Surf, Surf, Surf Your Kayak

        Today’s all about boating. Actually, there’s quite a bit of swimming thrown in, too: I decide that I don’t need a kayak to get to an island and talk both my brothers into following suit. Having 1 double and 2 single kayaks for a 7-person journey wouldn’t have been a problem if the distance was anywhere near as short as I thought it was. After the brothers being towed by kayaks and my stubbornness resulting in exhaustion, we make it to the island
        The rest of us snorkel while my dad takes my sister Carla, who’s decided this island’s a little too likely to have creepy crawlies for her continuing presence, back to shore in the double kayak. The fun begins when he’s still not back after half an hour. Scanning the considerable chunk of sea between us and the beach, we locate my dad and his capsized kayak about 2/3 of the way to our island.
        We watch him get in and fall out for a few minutes before I take a kayak to go check on him. I’m confused: his kayak’s riding mostly submerged even without anyone on it. I give him my kayak to go and find a boat taxi before the looming thunder becomes a storm on all our heads. A good half hour of trying to make this kayak work and then dragging it towards the island during which I’m thankful for my life jacked ensues before a local boat comes to taxi us back to shore, filling in for the nonexistent Tamarindo rescue boat. We drag the double kayak alongside our rescue boat; for all I know, the snorkeling gear and one of the boats may still be on the island.
        Confused, we drag the faulty kayak out of the water to find it leaking and really heavy. Flipping it over reveals a botched repair job; the rental place filled a big hole with glue that fell off at some point during our ill-fated trip. I call the guy that rented us the shotty boat a “maticon” (my Spanish is so limited that it was that or “puta”) to begin a big fight with my mom as she calmly and successfully negotiates a full rebate.
        Scott and I decide to try some more kayaking. We rent safe-looking boats from a different and hopefully less dodgy company before heading for a river that supposedly leads to an estuary. An ad for a tour to this area promises monkeys and crocodiles, so I figured I’d be able to spot at least 1 of the 2.
        Local jetskiers warn us to be careful of the 5 “crocodilios” that live in the river, but they seem to be intentionally splashing water into our kayaks so we’re unsure how much credence to give their warning. This is enough danger for Scott, so he heads back to sea.
        Believe it or not, I see something strange on the water minutes after Scott departs. Just as I’m nearing it and thinking that just maybe it could be a crocodile’s eyes and nose, it darts underwater. Just there one minute and submerged the next. More than a little scared, I wonder what to do. I’m near the bank, but I can’t reach land without first getting closer to whatever, if anything, it is. Cutting to the middle is tempting, but then I wouldn’t be able to touch the bottom if it decides to capsize me… I settle for cutting slightly out frm whore / away from it and paddle quickly from possible danger. A minute later, I warn someone I see walking a dog along the shore that I think I just saw a crocodile. The man informs me that he’s a local, knows there are many crocodiles around here, keeps an eye on his dogs, and I have nothing to worry about kayaking these waters unless the crocodiles haven’t eaten in a while and I fall out.
        I try surfing my kayak and meet a surprising amount of success: I get good enough to ride the wave for around 10 seconds and think I only hit 1 person with my boat in the process. A big dinner with a little price wraps up the day for me, and I’m asleep before half the grandmas in town.

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