After an excellent lunch to open our cruise in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, our tour guide Smiley announced the next activity that we could participate in, kayaking in the nearby inlet. It was a bit chilly outside, but the water looked pretty calm and many of the passengers were pretty excited to hear about what we would be doing.
Kristi and I knew that this would be one of the activities during the cruise, and we were looking forward to it. However, neither of us had really done kayaking before. Several others in the group mentioned the same concern to Smiley. He told us not to worry; he could give us a little crash course, and we were not going too far from the boat especially for this first run. We also had personal floating device for each person that the crew helped inspected before we jumped off to our kayak. Mrs. Hoa, the lady who came with her children and in-laws, mentioned that she wanted to experience kayaking, but she wasn’t sure she’s up to it from fitness perspective. Smiley graciously offered to ride with her and do the paddling. In the end, all but one of the passengers ended up going on the trip.
Kristi and I went on the same kayak. We paddled around near the boat to get the bearings, and then as the group was ready to go, we followed everyone. Fortunately the water was pretty calm, so we didn’t have to work too hard agains the waves to follow Smiley’s kayak up front. He took us on a trip around an island, passing a beach with a small ancient graveyard where some of the local fishermen had their ancestors buried.
The trip took about an hour or so, long enough as a first excursion for some of us who were new to this. Kristi and I stayed mostly at the back of the group for most of the trip, trying to keep up with everyone as we learned to control our kayak. By the end of it I think we had a good handle of it.
The photo below was taken by Kristi who rode at the front of the kayak while we were cruising during the trip. I took some photos as well with my point-and-shoot (I didn’t dare taking my DSLR lest it get wet or fall into the water), but it was difficult to get good shots when sitting in the back. I also had to keep paddling so we could keep up with others.