Kayaking: Just Like Life, There is More than One Right Way

Hello from Ha- Hei (“breath of Hei” because Hei thought one of the rock islands resembled his nose)- a lovely little beach town on east cost of New Zealand’s North Island where the water goes from blue to an emerald green.

I’m travelling around on a big Stray Bus, which advertises itself as an “off the beaten track” kind of hop-on hop-of bus. We started yesterday in Auckland and are working our way south. 

This morning’s activity? Kayaking for three hours around the beautiful Cathedral Cove, otherwise known as “oh hello biceps, been a long time, nice to see you again”. 

It started out with instructions, “those of you with experience should probably go in the back and steer, use the right pedal to go right and the left pedal to go left”

By the double virtue of having kayaked before and having a partner who had no idea how bad I was at steering, taking directions, or knowing my left from my right, I was sitting in the back.

We launched and were told to go left, we immediately went right, and the more our guide shouted left, the more I went right. My brain thought it was steering a horse and couldn’t get on board with “use the same foot as the direction you want to go”

Being in charge of direction is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. You have to paddle, and push the pedals – total opposite actions (speaking as someone who hasn’t driven in 18 yrs, and would probably get distracted by a view and forget to use the breaks). Half the time, we’d be doing awesome, point out how awesome we would be doing and then my brain would get all clogged and forget to do one of the things, inevitably leading to cries of laughter and “left, left, other left”

However challenged we may have been, we were the fastest zig-zagging team on the water, and most of the time we demolished all the teams who looked like they knew what they were doing.
Our guide nicknamed us, “The Green Lantern” because obviously, our kayak was green, but I think he was referring to it more as an analogy of a terrible movie starring good looking people, either that or a trainwreck you can’t stop watching. 

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