Even the Cicadas weren’t up. Hut mate (HM) stirred, opened the mosquito net and shuffled around. “Are you coming? C’mon, you could write about this. Imagine how much fun it’ll be.”
Shorts pulled rapidly on, minutes later I joined her on the bay balcony.
The water was flat and still, the sun barely up, the island we were to row around in the distance.
We joined other carpe diems at the tea station for a briefing. The swimmers were bright eyed and bushy tailed, the rest of us not so.
M said, “I’ve only got two canoes – who’s coming?” I started muttering about how I’d much rather be in the hut listening to the birds and dozing back off to sleep, but before you could say ‘capsizing canoes’ HM and I had our respective hands in the air and there was no turning back.
I asked for a life jacket. “Yeah, I’ve got one somewhere – but hurry up” our host with the most replied.
Down at the pebbled shore, rubber shoes on I looked over at HM hauling her mode of transport into the water. “I thought you said it was a two man kayak? That’s why I’m coming, so we’re in it together so to speak? And, by the way, you need to turn that over” I called out, “The seat’s on the other side.”
“There’s no seat on there S” she replied patiently, “It’s a paddle board – not a canoe or a kayak for that matter. Just get yours into the water and hop on.”
The swimmers had already started out, strong strokes on a mission, fired up, determined to circumnavigate our daily view. HM and I however paddled around in circles. “IT WOULD HELP IF YOU TWO FACED THE BOARDS THE OTHER WAY – YOU’RE TRYING TO PADDLE IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!” M roared from his motor boat. We carefully turned around. Yes, that made more sense, the pointed bit at the front.
HM started heading off towards the horizon, me still in a pool of uncertainty. “I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO BE A LIABILITY IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING” M shouted over to me. “TAKE IT BACK TO SHORE!” With that he turned his attentions towards HM and motored over to give her the life jacket.
I dragged my vehicle out of the water and glanced out towards the island. No sign of the swimmers, but I could see an animated discussion taking place between the remaining, still upright board, and the rubber boat. Then, lo and behold I saw HM rowing back towards the beach.
“He said I was too slow, couldn’t rely on me and that he had to pay attention to the swimmers – which I suppose is true after all” she told me once onshore.
We headed back to base, the sun well and truly up now, 7.30am and the day ahead. I threw myself back on my bed and wondered what on earth it had all been about.