Months ago Summer and I had bought Groupons for a kayaking tour. We decided to wait until it got warmer, usually August or September for us, but it just really never did get warmer and then all of a sudden we realized we better use the Groupons before they expired so off we went!
Summer reminded me today that everyone’s got a talent. Mine is anxiety. I have perfected it as though it were an art. A few weeks ago, I began to think about how many ways there are to be injured or die in the ocean, especially when you are in a tiny little plastic boat thing. Not to mention how many ways there are to die in caves while kayaking these tiny plastic boat things. So I e-mailed Summer this and she talked me down. Several times. Here’s the conversation:
Me: Kayaking. I’m feeling panicky. Here is why:
I think as the summer ends there probably won’t be anymore fireworks in the bay? Which means we will have to do the cave tour? Which is cool b/c that’s kind of where I wanted to go in the frist place. BUT THEN I REALIZED THE CAVES ARE IN THE OCEAN. With big scary waves. And great white sharks. And then a friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about how her canoe tipped over and even though she said kayaks are easier to control I am pretty convinced now that I’m going to be eaten by a great white shark. Also, I’ve always been pretty sure the caves are just waiting to collapse on me. So there is that anxiety which I had pretty much under control until the great white shark came and tipped over my kayak. Asshole.
So. Now. Talk me down. Pls?
Summer: Ah, I see where you might be worried. It is true that we overlooked that little detail about Labor Day being the end of fireworks. Ooops! My brain has not been the most efficient lately. Or maybe ever. Why lie?
Great white sharks are scary. I feel the same way about otters (which are used by orcas as puppets to lure you to your death. Don’t trust them). I know one has been sighted nearby recently, but also that is a BIG DEAL which makes it rare. If it was normal, no one would care. However, here is why I think we’ll be ok:
This is a guided tour. There will be adults to help us if we tip over (which we won’t. I went kayaking in the RAIN in Alaska, and I even lived), and children to distract the sharks if they come. They make more tender morsels than we do. Also, they might let us sit in a double (I hope, actually) so we could be paddling together, and therefore I could punch the shark in the nose and throw him a child while you run away. Plus, not that I’m an expert, but I’ve been kayaking once or twice before. It’s really easy. I mean, it’s sort of tiring, and I haven’t done sea kayaking, but they say it’s all levels and I believe them.
See why I love her? She’s got a fantastic giggle, she bakes me gluten-free food and she offers to punch sharks in the nose for me. You all need a Summer of your own.
Anyway, last night I started worrying about tsunamis. Which is silly since I *never* worry about tsunamis because they are really not an issue here due to the geography of our sea floor. But, as I’ve said, I’m really good at anxiety so I know how to throw logic to the wind if I need to.
Me: Tonight I’m pretty convinced a tsunami will come and make us drown. But you’ll knock me unconscious with your paddle so I don’t have to drown awake, right? We can count to three and do it together if this concerns you, too.
Summer: If there is a Tsunami I will totally knock you unconscious. But I don’t intend on drowning. There won’t be a Tsunami, though. And if there is, I will befriend the shark by feeding it a child and then we can ride it to safety. You will be unconscious, so you have no reason to be worried about how scary that would be. You will just wake up safe and happy with no memory of riding sharks.
All of this was, of course, totally unnecessary. Partially because we encountered neither shark, nor tsunami, and also because the waves were too bad ass to go into or even close to the caves. We did, however, fall off the kayak first thing and that was really crappy. So crappy, in fact, that I nearly ran running home. But it turned out to just be a friendly little hazing by Mother Nature and the rest of the day was a piece of cake. In fact, despite how awful and unsure I felt about that in the moment, I have nearly forgotten it and I am so so SO glad I didn’t give up.
It was incredible to be out there, rising and falling with the swells, feeling the sun on my skin and hearing the water lapping. We saw sea lions on the rocks, a seal’s head bobbing nearby, pelicans flying overhead, and cormorants perched near the caves. I would not have minded seeing a leopard shark.
I had borrowed my bff’s underwater camera and for this photo, I held it just below the surface. I had no idea how it would look since it was too bright to see out there on the waves, but I’m really happy with how it came out. You can see the rest of the set here.