|Ready to embark but a tad nervous. ©kittelberg writes|
I hadn't paddled since the year before my breast cancer surgery. For someone who was a dragonboat paddler for several years and enjoyed kayaking at least once every summer, it made me sad.
With the kid in daycamp, I figured last week was the week to do it. It took minutes from the time I updated my Facebook status to, "Anyone want to go sea kayaking this week?" to find a kindred spirit in my friend Ceci.
Ecomarine has a 2-for-1 special on Tuesdays. Ceci had family visiting from Vernon. My range of motion isn't 100% in my left shoulder due to the axillary dissection, so I wanted to kayak tandem. Turned out Ceci's daughter, Alex, had to paddle with an adult so I got an enthusiastic partner (who's as tall as me and a strong paddler). And the planets aligned.
No reason to panic
We headed out into the wind so that the trip back to Jericho Beach would be easier. Ceci's sister and nephew were also in a tandem kayak, and Ceci went solo. I was happy to note that the effort felt equal in both shoulders.
I steered so that we would go into the waves, rather than risk having them tip us. I felt capable but cautious. We spotted whitecaps, so decided it was time to turn. Then Ceci's kayak tipped. She was fine, so we chilled out in the waves as she got back into her kayak.
I remembered how to relax as the waves rocked us from the side. It felt like the kayak was simply an appendage. On our way back to the beach, I played more with the steering to hit the sweet spots in the waves. "Look!" said Alex, and I tilted my head up to see an eagle fly above us. A true movie moment!
We got back to the shore, tired but happy. I plan to kayak again (and again) before the end of summer. The lure of the waves is powerful.