Finding a new pastime

Summer weather has finally arrived here on the rock. We’ve had some glorious sunshine over the last couple of weeks and it has helped me keep a couple of promises I made to myself last year.

The first promise was that following last years summer write-off due to my back problems, that I would try to make the most of this summer. The second was made when I started to lose weight and found myself getting fitter – that I’d try new physical activities. Finally, once my travel plans for this year solidified, I knew the trade off for going further afield would be that I wouldn’t be getting away for long weekend to Europe as I’ve done the last few year. Instead I vowed take more advantage of what home has to offer.

One thing home certainly offers is a great coastline. We’re spoilt for beaches and unsurprisingly water plays a large part in our lives with a huge amount of people doing some kind of Watersport. For myself, swimming regularly has re-kindled a love for being in and on the water which disappeared for a long time. One-thing led to another and earlier this year I started looking at kayaks. There was only one problem, I have no-where to keep a kayak and no way of transporting one to the beaches but maybe an inflatable would work. Lots of research later and I found one that seemed to fit the bill.

I had to get it shipped from America, and it certainly isn’t the best thing out there but it meets my needs perfectly. It’s big enough to support me, but it’s really well designed as it folds down into itself and becomes a reasonably sized backpack. This solves my storage issue I can easily carry it on my motorbike. Almost as importantly I could get it for a reasonable price that didn’t run the risk of being instant regret if I found I struggled with it.

I first managed to take it out last week as started out learning the basics. Yesterday I took it out with friends who have their own kayaks as we paddled around Chouet in pretty much perfect conditions.

It clearly handles differently to a proper hard shell, but its certainly not difficult to use. It just seems to need a bit more attention to keeping in a straight line as it’s so light that it is very sensitive to movement through the paddle. But the longer I paddled the more I began to predict how it would respond. It’ll never be as quick as a hard shell but its just as fun.

Recently I was given a waterproof compact camera and I took it out with me. I’m really looking forward to taking both it and the kayak to the different bays and beaches and hopefully taking shots of parts of the island I’ve not been able to do before. I think it will be a lot of fun to take snorkelling as well. I’ve always hoped to one day get a small boat and take photographs around the islands. Obviously this isn’t quite the same level, but it feels good to have found a way to keep my promises to myself and combine a couple of other passions as well.

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