First Kayak Trip to the Barrier Reef

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On Saturday, Mason and I put our kayaking skills to the test. Recently, a friend of ours went for extended leave off island, and he left us his kayaks for safe keeping. With two heavy-duty seafaring kayaks at our finger tips, we had to test our abilities.

We went for a 7.5 mile kayak from the boat launch near our house to a tiny island on the barrier reef. After crossing the small bay at the boat launch, we made it to the mangrove tunnels. We know these tunnels quite well, and we paddled right into the third opening. The beautiful tunnel wound its way through green and brown lush forests, until it dropped us off back in the lagoon, directly across from our target: the little island on the reef. That was as far as we had ever gone. We would often make it to the end of the tunnel and stare longingly across the lagoon, imagining the trek.

On this day, however, after a big breakfast and with the right set of kayaks, we were determined to get to the tiny island. As we paddled, we could see the golden reef drop down into deep blue channels and rise back up again. Paddling over the endless dark water of the channels was disconcerting at first; who knows what might be watching from below. After two miles across the lagoon, we made it to the island, the barrier reef, and the open ocean. We stopped on the island for a lunch break, and we took a moment to snorkel at the reef wall, where the color fish were unfazed by our swimming. Snorkeling gave our arms and shoulders a break.

The trip back was tiring. The wind was no longer at our back and the current was not in our favor. Yet, two hours later we made it over the lagoon, through the mangroves, and back to the boat launch. We had finally concurred the lagoon by kayak!

First but not last trip across the lagoon.

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