Langkawi, Malaysia 2 years ago…
So I was trying to have a relaxing beach vacation.
I had a beautiful rainforest resort. I was relaxing on the beach with my beautiful fiancee. But I felt like something was missing.
Not only did I desire adventure, but also it was our last full day at the resort. So even with no kayaking experience, no research concerning weather patterns, and a propensity for falling off boats (3x in my life), I figured I’d rent a sea kayak and some snorkel gear so I could take my fiancee to an island that didn’t look to be too far away. (Sounds reasonable, right?)
And little did I know, mother nature knows how to set you straight!
Clear and calm
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Getting to the island was a little rocky, but we made it. Now, we just had to get back, but first we explored the island.
You can imagine how this felt. It was sunny, and aside from some trees, crabs, and birds, we were the only things on the island. Wouldn’t you feel great?
After 30 minutes of exploration and photography, I noticed some dark clouds brewing on the horizon.
The winds started to pick up, and I noticed the trees were a little flimsy and did not provide any shelter. A lightning bolt cracked in the distance, and I knew we had to get off the island…
Now, I’m an intense-sports kind of guy. So even though I had heard that sea kayaking in a storm was difficult, I knew I could overcome the current and force our way to shore. It didn’t look that far.
It couldn’t be that hard, right?
I Had Never Been More Wrong In My Life
Can you imagine this?
We get in the kayak.
I push us out.
And I immediately realize I didn’t know how to fight the current that is sending us out to sea.
Are We Going to Make It Back Alive?
Now the waves are kicking up, rain is pouring, and thunder and lightning are letting their presence be known. The current is pulling us from left to right while I am trying to point us straight ahead (yes, physics are about to kick in). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we were also taking on water…
This Is Going to Tip Over
I don’t know how many times I repeated this phrase. I kept telling my fiancee to secure our possessions, but there was nowhere to store anything. I was doing my best to keep us from flipping, but I knew our time was coming.
Disoriented, darkness, and surrounded by water, we had flipped. Spitting out salt water, I tried to get my bearings. In the madness, I was able to grab the flippers while my fiancee grabbed my pair of shoes (the only pair I brought on vacation). Everything else sunk to the ocean floor. Both of us held onto the yellow kayak and screamed for help. A few hundred yards seemed like an eternity from the revelers in the resort’s beach front bar. They couldn’t hear anything.
Nobody Is Going to Save Us
After ten minutes of screaming, I told my fiancee that I would pull us ashore because I had flippers on. Unfortunately, my understanding of physics failed again, and one man can’t take on the ocean. We moved only a few feet. And then, there was a low buzzing sound in the air. In all the chaos, we were only focused on the shoreline. We had missed the catamaran anchored on the other side of the bay. A zodiac dinghy was navigating the waves and headed for us.
We lunged ourselves into the zodiac, and our rescuer tied the kayak to the boat. I don’t remember the ride to shore, but when we made it, I felt it. Terra firma. We made it.
After the shock wore off, we thanked our rescuer once again and chatted with him at the bar. He startled us with a revelation. He only saw the bright yellow kayak. He didn’t see us until he got closer. He was just going to grab the kayak before it went out to sea. The color saved our lives. At the beginning of this tale, I told you that I was looking for a little adventure. This wasn’t the adventure I was seeking.
This experience led to the creation of Laughing Lion’s debut product. Our 20L Dry Bag is the staple of our product line, and it would’ve saved the day in our little adventure. Rather than losing all of our stuff, it would’ve been safely secured in our dry bag. It would’ve provided a little more exposure with it’s bright yellow color and safety reflectors. Needless to say, we learned from our mistake.
Here at Laughing Lion, we make extreme products for extreme conditions. From the lava fields of Hawaii to the mountains of Poland, we test our products in all conditions. If you need durability, you’ve come to the right place.