A great story never began, "I was sitting on the couch eating a doughnut when..."
Amazing kayaking photos can be found on the internet everyday. Many are photoshopped, but remarkably most are not. I always carry my camera with me, but it seems like I never have it ready when that sweet moment occurs. The sad part is that these moments rarely occur for me.
To get these amazing shots is a combination of pure luck and being in the right place at the right time. The second part is being quick with your camera. One thing is for sure, you have to get on the water if you expect to come back with any amazing kayaking photos at all.
There are moments in time that simply cannot be repeated. Once those moments have passed they are gone forever. Very often, those who experience them did not go out thinking they are about to make history. It just happened.
In the photo above, a monster great white shark started following the kayaker. In an interview, the kayaker recalled how the great white shark started following him and after circling a few times would swim away just to come back and do it again. This was repeated a few times before the shark finally swam away not to return.
No doubt he was quite nervous wondering what the shark had in mind. It could have gone so differently, but this one had a happy ending.
Not every sport has an extreme side. You never hear of extreme golfers. They simply don't exist. You are either good at golfing or you are trying to become so. Whether it is your first time golfing or a seasoned pro the primary difference is ultimately seen in how many strokes it takes to get the ball in the cup. Not so with kayaking.
Kayaking definitely has its extreme. These are reserved for the most skilled, courageous or just plain crazy. It is sometimes just a fine line between extreme skill and insane. Who in their right mind would ever want to kayak over a waterfall like in the photo. The risk if death is incredibly high and the adrenaline rush must be outrageous. Interesting enough, I have seen other extreme kayakers go over this same waterfall. Not for me though.
Imagine thousands to tons of pressure pushing millions of gallons of water over several incredible drops. For me, just standing at a distance and watching the immense flow water while listening to the deafening roar creates an imprint on the mind that lasts a lifetime. I would be satisfied with that. For others though, it is seen as a challenge to take a kayak from the top to the bottom. Amazing.
I recall how dozens of people die or are injured each year attempting this feat on less menacing waterfalls. Getting caught in whirlpools and sucked back under the falls is scary to say the least. It doesn't hinder those who are bent on the extreme. Those who make it rejoice while in the back of their minds they are already formulating a plan for their next challenge. This is not for the faint of heat. It takes extreme skill and nerves of steel to match.
Sure, you can see ocean life from a tour boat. People do it everyday. But it is different from a kayak.
Imagine sitting in a kayak just inches above the water. You can actually reach down and touch the water hardly bending over. On some kayaks your butt is actually just below the water line. Then suddenly a dolphin breaches the water right next to you. The only way you could be closer to sea life is to be swimming right along side. There is nothing like it.
Most of these less extreme experiences can be had by anyone. All it takes is a good kayak, a little practice and the development of a few muscles needed for paddling. Yes, you can be on the water making your own memories and getting your own amazing kayaking photos. You only get one life and one try to make to right. It will serve you well to make the most of it.
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