First time kayaking - November 2009

No photos for this post because I wasn't sure if it would be safe to bring my camera kayaking, but I still wanted to include it because it was such a great experience for me.

I'd never done really any "water sports", but I knew UCLA taught kayaking classes at the Marina Aquatic Center in Marina del Rey and they were cheaper if you were a student so I figured I'd better take a class before I was done with school in December. I opted for what they called the sunset/full moon paddle which was from 4:30-7:30.

I had no idea what to expect. Would it be freezing? Difficult? Would I fall in a bunch of times until I got the hang of it? Honestly, it was very easy and enjoyable. Getting on the wetsuit was the hardest part! We were paired up in the sit-on-top type of kayaks and my partner in the front (who had also never done this before) was a natural at keeping a steady pace. It was pretty effortless.

And the sunset was beautiful! By the time we'd paddled out to the end of the marina channel and up to the breakwater it was dark, but I wasn't cold. The pelicans were flying so low by the kayaks and there were some sea lions hanging out on the breakwater so we stopped and listened to their barking noises for a while. It was so quiet out there and the stars were brighter than I'd ever seen in LA.

Then, we came back to the marina area and floated by this dock for a while watching some egrets, herons and pelicans. The birds were so close to us, but didn't fly away. We were all very quiet. Suddenly, a Great Blue Heron spread its wings. We hadn't seen it because it had been so still, but once we noticed it I couldn't keep my eyes off it. I couldn't believe how beautiful and large it was!

And then there was some splashing in the water and a sea lion was right there next to the kayaks! Its head popped up every now and then.

I couldn't believe that all it takes is some initiative, a bit of courage and $25 to participate in this amazing activity. No one fell off or got soaked and I was hardly even sore the next day. Just some scrapes on my hands from trying to pull on my wetsuit! I'll definitely be making it back there soon.