In recent years, I start to enjoy Stand Up Paddle (SUP).
With the paddling skill, I can easily get into the ocean (if it is flat), the middle of lake or the depth of river in the speed I love. There, the view over the world will be completely different from the land.
When taking this sport on the wide waters in hinterland, you’ll certainly “meet” different animals, such as sea snakes, jumping fishes, etc.
Two days ago, a gecko became my SUP buddy.
One day, I was in Panwa Beach of Phuket Island. Due to the boiling temperature, no one had sports on water except me, taking the whole coast alone. It made me very joyful. When I straightly paddled to the depth of ocean, I accidentally saw a grey gecko under my waterproof bag.
I was nervous!
I don’t like insect or reptile neither. I know gecko only eats injurious insect and never bites people. But its sudden appearance of “sound before shape” makes me grumpy. I am always scared by its sudden and huge CROAK. Gecko, in my opinion, is definitely delicately ambush, making me shocked.
In the next second of movement, I slightly moved my bag and tried to sweep the gecko lying on board rapidly to the ocean with my paddle. But, it crawled to my right ankle at the speed of 1m/s.
Through my capillary pores of my right foot, I immediately felt the pads of gecko’s four mini toes with tie-down strength. What could I do if it continued to flee upward into my diving trousers as I wear the short trousers?
After the idea flashed, I got all my goose bumps. I was not dare to move it with paddle anymore because I would fall into the ocean due to the panic. So I turned back and paddled to the beach. This ten-minute paddling makes me really uncomfortable. But the gecko probably took my feet as the spar in a pirate ship. It climbed on my feet and overlooked the surrounding ocean like it was ready for the treasures at any time.
The gecko was not afraid of the headwind and waves I caused in my full-speed return. It crawled to my knee. Ahhhhhhhh….. Even if I shook my foot hard, it was still there.
I could not help but dirty talk.
Fortunately, the beach was there.
I waved towards the beach manager and asked him to take off the gecko. He ran in half steps and said sorry with laughters. To me, his big black face with yellowing teeth was my savior I wanted to see the most on that morning. Then, he nipped the gecko with fingers skillfully and threw it to the ocean quickly.
Once the gecko left his hand, it moved like a Ninja. It swam for a second and crawled very quickly on the water. Then… it disappeared in a sudden swiftness.
After I confirmed it did not return to my paddle board, I adjust my mood to restart.
When paddling back to the ocean, I rethought of my SUP experiences, they were always memorable no matter in which waters. Last time, it was in Malcesine at the east side of Lake Garda, Italy. The red-brick houses built by the riverbank and mountain is the most charming part there. Malcesine is a famous tourists’ point of windsurfing, Wake Board and SUP. When the famous Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt visited Lake Garda in 1913, he painted the scenes of Malcesine. In such a beautiful place, I should have greatly enjoyed SUP there but I felt dizzy only after thirty minutes paddling. The waves in the lake that day were greater than the open water that I’d paddled before. Strange!
My favorite SUP experiences was two years ago in a small lake called Geyrischer Teich near Czech Republic in the East of Germany. It was my first time trying SUP. I rented equipment near the lake. The paddle and board I took looked brand new. I learnt standing in balance on the water and paddled, I didn’t fall into the water because I grasped the skills very quickly. I slightly established my confidence and this sport entered into my life since then.
Now, I look forward to finding some local lake or river in Shanghai suitable for SUP, I want to paddle with my dog!
Doing SUP with my dog is one of my birthday wishes this year. My dog doesn’t really like water but I’d love to show her the world beyond the land. When paddling with me, she would probably sit on the board with stiff facial expressions and stare at the land nervously. Ha!
If you have any great SUP experiences, please recommend your good locations through comments. I’ll try in my next vacations. Thank you!
這兩年，我喜歡上「立槳划行」(SUP, Stand Up Paddle)。
在確定它沒有回到我漿板上躲起來時，我才調適心情重新出發。在划回海心時，我回想，過去不論在哪個水域，每次SUP都令我印象深刻，記憶尤新。上次是在義大利加達湖的東岸Malcesine。這裡沿岸傍山而建的紅磚房為魅力所在。Malcesine是著名的水上風帆、Ｗake Board和SUP的據點。奧地利藝術家Klimt 曾經在1913年造訪加達湖的時候，描繪過櫛比鱗次的岸景。在如此的風光中，我應該無比享受才對，不料我在這裡SUP才十分鐘就感到暈眩，因為加達湖的風浪竟然比曾經去過的幾個海邊都來得大，站著划行一直被浪推前推後，忽高忽低，實在不可置信。