We visited Mnarani in the wonderful month of August; just about when the rainy season came to an end in the surrounding coastal areas of Kenya. Luckily for us, this meant water sports was a top choice! And what a spectacular choice it was…
We headed towards the beach, down Mnarani’s cardiac hill, with loads of excess sunblock, hats, sunglasses, and of course our swimsuits. We were heartily welcomed by the team at Three Degrees South and briefed about basic safety procedures for windsurfing. But let’s skip the rules and regulations and T’s and C’s, and focus on the fun part!
David, our awesome guide from the Three Degrees team, showed us the ins and outs, as well the do’s and don’ts on a windsurfing board that was bolted to the ground. All of this seemed super technical and we were extremely amazed that we were even able to replicate David’s mad skill and techniques, once we were out on the water.
So okay, demonstration time over – practical application time starts and David takes us out onto the water with a sailboat. From the sailboat, we hopped onto a smaller dinghy and one-by-one tried our luck and skill as windsurfers. While awaiting our turn, we were regaled by stories about the Kenyan coast, nearby local restaurants with authentic and delicious cuisine, must-visit clubs and beaches that are not to be missed. Amongst many of the magnificent tales we were told… was one that fascinated us most – the locals in the area swim all the way across the Creek, which is no small feat and start this tradition from the age of seven!
Anyway getting back to windsurfing – at this point of the story I will stop referring to “we” and start with the “I” and “me” part; just to give you a personal account of this activity called windsurfing…
So finally it was my turn; so I hopped on over to the little boat, expressed my nervousness and of course the good ol’ fear of falling reared its ugly head! But there was no turning back now. Before I knew it, I was on the board and balancing. Now came the hard part because it is at this point that you have to make sure your back is at the right angle and that your knees carry all the weight. Hands on the sails’ bars and one, two, three… I had to pull this thing up. And up it went. Yay, right? I am windsurfing?! Nope. Think again.
I was just “chilling” above the multi-hued waters of the creek, standing in the right angle with my knees carrying the weight. Apparently the windsurfing is the hard and technical part. Now you need to put your one hand over the other, do some more nifty hand movements (excuse my very “technical” windsurfing jargon) and somehow get this sail turned in front of me. Luckily David guided me through it. In between, you’ve got to make sure that your feet are facing the nose of the board in order to surf. So now, angle – check, weight in knees – check, nifty hand movements –check, feet facing the nose – check, clinging to the board – check and not falling – check.
Rumour has it that you stop shaking from the adrenaline after your second fall. But like I said “not falling –check” and I was determined to stay glued to that board. I got the hang of it, but the wind was quite strong and I didn’t have the arm strength to fully turn the sail over and start windsurfing in the technical sense. But either way, it was fun and I still believe that I pretty much windsurfed. If I had more time, this is one of the skills I would love to master!
Back to “we” – we would like to extend the best and most hearty thanks to the Three Degrees South team for an absolutely awesome experience and for providing Mnarani guests with one hour free trial lessons. Naturally, we would like to thank Mnarani for introducing us to the Three Degrees team!
Have you ever tried windsurfing? How’d it go? Did you have a big splash?