Updated: Nov 5, 2022
Yesterday I had the option to take a boat ride to the Island of Vila Franca do Campo from Sao Miguel's mainland or row over in a kayak. I've had a desire to experience a kayak but I kept changing my mind about which one to choose because I am not a strong swimmer and am working on overcoming the fear of deep water. Looking at the dark Atlantic Ocean water was not appealing, plus it's cool-cold in temperature and I'm a tropical water kind of person. Give me warm to hot water any time and I'm in my glee. Even thinking about how the sea looked made me hyperventilate a little and feel tense.
I caught myself overthinking my choices and decided I would like a little adventure. Taking the boat would be easy and ordinary. Once I made my decision, I simply followed through and didn't give it further thought. That was until we were in the kayak and pushed into the water.
The seats were taken out so it wasn't the most comfortable experience. I never really looked at a kayak and how little space there is to turn and carry anything on it. Perhaps that was a good thing because I might not have tried it. Once on the water, it was too late. My first thought was "Breathe!" Yes, I took as many deep breaths as I needed because the only thing separating me from the water was a little bit of plastic from the kayak. I couldn't help but look down into the sea. More deep breathing and praying. You feel everything on the kayak. I remember thinking, "Oh Canada, send me a canoe instead!"
Nevertheless, I continued to row out into the sea. We rowed out towards the direction of the island. By this time I was in acceptance of where I was and the only way out was to keep rowing. I knew if anything happened I would be okay in my life jacket but I really really really didn't want to land the water as I still found it scary to look at. Over time I settled in more and realized that I was doing a very courageous thing. Yes, it took courage to face the Atlantic Ocean, feel its water splashing onto me and feel the water bouncing the kayak around.
It was not easy to get to the camera because I couldn't turn around, but I managed to lean back enough to take it from Ernest. Taking pictures with the kayak bouncing on the water was a very interesting feat! As I was doing that, the weather changed as did the water. Large swells of water suddenly showed up, the winds picked up and dark clouds appeared. We sat it out for a short while to see what would happen and watched the swells form big waves that crashed onto the shore. It started to drizzle. That was our cue to turn around and paddle back.
By this time, despite the changes, I was proud of myself for choosing the kayak as it was adventurous. It was breathtaking to see the island from the vantage point of the sea instead of land. I confess I am still not fond of how deep water looks. I can now cross this one off my wish list with glee, a very big smile and breathe out a sigh of relief!