Saturday, March 18, 2006

Roll Over, Beethoven

Cameron and I went kayaking yesterday. It was a beautiful day for it. Bright and clear and not too warm. We were scheduled to leave at 9:30, so we arrived at the Hurricane Hole Marina just over the Cow Key Channel bridge at a few minutes after nine. We had to wait another twenty minutes for a group to arrive from one of the cruise ships but, hey, no problem. Another group was on the dock, preparing to go off on a jet ski tour.

When it was our turn, our guides Molly and Kelly slid the first group of kayaks off the dock and into the water. Cameron was in the second group. When it became my turn, Cam was already across the marina waiting with the rest of the group. I stepped gracefully (more or less) into my kayak, sat down, and Molly slid me back into the water.

I promptly overturned and wound up in the water. I grabbed for the edge of the dock, gashed my pinky and spilled blood into the water and all over the side of my boat. Molly and Kelly grabbed my two hands and slid me back onto the pier like a wounded manatee. Someone else on the dock pointed out that my hat was sinking. With it went my reading glasses. I panicked, thinking that the waterproof bag holding my camera, Cam's cell phone, both our wallets, the car keys and a variety of other things had gone down. Thankfully, Cameron had the foresight to put it in his boat. My relief was enormous.

The girls gave me a wider kayak, and the second launch was a charm. I quickly mastered the technique of paddling and turning. The rest of the day was a blast. It was my first time ever kayaking, and I was able to move around with relative ease after a few minutes. Over the next two hours, we moved about and learned about hard and soft bottoms, mangroves, various forms of sea life (spotted sea hares look and feel "yucky", and can squirt purple ink all over a guides hand and arms). We passed around a Queen Conch which Cam is holding here.

I would go again at the drop of a hat (and glasses).


Anonymous said...

Great story, Bob! Sounds like Cameron will have Key West stories to tell when he goes north!

Thanks for the blogs. I look forward to reading them daily. I'm always disappointed when you haven't had time to write.

See you at the CP in April! Can't wait to check the new location out!

KWBound a.k.a. Deanie

Robert Kelly said...

Thanks, Deanie.

When Cameron was in sixth grade (he's a freshman in H.S. now, he came down for a visit. When he got back to school, his teacher finally had to restrict him from talking about Key West except during recess. He was constantly telling his classmates about his "visit to Key West", and what he saw and did there.

He's having a great time.

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