Sea Kayaking in the Pacific: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Hello from halfway across the world!

Over the past few days we have had the exciting opportunity to stay in Byron Bay- a beautiful surfing town along the Eastern coast of Australia. It’s definitely a different way of life here, no shoes, no shirt, no problem… seriously though you can go grocery shopping at Woolworth’s without your shoes and you can leave your dog right outside but that’s besides the point. We tried our turn at surfing yesterday, and a group of us walked to the Cape Byron Lighthouse so we were feeling pretty sore today. However, that didn’t stop us from taking tandem kayaks out into the Pacific to see what wildlife resides out there.

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(Abbey, Jennie, Megan, Carli, Sam, and Maddy atop the Cape Byron Lighthouse, not pictured Olivia)

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On Sunday, our sea kayaking trip started off with prying our way into wet suits (wetties as the Aussies call them). We strapped on our helmets and life vests, and we were on our way. We paired up in tandem kayaks to help make the trip a little easier…..We received a few words of warning about the shark attacks (just kidding!), and hand signals but then we were sent off into the Pacific.

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The entire trip was abut 2/3 hours in length, and boy did we feel every minute of it. I’ve canoed in the good ole’ Red Cedar River and let me tell you, that was a piece of cake compared to the time we had today. The waves, salt water, and whatever else made it so difficult! Olivia (my partner) and I were amongst the slowest and the last of the group, but we still had fun while out there. The water was murky so we did not see as many fish, turtles, or dolphins as we expected but the wildlife we did see made it worth it!

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We saw dolphins frolicking and whales tail-slapping during out excursion which was amazing to see! Our arms were burning, our abs were on fire, and we had a few members of the group get motion sickness… I truly think I just had a tougher time because I’m a weakling but it’s all part of the adventure, right? We landed back on the beach and were very, very happy to be back on solid ground.

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The rest of the day was ours to enjoy, so after some journaling and reading, a group of us headed to catch some rays at the beach! It was a little bit chilly (high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit today), but the sunshine warmed us up as we laid out. This is our last night in Byron Bay, so many of us celebrated over dinner with friends and browsed the cute boutique shops in town. Tomorrow brings another day of travel as we bus back to Brisbane to catch our flight north to Cairns early on Tuesday morning. We’re off again!

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We are officially more than halfway though our Australian adventure, so we will see you guys soon.

-Sam

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