Breaking a sea of gender barriers
By Express News Service | Published: 11th February 2013 10:58 AM |
Sandy Robson, a woman sea kayaker from western Australia, believes that gender should not be a barrier in exploring the beauty the world. And, that belief has prompted her to explore the world, paddling her kayak.
She is currently in Kochi as part of her voyage from Germany to Australia, covering around 55,000 km.
Speaking to City Express on the beach near Dutch Cemetery here, she introduced herself by referring to the ‘About Me’ in her blog, which reads: ‘Nature puts on the show - you just need to paddle your kayak to the front row... If you are out there enough and in the right places, you will get spy hopped by a whale, you will lose count of the turtles you see, and you might be surprised by a sunbaking sea snake, a snoozing penguin or a sea lion demanding your catch. Be inspired, conquer your fears and get out there in a sea kayak - and don’t think I haven’t noticed the lack of women out there on the water. If I can do it, you can do it too.’
Earlier, she had undertaken several voyages, including the one from Germany to Cyprus covering 4,000 km in five months in 2011.
She started her voyage to India in December last year. “I started from the Gujarat coast to reach Kerala,” she said. A great fan of Kerala’s beautiful beaches, cuisine and historical places, she praised the hospitality that she received here. “Unlike north Indian states, I could meet many people who can communicate in English in Kerala villages,” she said.
However, Sandy made a sharp observation about the embedded patriarchy in Kerala’s social life. “I was asked by several people whether I am married or not,” she said. Sandy also pointed out that she had to face certain uncomfortable comments from some people on certain beaches in Kerala.
“Some people could not digest that single foreign woman could stay alone in a tent on a beach. On one occasion, I had to call a friend when the level of ‘comments’ crossed limits. My friend and his family came and I shifted from the place,” she said.