My idea of a good time at the beach usually involves a lounge chair and a blended drink with a little umbrella.  However, kayaking ended up being one of the coolest things I have ever done in San Diego!  Here is a look back on sterkly’s kayaking adventure:

We assigned partners at random and I was paired with Michelle, who lucky for me, had actually kayaked before.  After some brief instructions and safety tips, our team was ready to embark on our voyage along the La Jolla Shoreline.

Check us out below just before heading out past the break:

To my surprise, the water was not that cold as the sun burned through the marine layer.  The scenery was beautiful and our guides were very knowledgeable about the animals and plants in the area.  We learned all about the history of the La Jolla Shores and its Ecological Reserve.  Being out on the water was a truly unique experience.

Here is a picture of Oz and Craig out on the water:

After the tour we began our team building activities that consisted of the following two challenges.

Challenge 1:  Relay towing race

In this challenge, one kayak had to tow a second kayak to a certain point and the other kayak towed on the way back.  The most difficult part of this exercise was not the rowing but the transitioning of the rope.  The kayak in front had a belt strapped to one person, while the kayak in back had a weight and a hook connected to the front of the kayak.  Marty and Barrett proved to be the champions of the relay towing race.

Challenge 2: Style Surfing

In the next challenge we were told to ride a wave back to shore with the most style.  I thought to myself.  “How hard could it be?”  Spot a wave, paddle as one with my partner, glide into shore with ease and with style. After all, I am an experienced surfer and Michelle is a professional kayaker.  That has to be a winning pair, right?

I was instantly humbled in my ability to do this as the wave plunged us forward into complete chaos.  Her ore went left, my ore went right.  We weren’t in sync and our kayak was rocking.  My dream of winning the challenge was shattered as I came to the realization that our kayak was about to tip over.

The next thing I knew I was tossed into the sea like a child who didn’t know how to swim.  Arms and legs flailed in the air while I screamed as if Jaws himself were about to swallow me whole.  For a moment, I believed I was drowning.  Then, I realized I was only in 3 feet of water!

My feet finally found the ground and I stood up.  I instantly regretted not wearing a wetsuit and forgetting my towel at home.  I could not feel my feet and my body was gyrating.  It was a long walk back to the car.

Despite our debacle, Michelle and I actually won the 2nd challenge!  Apparently you can tip a kayak in “style”.  In the end, we all had an amazing time kayaking.  Most importantly though, I feel this experience brought our team a little closer.   From the time we got there to the time we left, we all had a blast and made some pretty awesome memories!

As for that little umbrella I mentioned, it may not have come in a blended drink but it did make an appearance on Ryan’s head:

Thanks to our guides at La Jolla Bike & Kayak Tours for making this an awesome team building activity where everyone had a great time.