While on a kayaking excursion, Carlos was struggling in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii when my daughter, Shane, arrived at a harrowing thought: This might be it.

I’m thankful to report that it wasn’t “it” for Carlos. My husband is alive and well, after surviving a scare during our family’s kayaking excursion in March. 

Carlos-supervising-the-loading-of-kayaks

Carlos and I kayaked in the open waters off Lanikai Beach with our daughters Christina and Shane and granddaughters Allie and Mia. We headed toward the Mokulua Islands, about a mile off the shore. Skilled kayakers setting out in good conditions can arrive at the island in about 30 minutes.

That wasn’t our experience. 

The-Mokulua-Islands

The weather took us by surprise. We later learned that the wind reached 23 miles per hour, causing rough waters. We kayaked in pairs, and we all capsized at one point or another. Shane and Carlos paired together. They capsized three times. Christina and I were in another kayak, and we inadvertently lost contact with our companions for a while.

Basically, our kayaking excursion unraveled into chaos.

And yet, I came away with a mission: I want to return and do it again.

Entering this kayaking trip, I felt very afraid, but despite the fact that I wound up in the water, struggling to get back on board, I am no longer fearful. I experienced potential disaster and walked away in one piece. That gave me a sense of assurance.

open-waters-off-Lanikai-Beach

Having the goal of returning will motivate me to improve my upper-body strength, so that if I capsize, I can more easily pull myself back into the kayak. I stopped weightlifting after I retired from competitive shooting and lost some upper-body strength. I must remedy that. During the summer, I will work to improve my strength by pulling myself up out of the side of our pool. That way, if I capsize next time, I will have developed the strength and worked on my technique to pop out of the water and back into the kayak.

Continue reading this post at Women’s Outdoor News. Also, be sure to read Vera’s other blogs about travel adventure.

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