Well, I fell in 30 seconds into my kayaking experience. And was pretty embarrassed about it. And went right back out again (without falling in again) and had something to talk about for the rest of the trip. And I paid almost $900 for it, which is a lot… but, once again, it may have actually been worth it. And not for the normal reasons either – it’s because kayaking always gave you a choice: land or kayak. In the end, I kayaked five times out of the possible eleven (?) they had offered. Missed out on a fun slide on one of the landings, but that wasn’t nearly enough to tip the scales.
They say kayaking gets you that much closer to the wildlife. I don’t how true that is – the zodiacs get you awfully, awfully close, and they buzz all over the place, whereas we are a bit limited by our paddle power. Then again, when you are sitting in a kayak, your butt probably water level, and a 900 pound leopard seal with its blood-thirsty reptile-like look dives under you, and you have no idea where he’ll come back up… well, you feel pretty damn close to nature! And when Lousie nonchalantly mentions that you just may want to keep your elbows away from the water (lest he should mistake them for something tasty), you tuck them in right fast.
The very last time out, I finally learned to appreciate silence too… There wasn’t much wildlife out there (a seal here, a whale there, a few penguins swimming everywhere), so the zodiacs weren’t usually near us, and it got quiet… The icebergs sat peacefully in the water. We made big noise when the kayaks would hit the ice we were paddling through. And the ice/snow would make huge noise when an occasional avalanche would come down up above, or an iceberg would calve down below… Did I mention it was sunny, there was no wind whatsoever, and we didn’t really paddle all that hard – on this day, Paradise Harbor was serenity.
I hear some woman actually swam across Paradise Harbor recently – she’s fucking insane, whether she had a wet/dry suit on or not, and no matter how freakishly better her blood circulation is that most of ours!