It was at least a year ago that I vowed never to kayak again with my husband. This rather dramatic declaration I deemed as a necessary step to prevent further embarrassment, following an incident where we almost capsized a stranger as we cruised around the mangroves in Abu Dhabi. Clearly my instructions to stop paddling meant speed up in ‘man-language’, resulting in an unfortunate moment where our kayak mounted another and started to flush their boat with water.
We managed to wriggle free in the depths of the mangrove tour and release a sigh of relief but despite my early embarrassment, I soon found the skit rather amusing; intermittently finding a sly smile drawn across my face. It could only happen to us. Why the man whose boat we nearly drowned didn’t quite share in my droll outlook of the episode, is hard to say.
In an effort to kindle a love of water sports, it was with some brain fart that I suggested we take out our friends’ inflatable kayak. It took just 10 minutes to pump up and we were off on a new adventure – you know, the kind where we can endanger no one… After a few marital squabbles over how to paddle and whether we were too low down in the kayak, we were on our way toward the first frond of the Palm in Dubai.
What lurked beneath we’ll never know, but at one point a few fish were fluttering on the surface around 20m away, causing a mild state of panic of being eaten by some shallow sea monster; hoping whatever it was preferred the taste of paddle-boarders.
The thing I don’t like about this type of activity is once you’ve started it, you’re committed. No matter how much you hate it or want to stop, you have to keep going if you ever want the comforts of your own bed and dry land again. It was that idea which drove me forward as we took turns to haul our heavy cargo back to shore.
Deflating the boat was somewhat disturbing: it took seconds. Our friends have kindly offered to let us keep it for a little longer and while I did like being out in the quiet, I’m unsure this sport is for me, least not with my husband as my side kick. Maybe next time I’ll ask friend out for a paddle instead. Meanwhile the inflatable boat will take pride of place on the balcony.