So kayaking with Mandy was fun. I did warn her beforehand that I had very little arm muscle, and she laughed this off. It’s all about the core muscles, she said. Yes, it’s easier than canoeing, she said.

I knew I was in trouble the second I got in the kayak and started drifting towards the other shore, helpless to the tide. The wind in my eyes. But with a lot of struggling, I managed to get the kayak straight and follow Mandy down a very relaxing little …gully? River-let?  We were in a nature preserve and there was lot of ducks and turtles and a snake and a bullfrog. The first thing I thought when I saw the bullfrog was how meaty his legs looked. And I don’t eat frogs.

Mandy made me wear a lifejacket, which Sunshine had insisted on as well. Mandy, however, went without. When I pointed this out, she shrugged and said Sunshine didn’t care what happened to her as long as I didn’t die (she was kidding).

Things went swell until we turned around and went against the current. For every two feet I paddled, I got pushed back a foot. And sometimes the wind prevented me from moving at all. And to add to my distress, it was pushing me near the reeds where I knew snakes would be. I imagined one jumping into the kayak by accident. I have seen snakes jump before. I kept these thoughts to myself and focused on paddling.

When we finally got out of the harder currents, Mandy asked me if I was ok. I was tired but tried to act all cool about it. Which is to say I tried to look only moderately tired. We went down another inlet and then talked about food, my favorite subject. We decided to go to a Guatemalan place. We discussed the fried plantains we’d had in our lives.

Then the real trouble started. The wind picked up and we were at a place where the current was the strongest. Every time I tried to go through my kayak would eventually get turned around. Either I was paddling too slow to keep it straight or too fast to get any good strength  in the strokes.

I would actually get pushed back several meters. By the third time, my arms were really tired and the blister that had formed on by thumb from the earlier current fighting busted. It was gross. But I kept trying. And cussing.

Mandy was already at shore, watching. She had tried to tow me but that didn’t work. I imagined myself out there, forever, in my sad little pyrrhic struggle.

Finally I crashed once again into the rocky shoreside and Mandy jumped into the water to help me get out. She had water  collected in her pants up to the ankles  and made weird squishy noises on the car ride home. I felt sheepish as I watched her wring the water out. “This is awesome, just totally awesome.” “I told you I had no muscles.” “You’re right. You did. You totally did.”

Mandy told me that she did really start to worry about 7 minutes into it. “I got the feeling you wouldn’t put up much of a fight and might drown.” I was going to point out that I was totally fighting and that I even made my blister  pop, but I realized this wouldn’t make me sound much tougher  than if I said I broke a nail, so I kept quiet.

After our lunch Mandy said she would never rescue me ever again. “Really mandy?” “No, not really. I would. I would rescue you if you needed it.” “Thanks, pal.”

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Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 3:00 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. As a full fledged pirate lord I would expect you to have better small boat skills…


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