I've picked what I reckon will be the last bits of hard skin off the insides of my thumbs today. Yes, I thought you'd be glad to hear that. So that is the last physical connection to December's Hawaiian UnCruise now gone - unless you count all those photos, and the trusty notebook, and the blog entries, of course.
I always get - not exactly blisters, but mild trauma to my thumbs and forefingers after kayaking. I don't do it enough, and I probably don't do it properly, but it's no big deal, doesn't hurt much, and is certainly worth it to be able to get out and skim along on water so blue and so clear as it was there. Though, actually, it was less skimming on that first Maui kayak, more heaving, thanks (no thanks) to Tom, who I'm certain didn't do his share of the paddling. I couldn't see, since he was behind me, but I reckon this photo is the proof.
It was a lot more fun when I did it at the Big Island with Dave, who (possibly with a touch of benevolent sexism) did the lion's share when I went out with him a day or two later. And it was a lot less fun, though retrospectively much more satisfying, when I did it almost exactly a year ago today with the Baby, here on Waiheke, on a day pretty much like this one with the sun shining and the wind just a little too brisk.
It was hard work and a bit alarming, with the possibility of capsize never far from my mind, and we were a lot of the time some distance out from shore - much further than I could swim (which is not saying much, I admit). It took ages to get from Onetangi around Thompson's Point and along to the blessed safety of Palm Beach - and then equally as long to return since, defying all logic, there was a head wind both ways. It was gruelling, to be honest. But, of all the kayaking I've done, and despite the pretty fish we saw in Hawaii, it was the outing I remember most vividly, and am proudest of.