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.
Dyke : 1
Femme : 10 (cause she totally got out of it)