Heather and I have gotten into manyyyy shenanigans over the years but this one has to be the best (worst?). We were about twelve years old or so and my mom was running a summer program that my little sister was in, she had to be around ten at the time, we thought it would be fun to tag along. That particular day at the camp they were going to let the kids learn how to kayak (seriously they are ten?!), Heather and I the confident little shits we were at the time were like heck yes lets rock this. Let me tell you what, cockiness doth not a good kayaker make.
The kayaking was to take place on the bay and there was a little semicircle of buoy’s approximately thirty feet off shore. The instructors put two kids in each kayak and instructed them to weave between the buoy’s. Easy right? No, not just no but hell no. We swagger up (there was no other way to describe the confidence wafting off of us, we were the big kids we got this), put our life jackets on and push off into the bay.
As we start out the instructors on land were explaining how to paddle to direct the kayak the way you need to go. No big deal we could do this. A couple stroke in we quickly realized we couldn’t do this. That’s when the panic started to set in. The scene in the kayak went something like this…
“This isn’t working”
“Let’s try it this way”
“We’re getting close to these buoy’s…”
“Uhm, uh oh”
The buoys pass the kayak, we are still struggling to try and make the kayak do anything, anything at all.
“We passed the buoy!”
“Oh my god we’re going out to sea!!”
(Calling towards shore) “Help!”
The instructors yell from shore and calmly try and give us instructions like we weren’t starting to freak out. We try paddling harder, paddles making huge splashes and still we can’t get turned towards shore. Still we float further out into the bay, at this point we were maybe 50 feet off shore.
“WE’RE GONNA DIE!!”
(God we were dramatic, it’s great)
We are crying, freaking out making the kayak wobble and splash around, seeming like we were about to tip over.
“I’M GONNA JUMP, I WON’T BE TAKEN OUT TO SEA!
We were on the water for about ten minutes (even that maybe a bit generous).The instructors were trying to calm us down this whole time but we were too wrapped up in our panic to notice for the most part. After several more minutes of this disaster they were able to catch our attention. Someone finally explained quiet slowly how we should be paddling, we tried it out and suddenly we started moving. Holy crap it was a miracle, we were saved! As we got to shore my mom checked us out and made sure we were fine (we were fine, embarrassed but fine). We left soon after that debacle pretty mortified, having served ourselves a slice of humble pie; I think we both became quite kayak traumatized after this incident. Since then I have only gone twice, and only on a closed body of water. Everyone needs to go have a kayaking adventure with their best friend.