St. Tom to San Juan ~ 50 and Still Afloat

For our 50th birthdays, my grade school friends and I decided we should do something special. I’m thinking Napa, a spa, limousine, wine, massages… After many emails back and forth across the ocean, somehow, and I’m still not sure how, (there was much discussion, debate, and blaming) we ended up with a kayaking/camping trip! Three days on the water, three days with no showers, two nights sleeping on the ground! Really?

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about this trip. I had every intention of getting in shape. I ran a few times, practiced on the rowing machine (although I was told I’d be using different muscles when kayaking), but of course, that didn’t last. I was nervous that I’d be holding everyone else back, and the “no showers”? No thanks!

However, our guides were fabulous and really put me at ease. I can’t say enough about Will and Scott! They were unceasingly upbeat! They were very knowledgeable and our safety was obviously first and foremost. And they were extremely patient and kind with us slower paddlers! They took a somewhat diverse group and kept us cohesive. And they work extremely well together. Maybe it’s because they’re both from Maine?, but they seemed to get along well and complemented each other’s strengths.

We paddled through rain and surf the first day but had gorgeous weather the other two days. The second day, Scott led us on a hike of the island while Will was cooking up a “surprise”. The hike was gorgeous and a nice break from the kayaking while our shoulders and arms relaxed.

The food on the trip was amazing! I felt I ate better on this trip than I do normally. What they can do with a dutch oven is amazing! And our “surprise” ~ a birthday cake to celebrate turning 50! The birthday cake was a rare and special treat! We really appreciated their thoughtfulness! (And it was made in a dutch oven!)

Things I Learned:

  1. Michelle is an awesome paddling partner – patient and non-critical.
  2. Embrace your inner caboose. It’s okay to be last. Enjoy the scenery.
  3. There are muscles I didn’t know I had.
  4. I want a kayak.
  5. IMG_1874 IMG_1944
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