Friday, 6 May 2011

Mangrove Kayaking Adventure

Note: This post was written April 10th, but we saved it to wait until the kayaking company facebooked our photos to use in the post. The photos never came [ :( ], so here's the post without them.

A full month ago, Jason and I bought Scoopons (or Groupons or some-other-ons) which scored us a 50% discount on kayaking around Pulau Ubin. Now, if your memory serves you well, you may remember that Ubin is an undeveloped little island off the eastern coast of Singapore’s big island. Last time, we biked around it and had a great time, so we figured kayaking would be awesome, too. After a bit of trouble reserving a time, we eventually had our plans set: on Wednesday, April 6th, at 9:30 in the morning, Jason and Rose would embark on their kayaking adventure!

While 9:30 in the morning is a delightful time to go kayaking, 6 in the morning is not such a great time to wake up. Yes, I know there’s a long time between 6 and 9:30 – 3.5 hours, in fact, 2.5 of which were spent taking public transportation and bumboat to Ubin. We were also supposed to get there 15 minutes early, and wanted to eat breakfast. Hence the early start-time.

If you’ve read earlier posts, you also know how well I deal with wake-up times substantially earlier than my normally scheduled wake-ups. Or really, any mornings not preceded by a full night’s sleep. I was pretty out of it and a fair bit grumpy, but Jason, being a much better sufferer of sleep deprivation, made sure we got there as planned.

Once on the island, we were greeted by a friendly fellow who took us to prepare for our adventure. We changed and applied sunscreen, and I even got to wear a spiffy hat another adventurer had left behind! Unfortunately, this approximately 15-minute interval was sufficiently long for me to score about a half-dozen fresh mosquito bites on my legs.
Be duly impressed when I say now that despite my sleep deprivation and itchy legs, the kayaking trip was awesome.

I had the pleasure of sharing a tandem kayak with Jason. I sat in front, and so Jason matched my strokes. This meant that I could do weak girl paddling in the front and still accelerate at a fun rate due to Jason’s much more adept, stronger paddling behind me. In essence, I had all of the advantages of a motorized boat with none of the noise to scare the wildlife away!

We kayaked through mangroves, which are really quite excellent. Superb, even. We didn’t end up seeing too many animals, though we did get to see plenty of mudskippers and a big sea eagle. And the rest of the island’s wildlife is represented in Singapore’s Bird Park and Zoo, so we’ve at least seen the animals in captivity, if not in the wild. Our tour guide was informative and fun, and the approximately two-hour adventure was well-worth the considerable effort. Next time I might go for the 11:30 tour, though.

Afterwards, Jason and I discovered that our legs had turned marvelous shades of pink where they’d seen more than their fair share of sun. Three days later, my shins still hurt when I touch them, but at least now I know that a sun-burnt mosquito bite does not itch J

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