I took a few days to rest up from snorkelling at Rasdhoo Madivaru Finolhu. Then, I asked the hotel if I could go kayaking out on the ocean the next day. I had gone ocean-kayaking in Alaska before, so I was well aware that this was no easy feat. However, this kayaking trip made Alaska look like child’s play.
I wanted to set out in the morning, but Yameen wasn’t too keen on me roasting my skin for a second time. It also looked about to rain that morning, so he decided we would go kayaking in the afternoon instead.
We left the hotel at 5:00 PM and started the trek to the beach on foot. It was a short walk with a few stops to collect oars for rowing.
Fetching the Kayaks
The kayaks were already at the beach, but Yameen and Imran had to remove them from the rack. If you have never lifted, carried or moved a kayak before, let me just tell you now that they are a lot heavier than they look.
And, since there were three of us, that meant doing the heavy work twice.
With both kayaks on the water, Imran held one steady so I could get in. The neighbouring kayak with the two oars is the one he would share with Yameen, so I had a whole kayak to myself.
On the Water
If you have been following my Maldives posts so far, you know the water is incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately, because the sky was a little overcast and the sun was already low in the sky, the photos don’t do the experience justice.
That said, I started off on this adventure, fairly confident in my abilities. Turquoise water in the Maldives is shallow, so I expected we would stick to that, row around for an hour and go home. Ha!
Soon enough, Yameen and Imran started to head out to the deeper blue. Apparently, this is necessary to get around the reefs and avoid the rougher waters they create. You may have noticed, however, that I did not wear a life jacket. Yes, I realise this is dangerous.
If you ever do make it to Rasdhoo, you can ask for one. They do have them. However, no one else wore them for my entire trip, and I did not want to be babied — yet, anyway.
Also, I knew if I somehow flipped my kayak, Imran would come to get me. He’s a strong swimmer and Yameen isn’t bad himself. I was in good hands. Also, spoiler alert: I never flipped the kayak.
Around the Island
We soon began what I now realised was going to be a full circle of the island. I saw the life of my poor, weak little arms flash before my eyes, but resolved to push through it. I was soon rewarded for my efforts halfway around when we encountered dolphins.
Unfortunately, the little boogers would not stick around for the photo, so I have only the memory to share of them as they dipped below the water and above the surface on their merry way.
However, I did find this video on Rasdhoo Coralville’s Facebook Page of their own dolphin adventures. This is one of the excursions they provide. You can see even in the video that they are not easy to film. In the wild, dolphins disappear and pop up somewhere else at their leisure. Beautiful to watch though!
After the dolphins passed, big boats followed. These generated bigger waves that rocked the kayak dangerously. I learned quickly to turn the kayak and face the waves directly. Better to hit them head-on than allow them to hit the side of the boat. Or, you could be wiser and stronger like Imran and Yameen and “outrun” the darn thing.
Eventually, I did get tired enough to accept some babying, so they waited for me to pull up alongside them and Yameen held on to my kayak.
I accepted the tow for a few minutes before asking for my freedom once more and taking off again.
The Final Stretch
Finally, I could see the beach we exited from coming once more into the view. Freedom! Can you tell how exhausted I was in this video? What a workout!
After I hopped out, Imran and Yameen had the undesirable task of racking the kayaks again.
Then, we started the trek back to the hotel. As a reward for myself, I ditched the meal plan to have “fried prawns” for dinner from their restaurant menu. Delish!
I will be doing one or two articles on the dishes in Rasdhoo, so stay tuned for those. However, in the next post, I’ll share the final adventure I had in Rasdhoo, which was the absolute best sendoff ever!