Thursday, August 24, 2006

The View from Below
(see Derrick's blog goes well with this one...and a white wine)

Not all my time on Lake Michigan has been in kayaks. I have owned power and sail boats, and the finest was a Han Christian 42-foot cutter with a 6 foot bow sprit. She had the motion of a large ship, pitching up and down into head seas, and I liked to sit out on the bow with my feet hanging over each side and dipping into the water to my knees as she pitched.

The problem with big boats (I also had a wonderful 50-foot pilot house trawler) is that, along with the amenities, they provide you with a high up point of view well off the water which, after a while, left me with the feeling of being in a movie about being on a boat and not really being on the water. From atop the fly bridge (pilot house) it seemed as if I was outside looking in. But not so with a kayak.

Our little crafts, which are as sea worthy as most sail boats and almost all power boats, have few one. The view. Being down on the water (hey, our butts, mathematically speaking, are under the water...but I digress) provides us with a view only known to fishes, gulls and other kayakers.

Gliding along, I can splash some water onto myself to help cool down. I can just hang my hands in the drink to feel the environment. I can, with the help of my polaroid lenses and a calm surface, actually see into another world, the world of water. And, I am acutely aware of what condition we have left the waters in. And, I feel every surge and undulation of the water, and I feel that the lake/sea is truly alive.

The only thing that could come close to such an experience, at least for me, would be floating or swimming without any boat at all. But, then where would I put my camera, paddle float, water bottle and pump?

(I am off to QAJAQ USA camp this evening. Next blog on Monday ds)

Paddle safe


Silbs said...

Off to QAJAQ USA camp this blog on Monday

derrick said...

Nice post of course. Have a safe trip and a fun time. Oh, and you should probobly learn something while your there too. :)

Silbs said...

ok, there you go with the pressure thing again.

JohnB said...

No pressure from this guy. . .have fun and drive safe!