South Padre Island, Yes, In Texas: Kayaking The Bay

20161125_135223.jpgOn the drive back from Island Adventure Park, I tried calling the kayak rentals again and asked for their rates. Most were about $40 and up per double kayak. I wanted to find something cheaper. In the room, I looked on the internet and found some and just called them. Some didn’t pick up. We lounged in the room, not sure of what our next activity was. Then,  a call came in on my phone.

As usual, my annoyance piqued. I am VERY annoyed by phone calls.

“Why?? Who is this??!” I was exasperated to have to tend to a call from I didn’t know who, but I picked it up anyway.

“Theresa,” said a woman’s voice.

“I think you got the wrong number,” I responded, relieved that it’s not a chatty phone call.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I got a missed call from you,” she said.

It dawned on me that it was probably one of the numbers I had called for kayak rentals that wasn’t picked up, so I quickly said,
“Oh! Do you rent kayaks?”

“Yes.”

“What are your rates?” I asked, excited.

“You have to call my husband. That call you made must have gone to my phone. Here’s his number.”

I called the number and her husband answered.

“What are your kayak rental rates?” I asked.

After I told him how many people we were, he drawled,

“Well, it’s usually two hundred but for you and because it’s Thanksgiving,..I can do $10 per person,”

He sounded like one of the surf dudes to me. H was listening and his eyes widened at what the man said. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or serious about the $200.

He suggested we take some paddle boards too so we could switch between us half way out in the water. He had only one double kayak and the rest were single kayaks. I was feeling a bit nervous about going a single kayak, as this was the ocean after all, and I have my own illogical fear of sharks.

I told him I would call him back after we decide. We decided yes, we would go kayaking and we reserved the kayaks and paddleboard. His business was done from a part of his house, which might have been what would have been a garage. He even warned me that don’t be surprised that we’d be driving to a house when we went to look for his rental place.

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It was a nice place; Windsurf Inc. His kayaks are in his backyard that had picnic tables and everything. We picked out our life vests, and he gave us our kayaks and paddleboard. His backyard had a short drop off to the bay, and so we had to climb down to the shore of the bay and slip the kayaks into the water. He wanted us to walk out into the water in order to get on board the kayak. I was a bit apprehensive about it but I did it anyway. Turned out, the water was pretty shallow. It wasn’t until later as we were further out in the bay that we learned how shallow the water in the bay was, even far out!

Hubby rode the paddleboard, the older kids rode the single kayaks, and Z and I paddled the double kayak with Z in front.

20161125_133524.jpgThe last time we went kayaking was in Oklahoma, under the relentless summer sun, last year. I was apprehensive about it especially because the older kids tried to scare me with alligator sightings. This time, they didn’t scare me with shark sightings, but I controlled the fear within myself and just kept paddling with Z.

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Somewhere along the way, Hubby fell off his paddleboard. We were already quite far out in the bay that you would think the water was deep. To our surprise, he was standing only waist deep ! I had noticed too as I was paddling, that I could see the bottom of the bay, but I was trying not to look too hard lest my gaze fell upon a Great White. My struggle then was trying to control my thoughts and not to let it wander where I would scream out in panic in the middle of the bay.

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We discovered that the bay was shallow even far out, and my fear dissipated. I wasn’t planning on getting in the water but at least I told myself that there was no way a shark could be in that bay. Dolphins maybe but even then, why would they swim in such shallow water anyway. I felt completely relaxed and began to thoroughly enjoy the sights and peace and quiet around us. Pelicans again, graced us with their majestic silent presence. These pelicans are really elegant beings. The way they sit in the water, the way the curves of their form shift as they take off in flight and stretch out their wings to soar, and then curl up again as they spot a meal in the water and proceed to dive at however many miles per hour right into the water, is just …mesmerizing to me. I could watch them all day.

Like a child, I squealed with delight at the sight of jumping fish in that bay. Right away we saw them as we were paddling out into the bay.

“Ooh!! Look! Look! Z! Jumping fish! ” I exclaimed, to the point where Z said, exasperated with my non stop squealing,

“Okay, okay!!”

I couldn’t get over the jumping fish. I didn’t bring my phone because I didn’t want it to get wet. So I couldn’t take any photos, but H brought his water proof one, so he got some photos, but unfortunately not the jumping fish. I could watch those jumping fish all day too!

After the horseback riding in the morning, this kayaking was almost like a much needed anticlimax of the day. It was a nice relaxing activity. The weather was cool, and the bay was much calmer than the gulf side where the ocean breeze would rile up waves. We saw parasailing activities in the distance, and jet skiers.

H switched with Hubby because he wanted to try out the paddleboard. He fell in the water too, more than once. The paddleboard was hard to maneuver, according to Hubby. H figured out a way to maneuver it but let’s just conclude that we all preferred the kayaks.

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The guy let us try it for an hour so we paddled around for about an hour. H set a timer on his phone so we could get back in time. After an hour, we decided we were done for the day and returned the kayaks and paddleboard. We let Z get on the paddleboard as we reached shore just to let him get the feel of being on it. For $10 per person, we got a really good deal! Alhamdulillah! I’m glad we didn’t book this activity ahead of time. This was the one time planning ahead wouldn’t have served us well. I had asked Allah for barakah in this trip. Maybe this is part of that barakah.

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I really really could have sat in that kayak all day. If I lived on that island, kayaking that bay would have been my ‘Me Time’. Kayak, A Book, and Me. Aaaaahhh….

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