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In which I am (again) cruising in luxury, drinking piña coladas in the Caribbean, and talking cricket with lads in the West Indies

Road Town, Tortola

Okay, I’m  sucker for anything that begins with “eco-“  but when the hyphen is followed by “Kayaking and Snorkeling Adventure” it looked like (a) a really excellent adventure, and (b) I ought to know better.   Right on both counts.  It was excellent, and I should’ve known better—but I’m awfully glad I didn’t.

Not only was the kayaking lots of fun—and great exercise—but our leader was a marine biologist whose knowledge of the mangroves was terrific.  We all know that mangrove forests are a critical component in the health of our shorelines, but she was able to shed more light on the whys and hows of the mangrove ecosystem.  ‘System’ being the operative concept here.

Relax.  I’m not going to give you a biology lesson, but I will attach some online refs at the end, for those of you who are interested.  Wait…on second thought, you can google it as easily as I can.

Now.  About the kayaking.  I’m not completely without experience in these matters, but it is fair to add that my ‘experience’ is outside the range of ordinary living memory.  I was assured beforehand that it was “like riding a bike”—oh, s**t.  I can’t ride a bike.  ‘Nevermind,’ thinks I, ‘if I did it before I can do it again.’  And, indeed, I could.  At least as well as those who’d never done it before.  We were in 2-person kayaks, and I was in front.  I heard very little from the gentleman behind—I don’t know if he is just a quiet sort of person, was terrified, bored, or just busy concentrating.  It would have taken some concentration to keep track of what I was doing.  As in most things I do, I took a somewhat ‘creative’—or free-wheeling—approach. (Said another way, I don’t follow instructions very well.)  I don’t mean to sound boastful here, but I think my slightly unorthodox style added a certain element of … surprise to everyone’s day.

I did manage to be the first one to fall in the water.  Not into the water… I mean that grammatically—I was already in the water; I just fell over.  Everyone else was standing where there was a thick layer of sea grass underfoot.  I was standing in mud that was trying to be quicksand and my feet got sucked in at different rates.  Nevermind.  As refreshing as it was, it also had the dampening effect of identifying me as ‘high-maintenance’ to the guides. . . a reputation I could have done without.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Before I go, I have to tell you about one more sublime moment in my splendid day.  It was the sort of moment we all dream of.  That magical moment when . . . wait for it . . . a chicken ran across in front of the van.   YESSS!  And I at last had the opportunity to ponder aloud the age-old question, Why did the chicken cross the road?   What a moment…

Yes, she did cross the road, but I have no idea why...

Hot on the heels of that merry adventure, I was booked in for river tubing the following day in Dominica.   Stay tuned!              MM


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