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Kayaking in Croatia

For our post-nuptial vacation I decided to whisk my new lovely bride away to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We decided to base our stay out of Dubrovnik. It’s a pretty costal city along the Dalmatian coast. We stayed only a 10 minute walk from the old city.

So the Mrs. and I decided to mix it up and decided we should do some more physical excursions on this trip. Sea kayaking seemed like a good idea.

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So we get down to the kayaks and it is the Mrs. and I and a bachelorette party and our guide. So the way things worked out is the guide was in his own one man kayak and the bachelorette party had an odd number so the guide asked if my wife would pair with one of them and did I mind taking a kayak out by myself? I said sure, why not (note that this was not the best time to exercise my male pride). I had kayaked a few times in my life,  mostly on the Comal and Guadalupe River in Texas, and if I dumped over I could stand up and get back in my kayak. Plus, I didn’t have to paddle on the river…the rivers moved you.

So I hop in my one man kayak and away we go. So I’m feeling good I have my life vest on the water is clear and calm coming out of the bay and I’m keeping up with the group. Fast forward about 37 minutes later…we are out of the bay, the water is choppy, my shoulders are on fire from paddling and my legs are so tired from being tense to help keep me balanced every time a wave hits that I feel like I’m going to dump over and I’m about 200 yards behind the group. This is a 4 hour kayaking tour…all I can think of at this point is should I turn around and go back.

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But I man up and I press on. Our first stop is outside of the old city…by the time I get to our first stop the guide has finished his historical lecture and they group is ready to take off. Take off! Man I need a rest break!! Everyone else has 4 arms to paddle I just have two. So the guide points to our next stop which is looks like over a mile away and states that we will have lunch and some snorkel and swim time. So everyone else takes off and there I am in the rear with the gear.

I finally make it to the beach. Everyone else has finished their lunch and I can barely lift my arms to get out of my kayak. I eat my lunch and a lay on the beach, ouster sized from the other kayakers, I feel like the fat kid in gym class who can’t do a pull up. We get a chance to do some snorkeling before we have to load up in the kayaks and head across the bay to an island which seems 5 miles away. The guide decides I should load up and go first and get a head start. With a sandwich in my stomach for fuel and 4 bottles of water to rehydrate I make a mad dash and paddle my heart out. After about 10 minutes, I begin to be passed by the other kayakers in my group. During this leg of the trip we have to kayak across a pretty busy sea lane that has boats and ships going back and forth. Our group has to wait for a clearing and I catch up to our group.

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I start across thinking I will make it from the next ship comes. I can see the ship coming. Can you guess what happens? I think I misjudged the speed at which the ship was moving. I get half way out into the sea lane and have to decide in just a few seconds do I keep going and risk getting hit by this huge ship or do I back paddle and try to avoid contact. I decide to back paddle, as soon as I clear the sea lane here comes a huge ship making swells for me and my little kayak.

At this point I’m ready to surrender….but I don’t, I press on. Everyone else is waiting for me, again. Our group was supposed to kayak around an island then see the nude beach…but my poor group had to wait on me. Once I catch up the guide has again finished his lecture and at this point we need to start heading back in. Now we are kayaking into the wind. THIS IS AWESOME! Because now it will be twice as hard to kayak as I head in. So we start, and I paddle and I paddle and I paddle and I paddle. I’m paddling so hard, I think I must be moving so fast, so I glance over at the shore to provide reference for speed and find a fixed object and guess what?! I was barely moving. It took me almost an hour to get back to where we started. By the time I got there, everyone else had made it in, gotten out of the kayaks, dried off and left. The only person there was my wife and the guide.

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I almost made it the whole trip without rolling my kayak, but about 25 yards away from the dock my kayak rolls and now I’m soaking wet. I stand up, and push my kayak all the way in. So in short, if you are a bigger guy with limited upper body strength, kayaking just may be for you!

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Prost!

Shades