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Row row row your boat

Well, a kayak to be exact! Very recently, I had the opportunity to jump into a kayak again, 23 year’s after my last kayaking expedition.

That was when I was in junior college, and as part of a 10-day adventure camp that I joined, we had to kayak from Changi Sailing Club to Sister’s Island, pitch our tents to camp overnight, then kayak back the next day. Back then, I was in a double kayak and controlled the speed from the front while my partner controlled the direction. I was very fortunate to draw the school’s rugby captain as my partner, so we powered ahead very quickly and easily.

This time, I was in a single kayak and we never got further than the Kallang basin. Partially due to the wet weather we experienced on the morning we were there, and partially because half of the group were kayaking for the first time.

Considering that I hadn’t done any kayaking in 23 years, and that I didn’t have any kayaking certification, I’m happy to report that I didn’t capsize, I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t get left behind. At the beginning, it too me some time to get used to the paddling. As my right arm is stronger, the kayak tended to veer more to the left when I rowed on the right side. But a quick back paddle on the left would set things right, pun intended.

Once I got the hang of the paddling, there was only the occasional veering off center, but that happened when the rain came in and the water currents picked up. Other than that, it was relatively easy to paddle. In fact, I was always one of the first five kayaks when we moved from point to point, together with three others who had certifications of 1 or 2 stars.

Since it was a session organized by 6 Productions together with Ministry of Adventure for the Fitness Couple & Men’s Fitness Folio contestants, we played a few kayaking games just to add an element of fun to the session.

There was the usual “see which team can raft up the fastest”. Then we had to raft up in our groups with male & female alternating. Another was with adjacent canoes facing different directions, and with the females on the outside. With more than 20 kayaks in the same area at the same time, there was quite a bit of confusion and space constraints for maneuvering.

There were a couple of accidental capsizes, and some veered slightly off course. But happy to report that everyone made it back to shore safely!

I enjoyed the session tremendously, but it isn’t an activity that I would do on a regular basis. Only because I like my activities to be quick-in-quick-do-quick-out. However, I would do it if I had a good group of friends, and some uplifting trance or progressive house music to accompany me.

Our session was sponsored by Ministry of Adventure and 1derlust. It was organised by 6 Productions. Photography by Kris Lu.