(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest. There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)
For several months now, I have been bugging my husband to take me kayaking. We thought our honeymoon would be a perfect time. We called the kayak rent shop and asked about conditions vs. skill level and such. He said the sea was a bit choppy and that, especially since we were inexperienced to sea kayaking, it would be difficult to row against the current and wind, “but you should be fine.”
“Is the bar open today?” I asked.
“Yep, it’s open” he said.
We felt pretty dang cool clad in our rented wet suits and carrying a tandem kayak down toward the harbor. We had to wind down a stair case, passing several people who, no doubt, were thinking to themselves, “They must be so hardcore. If only we were as cool as that.”
Both silently nervous, we ventured into the water. Soon enough, however, our nerves were calmed (though not helped by my constant repeating of “We are going to die.”) by the rhythmical waves. We quickly became comfortable and really began enjoying ourselves, especially once we left the Depoe Bay, Oregon Harbor and got out into the open ocean.
Now, let me explain something. This is no river kayak; as dinky as those are, sea kayaks are even more dinky. In a river kayak, you sit in a hole in the kayak. In a sea kayak, there are no sides, not even a lip. It is practically flat, and you just sit right on top. So it really is just you and the sea and nothing in-between.
As we got farther out, the waves turned into swells, but we were still having a ton of fun (mostly because we felt so hardcore). Before too long, we capsized. But not a big deal, we were calm and climbed back in (which proves to be rather tricky). Right after, a whale watching boat drove by and asked if we were doing alright (which, of course, we were) and advised us not to go any farther out: the wind was picking up and the swells were getting bigger.
In the course of turning around, we capsized again and as we were just about back in the kayak we flipped over a third time. But calm and cool we remained. At this point, the swells were…oh somewhere between 6 and 8 feet. Due to my husband’s aid, I successfully climbed back in, but he couldn’t: the swells were too high and too frequent.
The same whale watching boat made a circle around us and announced, “We’re coming to pick you up.” While I was thinking, “that is a great idea”, I afterward learned what he was thinking, “That’s a bad idea. We’re fine. I’ll just swim to shore, tugging Angela and the kayak.”
We clumsily climbed into our “rescue” boat, and, while heading back to the harbor, saw a whale (which, turns out, we were headed right towards in our kayak). As we were unloading, we saw the Coast Guard waiting to talk to us. “Uh oh. We must be in trouble.”
After ensuring there was a lack of injuries, the Guard told us the bar was closed that day. “Did you not see the blinking yellow lights which indicate the bar’s closure? Or did you not check weather conditions? That sea is dangerous for anything under 16 feet long! Where did you get the kayak?” Trying to act as unknowing as possible, which wasn’t hard since we really had no idea, we named the rent shop.
Fortunately, truly being poor newly weds, he did not fine us the $1100.00 for disobeying the rules. But we did get to hear all about the apparent history this rent shop has of renting kayaks under dangerous weather conditions to inexperienced kayakers. And then he let us go.
Since we still had the kayak and the wet suits, we kayaked around the harbor for a while, which had plenty of sea life. Intermittently, we were interrupted by people asking, “Are you the couple that was kayaking out in the sea??”
Yeah, that’s right, we’re famous. We truly were hardcore.
To top it off, we told my husband’s brother this story upon our return. He actually went out to Depoe Bay the following day to show a friend the Oregon Coast. They went on a whale watching trip, and were chatting with the captain who said, “Yeah, you never know what you’ll find out here in the ocean: whales, kayakers,…”
Marshall: “Wait, you saw kayakers?!”
Captain: “Yeah, just a few days ago. We had to rescue them; the sea was dangerous.”
Marshall: “Man, they sound like idiots!”
Either way, we felt cool. Perhaps we should have been nervous…