Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Try It, You'll Like It - maybe

One summer I decided I wanted to try out the various types of kayaking.

Lake kayaking was an easy one since the company I work for owned an employee picnic/camping area in the Poconos in PA. It had a nice sized pond geared with canoes and kayaks. It was after paddling around in the single kayak for a couple of hours when I got the not so bright idea of wanting to try out and learn more about kayaking.

So one weekend that summer I signed up for white water kayaking. I would spend the day out on the Delaware River and the Wife would meet up with me later in the afternoon to tent camp the night together. The next morning she would happily return home and I would continue on day two of white water kayaking.

Day one started with matching everyone up to a kayak. I got the pukey pea green pod. Ugly but what the hey. Then we were given skirts, let me tell you right now this was the first time I had worn anything that was called a skirt since grade school. In this case the purpose of the skirt is to keep the water out and you inside the kayak if it should flip over. So on went the skirt. (shut up)

Once everyone got kayaked, skirted up and into the calm water the instructor intentionally flipped us over so we would get the feel of being trapped inside the pod. He told us how to get out of the kayak if it should flip over. There was a pull tab in front of the skirt that you yanked and then did a somersault action to drop out. Once your head was above water you needed to grab hold of the kayak in a hugging motion with your legs and arms until you and the kayak got out of the rapids and into calmer waters.

My turn on the flip tryout and I did fine. Upside down in the water I was able to locate the tab and do the somersault action out. It actually was fun. The kayak continuous roll to an upright action was a more advanced trick that we would learn on day two. Well, I never made it to day fucking two.

The group started out in a slow section of the river but it wasn’t long when we heard the approaching rapids. I had gotten half way through the rapids without any problems until a raft with 8 out-of-control people paddling like banchees cut in front of me. I turned to avoid the shitheads and found out quickly that was the wrong move to make as my pod flipped over. There I was upside down in the rushing, sounds like train water and I panicked! You see it wasn’t at all like this 20 mins ago when I had been intentionally flipped. There the water wasn’t moving, it was quiet and it just wasn’t the same. But now I was flipped over, trapped, being taken down the river and running out of air. What people couldn’t hear was me screaming, yup underwater. Nor did they see me clawing with my fingernails at the tight skirt that was keeping me in the friggin pea pod. Luckily all of this non-value added reaction continued only for a minute or until the training kicked in and I pulled on the tab, flipped out of the pod and my head shot to the surface. Now, in-between coughing fits I had to remember to hug the green fucker that almost drowned me.

After failing miserably through the first set of rapids I got into the kayak and snapped my skirt back in place ready to continue down the river. I was thinking ok, I’ll do better in the next set of rapids. I didn’t.

In fact every set of rapids we hit that day, I flipped over, hugged the stupid pea pod and received many what was called granite enemas (butt bouncing off the rocks). I learned to hate white water kayaking very quickly.

Our last rapids weren’t that bad and I got through them without any problems. Probably because when we were told to stay away from the lines of fencing sticking out of the water at the end of the rapids, I asked what they were for and was told they were eel catchers. EELS? I needed to get out of that water now.

When the Wife saw me dragging my butt up the trail into the parking lot where she was waiting for me so we could go to our camp site she saw the exhausted look on my face. I got in the car, looked at her and said take me the fuck home. She didn’t say one word.

We didn’t camp and I didn’t need to do another day of near drownings.

They say that you make a connection and become one with the kayak. Well, I skipped the kayak and became one with (in) the water. But hey, at least I tried it and crossed it off my list. Next?

In a month we were going away on vacation. Our reservations were made to go ocean kayaking in Maine and yes, the Wife was signed up for this one.

Vacation Rating:

Dyke : 1

Femme : 10 (cause she totally got out of it)


lesbo said...

You're an animal.
I went white water rafting and that was scary enough for me. No way in hell would I white water kayak! WTF were you thinking!

But glad to hear you came out alive. And smarter ;)

Haizey said..., you went right from a still pond into white water, that just sounds insane to me. It made me laugh though when you jumped in the car and headed straight home :D

Jen said...

Jude you fucking make me laugh. This is hysterical.

Your going to Maine? When? Where ya staying? I am planning a vacation for either July or August and Maine is at the top of my list.

Dragon said...

OMG that sucked what you had to experience, but too funny to read. Although regardless how crazy it sounds, I badly want to try that.

Propane Amy said...

Ohhhhh Jude!! LMAO!! That was GREAT story. I love reading about your life. I've always wanted a kayak to go out on the lakes with here. Afterall, we do have 10,000 of them.

shane rocket said...

ok so fUCK no!! zero chance would I even attempt that- so you got that on me... me and water- notta chance. you stud for trying it.

but my question for you...

-"was your princess skirt pink?" cause that is what i picture you wearing all dyked up in that pink skirt.... bwwwahahahaha

Jude said...

Lesbo, smarter?'re giving me too much credit.

Ames...with all those lakes, yes you should get a kayak. They are a lot of fun in calmer waters.

Jen..been to Maine girl quite a few times. An old GF had a cabin up there, way out in the woods where wild sounds could be made.

Dragon, ya have to try it once.

Rocket, it was black, really shthead...come on.

trinity2 said...

I had to laugh reading this. I kayaked for almost two years and it took forever before it got easier-and fun. Then, I took a major swim on the occoee, got caught in an undertow and thought I was going to drown. That was the end of my kayaking days. Totally understand the part about "Take me home now!"

Dawg said...

WHY did I read your blog this morning?!?! WHY!!!

Hottie and I are in Wisconsin, the Dells, and tomorrow we are set to go white water kayaking.

Saturday we are set to go white water rafting.

Ocean kayaking sounds wonderful!

C said...

hey jude....
i know its not really fnny but i'm laughin my ass off at this one! ohmygod... you'd have to pay me a few million to get me in a kayak. skirt, shirt, or whatever... no fucking way. im glad you were ok.

and... you gonna try that again?

i dunno....


kimber p said...

give me kayaking and white water rafting over sky-diving...I'd rather drown than fall for 15 minutes, wishing that I was sitting in a boat.

word verification... "pretty" why, thank you!!!

Margo said...

I would love to see your list - all you've crossed off and all you have left to go.

CJ said...

Ok, you have just convinced me that I will never try kayaking. I can't even imagine what that would have been like, being flipped over with all that water rushing past your head. Thank goodness everything turned out ok.

Real Live Lesbian said...

You've just made me reconsider going kayaking with friends this summer!

You crack me up!

~seelenschmerz~ said...

lol...great story and happy you came out of it ok....hmmm, something i've had on my list but now...meh, not so sure ;-)