Wightophile's with little else to do may have read about our previous adventures kayaking around the caves of Freshwater or around St Helen's.
Towards the end of last summer we took the inflatable yellow deathtrap out for another splash. This time I felt the pressure upon my shoulders as my companion - George - was a south Wighter who coyly admitted that he had no recollection of ever visiting St. Helen's, Priory Bay or most of the East Wight (even though he had a grandma in Bembridge).
It had taken two months of nagging to persuade him to journey all the way from Whitwell (15 miles), so I wanted it to be perfect.
We pumped up the kayak in the usual hilarious manner and left my wife and daughter behind to fend for themselves for an hour.
Twenty minutes later we approached Priory Bay, which I'd described as a quiet paradise with golden sands and shallow waters.
Indeed, the sands were golden but it was also the meeting point for a couple of dozen small yachts on some kind of posh school outing. It was picturesque, but it was more like an episode of Lost with a cast of 30 than a scene from Castaway.
Nonetheless, my sceptical chum admitted it was a pretty special spot and I enjoyed 30 seconds of sunshine sat on a fallen tree.
The silence was rudely shattered by my ringing phone which was inside one of these funny waterproof pouches. It's cleverly designed for idiots like me who can't cope without a mobile phone for an hour and who feel sure they will drop it into the sea.
I just about managed to answer it through the case and listened faintly to a panicky sounding wife telling me to "come back...pfffft.....quickly....mufflemuffle....water...."
*Click, BEEP* went the phone. My signal was poor and she didn't answer my return call(s).
Needless to say, I panicked a little and leapt back into the Kayak. My friend looked a little less panicked, but dutifully climbed in.
We paddled at a pace which would have won us bronze at the Olympics in the 1970s (it was fast, but I'm realistic).
As we passed around the headland and into the bay at St Helen's, I came up with a masterplan and changed direction to head for the shore. I was convinced that I could run faster than we could paddle, so I would leap out the kayak and run along the beach, no doubt resembling a hunky lifeguard. George would have to paddle back on his own.
Unfortunately, I somewhat misjudged the depth of the water and climbed out of the kayak too early. Climbing back in is not a simple option so I had to swim for shore.
And so I swam - one armed - in a fairly circular fashion towards the shore, holding a mobile phone aloft like Tom Hanks emerging from the sea after successfully catching a fish in Castaway. My dreams of appearing as a hunky lifeguard were falling apart. I could of course have tested out my fancy waterproof pouch but I briefly doubted the quality of my £5.99 pouch.
Finally at the shore, I ran along the beach and arrived red faced and puffing like a steam train.
"Oh don't worry, we're fine now" said Mrs Guru, "this kind lady helped us".
"You didn't need to rush back" she added, with a glint in her eye.
My wheezy questioning eventually revealed that the tide had come in rather rapidly, leaving our beach shelter full of water and our three year old wailing on the sea wall. My wife wasn't sure whether to rescue the tent and pushchair or calm the child.
I did consider asking quite how quickly she expected me to return considering we were well out of site onboard a vessel which travels at a snail's pace...but I thought better of it and bought us all ice creams.
A couple of hours later George made it back to the beach...
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog
Where to stay
Some of the links on this site are 'affiliate links' meaning we may receive commission from accommodation providers at no cost to the buyer. We are also an Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying products.
However, we maintain full editorial control and only recommend based on merit rather than whether they offer commission.
© COPYRIGHT 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.