• The Vanilla Gorilla

3 Third World Paddling Encounters

In my attempts to get a few miles in, even though the odds constantly seem stacked against me, I got to handle some awesome training situations that will forever make me a better paddler.


1. Water snake

Man, if he was trying to look like a stick, he succeeded. Until I was right next to him, I didn't think anything of another brown, floating thing in the water. There is a lot of debris and garbage, so I've started to ignore it. If he wanted to scare the crap out of me, he succeeded in that as well. At first I did an interval, and then I slowed down to get a good look at him. He didn't look like a total bad ass, but looks can be deceiving. I will attempt to look up what species he was later today.


2. Dead chicken

I usually run my weed fin when I think there will be a lot of hang-ups to slow me down. Currently, I am without my weed-specific fin, and it hasn't been much of a problem. The debris has been too large or not of a "tangling" nature. Trash usually just bounces off the nose and fin. I was heading full speed through a coconut tree lined, back-water channel when I realized the white trash in front of me was feathery. I hit the decayed, dead chicken nose first. Somehow, he slid right down the keel of my board and collected on my fin. WOW! That is the slowest I've ever been, and I will never complain about weeds again! I shook my board back and forth, tried paddling a little harder, both to no avail. I stopped and used my paddle to try to push him off. The last attempt was paddling backwards to try and get his remains cleared. His feathers were floating away in all directions, but his core was really on there. I really didn't want to touch him. So, there I was, dancing around on my board. Paddling forward, backwards, and side to side. Picking at my fin with my paddle, when I realize I'm providing ample entertainment for the last interesting thing on my list:


3. Dude taking a dump

No magazine needed, I was providing him more entertainment than any reading material could while he was pinching one off. He was laughing a little. Not that I was looking. Again, this isn't a rare site. I see men, women, and children performing their morning rituals quite often. Sometimes on the train tracks, sometimes in the middle of the street. This one just got me because I didn't see him until he was laughing at me, and he was the one with pants down. Ironic. 


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