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Rock and roll on a canoe

May 31, 2012

Three pairs of scared eyes and one pair of curious eyes stared into the depths of the ocean. A few seconds earlier, the ocean floor was visible and the pebbles on the floor had given us some solace. The pebbles and the tiny rocks had made us feel safe. But now we could only see waves that rocked our canoe. No signs of the comforting pebbles!

We were not too far from the shore but because it was our first time, our hearts raced when the canoe started wobbling. And all of us started arguing with each other. I said, “Why don’t you row in the opposite direction to mine, it will help maintain the balance?” Jay said in a voice which clearly displayed signs of nervousness, “I am doing that. Will you calm down, please?” Puzzled by this conversation, Swati said in a calm voice, “Why are you people so scared? The canoe is just rocking a little bit. ” Amused by her question, Pravin explained, “Do you know how deep the water is?” Once this question was asked, four pairs of scared eyes rolled nervously on the boat. No one was looking around at the vastness of the sea or the beauty of the scenery around, we had just one thing on our mind – get back to the shore as soon as possible!

At such times, imagination is a dangerous possession! I asked Jay, “What if we topple? How do I ensure that the water doesn’t enter my lungs? I should be safe if I can float without panicking, right?” Jay turned back and gave me a stern glance which meant, “Can you please keep quiet and calm down a little?” The unkind waves wobbled the canoe a little more, making our hearts race faster. You see, one might have read in books – overcome fear, don’t be overwhelmed by it. But alas! It did not work for any of us. Finally, Pravin steered the canoe in the direction of the shore. We reached the shore 15 minutes after we had ventured into our first experience with canoeing. But we had paid for an hour. In the midst of this high tension atmosphere, came a pleasant surprise. The person who rented us the canoe said, “I will not charge you guys for 15 minutes.” We finally smiled at the gesture of the kind person.

The muscles on our faces relaxed, heart beats stabilized, and we sat near the shore with feet buried in the warm sand. In a few seconds, we looked at each other and laughed aloud! We were embarrassed, but the rock and roll on the canoe was a great experience nonetheless. The next time, we will ensure that we learn to swim before venturing on such ordeals. And carry a little more adventure in our hearts to brave the waves!

But all is well that ends well. We finally splashed in the frolicking waves with the comforting pebbles below our cold feet! (Yes, I mean ‘cold’ in more ways than one!)


  1. Where was this? Didn’t you guys have life-jackets strapped on?

    • This was at a small beach in Seattle. We did have our life-jackets strapped on but all of us were got too scared when the boat was rocking so much! It was fun though.

  2. Srija Unnikrishnan permalink

    Good you did not venture far, without any rowing experience and knowing swimming. Till now, I trusted that you won’t undertake ‘dangerous expeditions’.

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