Kayaking at Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu

On our one day trip to Gaya Island, we opted Discover Scuba Diving course, you can read about our underwater experience in Scuba Diving at Gaya Island. In our second half of the day, we went for Kayaking. Kayaking sounds simple, looks simple and it is also simple to do if you have lots of stamina. Our activity was arranged by Downbelow, operator based out of Kota Kinabalu.

Kayaking on the shore of Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu
Kayaking can be done solo in single kayak or with a partner. We went in pair of two. The activity started with an introduction to the basics of kayaking, holding the paddle, how to row, change direction and have fun!  Our instructor Chris, also showed us the path we were suppose to take which was along the line of shore going towards the mangrove forest. Kayaking can be done either in the river or in the sea. The adventurous side of kayaking is when it is done in River Rapids, whereas the quite and relaxing kayaking can be done in a river. Since we were on the island, ours was sea kayaking, but the water on the Gaya Island was calm and still, unlike the waves on many shorelines.

I am relaxing when my partner is rowing forward! 
4 of us in 2 kayaks started rowing to explore the shore of Gaya Island. The beginning like any other sport - exciting, full of enthusiasm and fast. As we went deeper in the water, our energy level started coming down as we started off with more power than required. When deeper into the water, the power required to move forward is a little less, however, no rowing also leads your kayak to the sea's own path. The fun part of kayaking was to coordinate with your partner. Trust me, the synchronization required to move towards a common direction is difficult to find. Also the general pattern of direction is that you move right to go right, whereas in kayaking, you row on your left to go to the right side and vise versa. The shoreline of Gaya Island was pristine blue with many fishes visible provided you don't row for a while as they get scared by paddle and swim away. The mangrove tree attracts many monkeys and birds like Hornbill.  If you are lucky, we might get a chance to see them!

I personally found kayaking a great way to explore the path along the water and moving between trees in water was amazing experience. It is an activity for all age groups. Whether you want adventure or relaxation, kayaking can be explored in various places around the world.

Selfie time during our break from Kayaking (I am the one in the back :P)
Saving our Kayaks from crashing into each other!

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