The company is called “Pleasant Paddling.” But if you’re an ocean-phobic, frequently-motionsick weakling with pasta dough for trapezoids — like myself — the above name is slightly optimistic. The kayaking trip they led us out on today was, in actuality, pleasant only about half of the time. Oh, it was aesthetically pleasing, all right. But kayaking, which I’ve never done before, turns out to be exceedingly, bafflingly, humblingly difficult. For me, at least. The rest of the people on the tour seemed to do just fine. Except for my mother, who was also my rowing partner. Talk about the blind leading the blind. Oy. Maybe poor kayaking skills are genetic.
Anyway. My arms started burning about, oh, five minutes in. By twenty minutes they were shaking. At about that time I also grew seasick. This lasted the whole time. We went quite far, into some pretty stunning inlets, but after awhile the beauty of the vistas seemed unimportant next to the persistent, slogging pain of just rowing, rowing, rowing. I found myself singing “back on the chain gang” to keep myself going. Mom and I laughed nervously as we fell further and further behind.
Towards the end of the trip our group arrived on the “open sea” (we were never more than ten feet from land, but this part had no protective coves). Mom and I, both totally spent, promptly stopped making forward progress. We rowed, but nothing seemed to happen. Our giggles became cackles of hysteria. Waves, round and determined, swarmed beneath us, rocking our tiny vessel vertiginously. I started wondering what throwing up off the side would be like. Good thing for Mom I was in the back.
In the end we had to be rescued by the leader, (who preferred the word “recovered.”) We had to be towed, like recalcitrant students in a broken-down school bus. Embarrassing. But also? A huge relief. It was the best part of the trip. When our guide got us past the choppy part and turned to untie his kayak from ours Mom said, with great disappointment, “can’t you tow us all the way back?”
Amen, Ma. But he didn’t comply. So much for chivalry.
Having said all of that, our three-hour trip into the tidal byways of Blue Rocks — one of the most picturesque areas in the Maritimes — was memorable, lovely, and well worth doing. Too bad there aren’t more pictures, but one gets nervous about bringing one’s camera out of its ziploc bag when only an inch of plastic separates you from the ocean deeps.