Silhouette

Playing about in the waves after a long day of kayaking.

Click here for my post about kayaking in Koh Chang, Thailand :)

Click here for more information about the weekly photo challenge.

Messing about in boats

“Mmm, you’ve got to have confidence in your spray-skirt”, J agreed.

I took a sip of water. The hum of conversation continued around us. It was getting darker, and if I twisted around ever-so slightly behind me I could see the amber glow sinking at the mouth of the river. Someone had sketched on the palm trees in charcoal.

Cross legged on the floor we passed around the bill and managed to work out what each of us owed. We traded our table for a wooden boat, and as the dusk turned black we sped up the river. A breeze stirred the humid air. The twinkling lights from the fireflies reminded me faintly of Christmas.

Back at my hotel I considered S’s story. Held tight in her kayak, she had braved the waves, only to get tossed about and lose control under a vicious wave. To be honest, however big the wave had been, didn’t seem to matter to me. She couldn’t get out of her boat. She couldn’t roll well enough, and her spray-skirt was too tight. She panicked.

Several times that day I’d got flipped upside down while attempting to surf for the first time ever. It was fine, fun even, I pulled on the handle of my spray skirt and I could breathe air again. But once already, I’d gotten into my kayak and secured my spray-skirt only to have paddled for a little while and have someone point out that I’d gotten the handle stuck inside. I tried to open the seal from inside with my knee, but failed. “People drown that way.” Her panic seemed quite real to me.

We had three more full days at the symposium, and in that time S hoped to regain some of her confidence. I hoped to learn some more about kayaking and experience less than flat water. A few of the other people hoped to achieve their BCU 3 star qualification.

By the end of the week, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t done more sea-kayaking sooner. I got flipped out of my kayak an uncountable number of times, and the bruises on legs got bigger. I kept going back in. My nose and throat burned from the salt water, but I pulled my white Tiderace to shore, emptied it and fought through the waves again and again. And I started to actually brace properly. I managed not to get flipped over a few times. I started to win!

With the aid of our wonderfully qualified instructors, S managed to improve her rolling technique. She flipped herself over and back up again while A adjusted her paddle and gave a bit of a tug on the side of her kayak. While still not fully trusting her spray-skirt, her confidence was growing bit by bit.


This was my first ever ‘Sea Kayaking Symposium’. It was run by Kayak Chang in Koh Chang on the east coast of Thailand. They’re based at the Amari Emerald Cove Hotel at Khlong Prao beach, which is a beautiful hotel (though I stayed elsewhere).

I would highly recommend Kayak Chang as a company for some serious kayaking trips and journeys around beautiful islands. The company is very professional, with well looked after, good quality and practically new equipment. The guides have been kayaking for years and know what they are talking about.

These aren’t sit on top tours that you can do in a bikini though – note. You pay more for a reason. For me it was worth every single penny.

I really hope next year I will be able to kayak again with Kayak Chang. The symposium was brilliant – my love for Koh Chang has increased, and I know I need more kayaking in my life.

Click here to find out more about Kayak Chang and the tours and courses they offer :)

Please note – this is completely my own genuine opinion!

Containers – Weekly Photo Challenge

Containers

“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a boat, and sometimes it’s more of an accident. It all depends…”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on top of it or underneath it.”

________________________

Boats are containers that can take us to so very many places. Or not, as pooh rightly points out.

I’ve decided to get back into the swing of photo challenges every now and again. See here for more information about the challenges.

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (2)

As I approached on the ferry, I didn’t really know what to expect, or how to get to where I wanted to go…

DrawingCowsinBruges

…but that’s half the fun.

DrawingCowsinBruges

Such bright colours in Thailand…

DrawingCowsinBruges

…and lovely sunsets on the beach…

DrawingCowsinBruges

I love the sea so much. I love looking out and thinking about how far I’ve travelled to be here… :)

DrawingCowsinBruges

…and I also love taking random pictures of rocks.

DrawingCowsinBruges

:)

เกาะช้าง – Koh Chang (1)

DrawingCowsinBruges

I have quite a lot of pictures, so I will post them over several posts :)

It’s rainy season from March/April until about October in Thailand, so in Koh Chang that means no tourists and a hellalot of clouds in the sky. I went to Koh Chang last July, right in the middle of rainy time. I stayed in far corner of the beach, on some rocks, and could have probably fallen out of my room into the angry sea had I wanted to (… I didn’t though…). At times it was hard to sleep because of the noise from the waves… romantic… huh. Annoying. Yes…. but still incredible.

I love the sea. Sure, it’s great to be on a beach when it’s hot and sunny, but I love it when the weather’s not so good too. I lived in Brighton for the last few years I was in England, and spent a lot of the time on the beach whatever the weather was like (you can’t allow the weather in England to control what you’re going to do every day – you’d never do anything…) In bad weather the whole character of the sea changes. Same landscape, completely different emotion behind it. The beach was desolate when I went, it was warm and humid too. I read so much while I was there.

While I was… cloudbathing and reading my book, pretty much alone on the beach (can I just add, honestly, it was a perfect holiday) I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up… and saw nothing. Just sea, sand.. I carried on reading my book. Movement again, I looked up and something small(ish) zoomed across the beach in front of me.

DrawingCowsinBruges

After waiting patiently, I got some pictures a bit closer.. but still hard to see… look in the top right hand corner.

DrawingCowsinBruges

DrawingCowsinBruges

DrawingCowsinBruges

They hide in holes…

DrawingCowsinBruges…and some of them are tiny!

DrawingCowsinBruges

DrawingCowsinBruges

I’ll be posting some more pictures of my trip over the next couple of weeks!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Free Spirit

Well, nothing is freer than clouds, in my mind. They’re easy to photograph with their effortless beauty.

These were taken over the sea at Koh Chang (more photos of the trip will follow at some point…). It’s rainy season so the sky was never clear. Suddenly it would get windy and the sky would turn dark… and the heavens would open.

I didn’t break any rules as such… but hopefully people will enjoy :)

For details of the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.