Random Observation/Comment #74: How would you feel if you were the only one who lived on an island? Sure, you would get guests who come and visit, and daily supplies of food, but what would you do all day? Spirited survivors stranded on an island at least need to come up with ways to escape the island, plan for food sources in the upcoming days, or occupy their social lives with imaginary friends painted on a volleyball ball (that looks weird, but I think it’s right), but what would someone without these worries do? I guess they could do anything. Knowing me, exploration would take up 80% of my time. I would also probably need a few terabytes of hard drive space for the pictures.
From Ojika, half of the group followed Yuka to the island 15 minutes away by ferry. Only a small section of the island has been paved for hiking because of wildlife preservation (and human preservation). I only saw a few wild deer walking around the area, but the circle of life guarantees predators not too far away (oh wait, that’s us). We wouldn’t want over population, would we?
The first activity on the island was sea kayaking. Like in white water rafting, we were taught the basic safety instructions for about twenty minutes to make sure we know what to do in case we’re drowning (besides the normal panicking and taking big gulps of water). There really weren’t any rapids to drown from or even reasons to fall off the kayak, but these five-minute safety things won’t sound so stupid when you’re actually caught in one these unfortunate situations.
I wore rental sandals and hopped on board the kayak with Yuka. I took the rear seat and did more of the heavy work. Having done it many times, she was already quite experienced. The paddle force was not very heavy, and she had a very steady and consistent stroke. The key is synchronization, which requires good teamwork (oh, don’t be so immature – I’m not speaking in metaphors).
Kayaking isn’t as fun as it looks. It takes a lot of skill to go in a straight line, and after a while it’s just tiring. One of the more fun activities is swimming in the clear water of the small beach surrounded by mountains. The waves here were a little bit better than those in Zushi, but still very disappointing. In the Ojika beach, I just enjoyed the feeling of warm sand between my toes and fingers. The view was phenomenal and there was no place I’d rather be. I smiled as I floated in that water and looked into the horizon, only to see some light clouds and another island in the distance. Instead of the Titanic 360 view, I pictured myself slowly zooming out from a Google Map. It wasn’t mysterious like in Bourne Identity where every zoom in motion is highly segmented and usually accompanied by a very lively orchestra. There are also those funny top secret typing sounds as the text appears revealing the location. I think all spies have accompanying theme songs – it’s one of the company perks.
I looked around the island to find a particular landmark that I seemed to have found everywhere civilization had left its mark in Japan. My expectations of finding this iconic symbol of evolution were quite high. However, wherever I looked – in the small resort, near the beaches, or by the harbors – this sign was nowhere to be found. This is when I knew that this was a place pure at heart – not a typical tourist attraction that itches to weasel money. I was a little taken back because I had seen it in so many places and so often. Even on top of the highest mountains and on the ferries, there it would always stand to provide substance. Now that I think about it, I really wish it played a larger part in America. I really missed those vending machines.
~See Lemons Kayak