I stretch my legs out forward and prop my feet on the footrests.
I grip the paddle with both hands and I'm ready to go.
I'm on my own after this.
Whatever happens, I'll need to handle it myself.
(Of course, if I really get in a bind, the instructor will swoop in to the rescue.)
As my small boat separates further from shore, my uneasiness grows.
I start to paddle gently. First, I just go straight ahead.
Right, left, right, left, like swimming the crawl stroke, I catch the water and propel myself forward.
If I try to paddle faster, I veer off in random directions, so as much as possible, I slide my paddle gently, like I'm petting the water's surface.
What gave me more trouble than I expected was turning left and right.
I tended to head off in a different direction from what I wanted and, more than a few times, I almost drifted away. I'm not a natural at this.
At the beginning, I didn't have the luxury of enjoying the scenery, but as I got the hang of it, I started to admire the ocean.
This was the real start of my sea kayaking tour.
I listened closely to the quiet sound of the waves, sat in awe of scenery I couldn't see from shore, slipped through sea caves with stone massifs, relished the sea breeze, bathed in the sunlight reflecting off the surface, occasionally rested my paddle, experienced the sensation of being in a swaying cradle, and enjoyed a relaxing time strolling on top of the water.
Swimming through the water is delightful, but so is drifting above it.
That was something sea kayaking taught me.