Kayaking our way to glory

Author: ltcommander  //  Category: Hiking in Hong Kong, Kayaking, OTHER ADVENTURES

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Kayaking our way to glory

Full set of photos are here (warning: you have to be cool to watch them otherwise the link won’t open)

Ok, I’ll admit this post isn’t exactly about a trail run or even about hiking (well, I guess, technically, a walk from Habe Heaven Yacht club in Pak Sha Wan to the pier can be called a ‘hike’ but, yes, that’s a stretch).

Nonetheless, this post is extremely important because I have discovered yet another facet of genius in me that I’d like to humbly share with you. There was a time when I once discovered the hidden Gordon Ramsay in me when I cooked the world’s most perfect cup noodles. (The water temperature has to be just right when cooking noodles, every little slight difference in the temperature of water can adversely affect the texture, taste and smell of the noodles. Anyway, all that later). Today, along with my kayaking partner Carol, I discovered that there is a kayaking champion hidden in both of us. In fact, we even developed a new method of rowing synchronization today. Before I divulge this secret, let me emphasize that this technique is patented and any misuse/false claim of ownership (read: Hannes) will be dealt with severely under the strictest rule of law. It goes like this: when the guy at the backside of the kayak yells “1″, both kayakers have to lift their oars to the left and gently push the water at an angle of 45.6 degrees to the right using the right most tip of the oar. And, when “2″ is yelled, the kayakers will execute a symmetrical move the left. When “3″ is yelled, the kayakers will simply do nothing. They’ll chill. This state-of-the-art technique we invented helped us beat all other teams (including an overly competitive team consisting of Dominic and April). We won ourselves an award of excellence for this feat.

Roger preparing himself to come first but with us competing, he didn’t have a chance

Catch all the kayaking action up ahead

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Of snapping shrimps and whales…

Author: ltcommander  //  Category: Articles, Everyday life, Hiking in Hong Kong, Kayaking, OTHER ADVENTURES

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A while back, Max organized an amazing kayaking adventure. Paul Etherington of Kayak and Hike Limited gave us a whirlwinding tour of Hong Kong on a police speedboat! I was the only one who needed a life jacket to live through the day! Well, anyway, as I took a small dive in the clearer waters of the South China sea, I could hear crackling sounds underneath the water as though an engine’s spark plug was continuously going off. My CSI instincts told me to suspect foul play. Could the noise have emerged from a murdered diver’s watch? Luckily, I didn’t express my opnion to anybody and pinched myself a little to safely return to the peaceful world.

Weeks later, I saw on the TV show Animal Face-off that whales could actually emit noises that are no less in decibels than the noise that Boeing 747 jumbo jets produce when taking off. Whales’ snouts produce a crackling sound to identify objects in deep waters using SONAR. I rubbished that little annoying voice in my head that kept insisting that the chances of finding whales anywhere near Hong Kong waters would be no greater than seeing UFOs and little green men hovering around the IFC mall! But, nonetheless, I conveniently assumed that the mystery was solved and the case closed UNTIL…

Denise from Saturday hikers sent me this:

“Saturday hikers were swimming off Po Toi today and we also heard the crackling sounds (like bacon frying) that you mention were heard on the kayaking trip. Romantic as the notion of whales’ sonar is, I don’t think it is correct. More likely to be snapping shrimp.”

Denise, you ruined my day! ;) Denise also sent me two links that clearly put a full stop to the mystery.

Exhibit A: Listen to this (source is here)

Members of the jury, that’s the crackling sound I heard.

Exhibit B: Article on ‘Snapping shrimps’: (source is here)

“FOR years, snapping shrimp have been an intriguing mystery to me.

First, I couldn’t figure out what was making that crackling noise I heard when I was swimming underwater or sitting below deck in my sailboat. The distinctive sound reminded me of bacon frying.

Eventually I learned that the noise came from the forceful clicking together of the giant claw of little creatures called snapping shrimp.

Read more…

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