We rented sea kayaks yesterday ($20 US for 2 double kayaks for 2 hours) from an island legend named Chocolate. At 82, Chocolate is the oldest person we've met here. He is a tiny, wirey white haired man who never stops smiling. I did not take any pictures of our outing, as Henry was my co-pilot and I didn't trust that our boat would not capsize. It was an interesting morning, for sure. I've never kayaked, and Henry thinks he is an expert (having had a bout in the Lorenz's kayak along the shore of a quiet Lake Michigan). Of the 4 of us, Bill is the only one to have any experience in a kayak, and he was in the other boat! Our morning went a little like this:
H: "Mom, you're not doing it right!"
J: "Henry, I'm trying - I don't know what I'm doing!"
B: "Jude, you're going in circles!"
J: "Gee, really?! How the hell do I go forward?!"
B: "Well, for starters, you're sitting in 6" of water. You need to get to deeper water."
J: "And how am I supposed to do that?"
B: "Paddle backwards so you can turn around."
J: "Now we're just going in the other direction!"
B: yells, "Stop yelling! Put your paddle in and make the boat turn around!"
J: "Wow, thanks for the brilliant advice, Einstein!"
H: "See, this is why I wanted to ride with Dad."
C: "Henry, we're beating you!"
We were like the Griswalds - yelling at each other like a bunch of stereotypical ugly Americans - while a quiet man and his son watched from the shore. It was not our finest moment.
Eventually, and in spite of Henry's 'expertise', I righted my kayak and we were able to get out to sea. I was not prepared for the strength of the current and my arms/shoulders did not like the workout they were being given (I should be more careful about what I wish for). Once we were out a bit, we started seeing some marine life. The water was especially clear, so we saw several more starfish, small lobsters, crabs and schools of small fish. It was pretty awesome. We stopped for a bit to cool off in the water and promptly lost Henry's sunglasses and a paddle from Bill's kayak (we got the paddle back), so we gave up on the swimming. We found out later that we were swimming in an area that is known to have a lot of crocodiles (yikes!)!
We returned the kayaks to Chocolate and finished the morning with a swim off the pier that we like. Some of the local boys who were also swimming there showed Henry a small sting ray in the water. He thought it was pretty cool to be in the water with the ray. Me? Not so much . . .