawater and pollution to be absolutely sure.

Anyway, the point of this story is to stop being stupid on boats. The ocean is a fickle lady.

- Daughter

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