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Up at the Kayak of Dawn

Posted 01-01-2009 at 15:33 by Rick

Good day to each and every one of you! ITMA. And a happy St. Stephen’s Day! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘tis the feast of Stephen, as immortalized by
Good King Wencelas as he looked out! King Wencelas was the king of Bohemia, which I think sounds enough like Bahama to make sense. The weather is poles apart though. The only thing that is Deep and Crisp and Even were the Chicken wings that I enjoyed at lunch during the Kayak tour that I took part in today!

Last time I went Kayaking, (or canoeing as it was known when I was a mere slip of a boy!) I was about 14 years old in the middle of the summer in a magical place called Lake Windermere. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Lake District, (as this areas is known!) you should imagine a Sun-Drenched area of the United Kingdom filled with lakes of various sizes, filled with water so warm and clear that they can only be compared to a Swedish hot tub! So, there I was, a 14 years old boy, grasping my newly acquired “Canoeing Charge” qualification, (I had just graduated that day!) and taking out two novices. (For those of you who were never in the Sea Cadets, this seems like a VERY big deal at the time!) Up the river we went, and long story very short, I should never had qualified that day. The whole experience left me never wanting to go up any creek again, especially without a paddle! It was a very painful experience. (For full details of this painful experience, please write your email address on the back of a $10.00 bill, send it in, and I’ll get back to you!) Any way, back to my day here in the present! Fortunately, the Guide had much more experience than 14-year-old Rick did, and the whole experience was very enjoyable. I sat in the back of the kayak, hoping that if the going got too tough, I could just coast. I know, I know, a bit mean, especially as I had been paired up with a 13 year old child, but she had much younger arms than me! Any way, there was no need to worry, ‘cos the going was very easy. Easy enough for me to have the memories of that long ago day to come flooding back and to look impressive, at least to my eyes, in any case. Although I suppose I should have warned my Kayak partner that I was going to see if I could remember how to do an “Eskimo Roll.” Who wears a designer shirt to go kayaking anyway? We Kayaked for about ninety minuets, (it is amazing how much sleep you can get in the back of those things! Must look in to buying a tandem when I get home) then we stopped for lunch at Gold Beach, and I thought I had better ring home. After all, I was sure Adele was waiting to hear what a great time I was having on the beach on Boxing Day! Turns out, she wasn’t that impressed. Something to do with the boiler picking the most inconvenient time to pack up, the car refusing to start, yet again, and her Mom having imbibed to much of the Christmas spirit and not being able to navigate her Broomstick safely to pick her up. So, she had to load our dog, (a ten stone (140 pounds) Rottie called Dolly-Mixture) and all the boxes that she wanted to take with her to the Gingerbread house, into a taxi and struggle through the cold and ice. So as you can imagine, me chuntering on about how, now that I had re-discovered my love for all things aquatic, that I thought our next vacation should be on a rapid strewn river, fell upon deaf ears! She said something about hoping that I enjoy myself and to make sure I put on an appropriate amount of sunscreen. At least that is what I chose to think she would have said if the signal hadn’t been suddenly lost. Must have been all those trees, I guess. I definitely heard her say something about sticking my sunscreen somewhere before the signal went. At the end of the tour, which included a really nice walk, and talk, through the National park and caves, the transport took everyone back to their hotels. I went to have a couple of Capri Suns; I was very thirsty after shouting out instructions to my Kayak mate, (“Paddle harder! Paddle harder!” things like that!) and then back to work. Lot of passengers going back to night, so the show should be a blast!
‘Till next time,
Rick
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