First rule of ‘Kayak Club’ in Antarctica is that you are not late to kayak club meetings. The second rule of kayak club is that you ARE NOT late to kayak club meetings.
Of course I say this somewhat sarcastically – but the honest truth is that kayaking in Antarctica is pretty serious and our fearless leader, Ian, ran a tight ship. He had us trained well and I was impressed with how quickly a whole bunch of strangers who were on vacation fell in line and followed instructions!
The first two days on the ship I think I went to at least 5 kayak meetings; safety briefings, mud room loading and unloading, gear fittings, and a ‘weeding out’ meeting. The first meeting was all about telling us what we had all gotten ourselves into, what was expected of us and our skills – and then we were kindly given a chance to back out. I must admit – I didn’t have the experience required and I was ready to back out. The last time I had done real sea kayaking was about 8 years ago, I had no real training or experience and had never done a wet exit. But Ian took pity on me and allowed me to still participate as long as I was in his kayak. And thanks to his kindness – I was able to experience the best thing about a cruise to Antarctica – kayaking.
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