A quick post before i disappear for retreat at Changi. Went kayaking with the odacians yesterday and as usual one find out the limits of your strength and endurance in a short 2 hours out at sea. We started off quite happily, fine weather, amazing beautiful cloud formation where the sun was peering through the cloud’s edge thus creating this amazing iridiscent rainbow that is circular. Moving in a loose diamond formation, we paddled our way towards kallang and back.
That was when the adventure began. I was happily capsized and surfaced without my spectacles. In trying to right the canoe, I foolishly turned it upright while it was still submerged. Lesson 1 which I forgot after so many years, never upright a over turned kayak. Drain the water first. So we rafted and tried to haul the water logged doubles up. The students could not do it, so I took my turn and heaved with every ounce of strength I could master. Only managed to get the bow up before the kayak I was sitting in started to submerge and take in water too. Had to let go of the boat and try again. This time Kenneth took his turn. He can’t do it either.
So we had to re-arrange the seating arrangements. 2 odacians had to hang on the bow of the boat and be transported back suspended on the bow. I took a doubles while Kenneth hung on to the submerged kayak and the plan was to tow him and the kayak back to shore. Losing my specs was good, I have no idea we were really far out. I started paddling and every stroke used up every muscle on my upper body. After 20 hard strokes, I had to rest and pull on the water, dragon boat style. I think we just moved the boat by 50cm with all my exertions. Still I kept trying knowing that we have only 30 minutes of daylight left. While we are trying to move to shore, the other singles boat capsized. So we had to detach the submerged kayak and row over to help. Came into dange of capsizing my doubles while doing the rescue. In the end we changed arrangements again, now with myself and kenneth rowing the doubles towing the submerged boat. Rachel is now the towing it while holding on us. Even with both of us rowing, progress was really slow.
So it went, a doubles kayak half filled with water, towing a submerged kayak held on by rachel.
Daylight was fast going. Without specs I had trouble making out where the shore was. Every stroke was a struggle and I was gritting my teeth and just trying my very best to keep on going.
This was when help came. Siti arrived with a tow line and a pump. We quickly tried to recover the submerged kayak and this time round, it worked. Half the kayak was out of the surface and we franctically pumped water out of the bottom half of the kayak. Suddenly we had 2 doubles kayak and can tow in the spare singles. The feeling of rowing without resistance was really good. It was amazing I could row at all after all the hauling and straining.
Without the added weight, it took us 20 minutes to row our way back to shore. It was when the possiblity of being stuck there for the night hit on me. I was so glad that all of us made it safely back.
After cleaning up and returning the kayaks, we went to change. Found that I had trouble pulling up my shirt. The arms felt like lead after all the rowing. The last time I felt like this was 16 years ago during dragonboat training. Despite the ache, it was a good familiar feeling. Shows that I need to shape up more too, heh.
Thanks to all the odacians for helping us recover the canoe and pitching in to help. Hope to be able to come along for future canoeing sessions.
Ok, lets hope I am awake enough for the retreat.