The best thing about Salsa and Salsa is that I am one of the Dancing Chefs. Becoming a part of this team gave me the opportunity to make connections and bonds with fellow Dancing Chefs. What I found is most interesting is that we are so different from one another. One thing I must say that we all have in common is that we enjoy having a good time, entertaining others and being adventurous. The mix of such diverse personalities somehow all come together and complement each other.
Something that I love is nature and water sports. My home base as a Dancing Chef is in Mazatlan, Mexico. I believe Mazatlan is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Mexico. The city is built along the coast of the Sea of Cortez. The ocean always has a different color depending on the sun and weather. We also have three islands here in Mazatlan which are Bird Island, Deer Island and Goat Island.
We all enjoy sharing our interests with one another. Since I am a huge fan of water sports I decided to invite my fellow Mazatlan team on a Ocean Kayaking Adventure. Dancing Chef Maaike is a mother of 2, Dancing Chef Stephanie works at Salsa and Salsa by day and is a full time student by night, and I am always busy with family so it took us a few attempts to finally get together. We decided to meet early morning at a beach near Royal Villas where we have our Salsa and Salsa Shows.
First things first: Basic Safety for Ocean Kayaking:
- It is crucial that you wear protective sun gear in order to protect yourself from the sun. Make sure to apply sun screen on yourself along with your group before heading out. Be careful when applying to your face, you do not want to get any in your eyes. Be sure to put extra sun screen on your shoulders because they are exposed most to the sun.
- If you are going to make a stop on an Island or at the beach I suggest wearing water shoes. You may also wear wet shirts to protect your skin from the sun and weather. If you decide to wear hats or sunglasses be aware that you may loose them. I suggest leaving them behind.
- It is important to make sure everyone has had water before exercising. If you have a meal before make sure to allow one 1 to 2 hours for digestion.
- Be sure everyone in your group knows how to swim. This is very important when ocean kayaking. There is a good possibility you may tip over and will need to swim and climb back into the kayak. You should always wear life vests.
- Ask your Instructor for tips such as the ocean currents as well as wind direction so that you will know how to handle the kayak. If you do not have an instructor go online and check the weather conditions yourself.
- Always be alert and attentive. You wan to keep your eyes open for any rocks or shallow areas. If you come across a rock, make sure to go around and do not hit or come near the rock.
- When kayaking back inland you may need to catch a wave. Keep the kayak straight and use the paddles to catch the wave. Once the wave hits the kayak, lean back and hold your paddle up forward away from your chest and enjoy the ride! If you happen to tip over, loose grip of your paddle, do not worry it will float. Make sure your partner is fine, then grab your paddles and decide if you will climb back in or simply guide the kayak back to shore.
- Once you have gone through all the safety tips with your group, you are ready to set into the ocean for a Kayak Adventure.
After the Dancing Chefs went through all the safety rules together, we were off and ready to go. We took 2 double Kayaks and kayaked towards Bird Island. It was a beautiful morning so we enjoyed the views from the kayak and yelled to each other once in while and laughed a lot. Once we reached Bird Island we carefully pulled the Kayaks onto the beach where they would be safe from being pulled back into the ocean. We took our life vests off and decided to explore the Island for a bit. We heard and saw plenty of birds which included Pelicans, Swallows, and ducks. The name of the island isn’t exaggerated at all. The island also has a little cove where you can imagine it is a great place for snorkeling. Lastly we went to look for any other animal life that we could find which made the entire adventure even more fun. After exploring we got back into our Kayaks and kayaked back to shore.
When you’re visiting Mazatlan, try out this or any of the other water sports you can practice in Mazatlan: you will love it!
Dancing Chef Melissa