Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes, Kayaking

In response to the shock and amazement expressed in my kayaking entry, I have to point out that the kayaking I did wasn't exactly how I'd imagined kayaking to be.

Truth of the matter is, I'd apparently been kayaking before, but was unaware of it.

Let me explain.  When we were making plans to go kayaking this weekend, my friend asked, "Have you been kayaking before?"

To which I responded, "No, but I've done paddling-like things before."  I mean, there was the "funyak" experience in New Zealand, in which I paddled an inflatable vaguely kayak-shaped raft.  But I was thinking more of this time some years back when I took a cruise to some of the islands in the Great Barrier Reef.  At some islands, there was scuba diving; at some, there was snorkeling; at others, there were nature walks ... and at one island, it seemed that all there was to do was engage in water sports.  There was some guy in a little hut on the edge of the island who would rent you some apparently unstable ... boat-shaped piece of plastic (or whatever it was made of, but it appeared capable of floating) and a paddle.  Having apparently missed the memo indicating this was "water sports island," I hadn't worn a swimsuit, so was rather concerned about capsizing this boat-shaped piece of plastic.  The guy in the little hut then suggested that the TWO-PERSON boat-shaped piece of plastic would be substantially more stable (especially if I only put one person on it).  So I paid him a few bucks, grabbed my two-person boat-shaped piece of plastic, hauled it into the ocean, and paddled aimlessly around in circles for a little while.

So, fast-forward to last Sunday.  Imagine my surprise when I discover my Local Kayaking Rental Establishment is, in fact, a guy in a little hut on a beach, renting out boat-shaped pieces of plastic.  Said items are apparently called "kayaks."  Go figure.  I'd always thought kayaks were those really smooth, sleek, fiberglass-looking jobs in which you're sitting in a hole with your legs buried somewhere inside the boat and your upper body popping out through a little opening in the center of a bag-like contraption.  Turns out there are all sorts of kayaks -- ocean kayaks, river kayaks, sea kayaks, whatever.  There's them scary-looking jobs we'll be seeing on the Olympics, as athletes take them tumbling down rapid-filled rivers.  But kayaks can also be fairly boring boat-shaped pieces of plastic that you sit on top of.  Which, apparently, any idiot can paddle.

Good thing, too.

6 comments:

grodygeek said...

NZ, NZ, NZ,
What oh, what are we going to do with you? Huh? Huh?

"any idiot can paddle?" I take it that was referring to you?

Lord, woman, you may be lots of things, but an idiot, you are not. I mean come on, give yourself a little slack. Or take a poll as to how many of your 3.4 million readers knew the dope on kayaks either. Hell, before this, I'm not sure I could spell kayak. Much less know any of the nuances, uses, or designs.

So, now its your job to educate yourself and the rest of us as well. Right?

I said, am I right?

I always knew you ignored my comments. 8-)

Gordy
The cycling comic

janothy said...

Well, I thought kayaks were those little things that the bottom half of your body was buried in and the upper part was uyncovered as you paddled with a stick that oars on both ends.  Guess I was wrong too.  The little pastic thingys that float, huh??  Still sounds like lots of fun. Hey maybe a group of us can get together and go kayaking!!

Jan

nzforme said...

Oh Gordy, I'd never ignore you.

I finally found a website with photos of the "boat-shaped pieces of plastic that you sit on top of" -- aka "Sit-on-Top Kayaks."  Who knew?  Check 'em out here:
http://www.outdoorplay.com/store/department3.0.asp?DeptID=240&DeptCode=SO

andreakingme said...

Well, I thought a kayak was the same thing you did. Gimme five!

I've never been kayaking, though, because I'm afraid that the boat will flip upside down and I'll be trapped under it ... and there I'll be ... trapped, carried down the rapids upside down. I'll konk my head on a jutting rock and be knocked unconscious. And drown.

Just speading the joy.

pegluh said...

Many types of kayaks, but what you were thinking of is more of a river/whitewater kayak.  Those are definitely less stable but more maneuverable, for obvious reasons when you're rafting whitewater. The "sock" keeps you in and warmer, which isn't much of a concern when you're just paddling in the bay.

annalisa135 said...

when I was reading the kayaking entry, I was thinking "this isn't the first time she did it".  of course I was thinking about the "funyak".

(you most definitely are NOT an idiot.  maybe a bit athletically challenged, but nowhere nears an idiot!!)