Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hey, Mate. Might you be coming or going?Yesterday, Derrick posted a wonderful and thoughtful blog on his upcoming Tour De Force around Puerto Rico. In it, he muses about the old quandary of whether it is the journey or the destination that calls and considers many things that draw paddlers out onto the open water. I am guessing most of us have entertained these thoughts in private. I also am guessing that many of us have, at one time or another, contemplated a long journey...and never took it.

I know that during my sailing days I was always making my 42-foot cutter ready for that trans oceanic trip...which I never took. I would go out onto Lake Michigan when no one else was leaving their slips, and I'd do it single handed...the way I would cross the ocean. I was constantly adjusting this and tuning that and reading catalogues to see what goodies could be added to my little ship. To be sure, boats like her (Hans Christian 42) are sailing the Pacific as we speak. In the end, I never went further than the confines of the lake. When the time came (a physical problem...but I digress), I sold her and moved on. I became one of the majority of sailors who think about and never take that long trip.

For us, I suspect, the journey was the planning and the dreaming and that there was no destination in mind or worth seeking. For some, there was lack of time, money and opportunity. For many, however, I believe the dreaming and "practicing" was enough and that right here was, in the final analysis, a better (safer?) place than out there spending endless days alone.

So, we take mini adventures in our kayaks. We drive somewhere not far away in order to launch and land at a new place. We do an all-dayer, packing a lunch to eat ashore in an unfamiliar place. Sometimes it is a matter of going out from the same old launch site but into more threatening seas. In the end, it is to touch the need in us to take risk, however small, and to conquer our fears.

Others never go, I suspect, because here is better than anywhere else they can imagine being. In the end, I wonder if those that do go are going toward something or getting away from something. No matter if the trip fulfills that need, and I wish each of them well.

Paddle safe...


Michael said...

You're quite right, we all wonder why we leave the shore be it for an hour or for months on end and we all have our private reasons, or think we do. If I'm right in my quess, Derrick's partner is planning another escape from her life. She's done it before and seems to want endlessly to keep on escaping. Derrick seems to be leaping into the unknown to see what it's like out there, but he has a purpose, I think. He also wants to try new ways of doing what he already does, forge ways of bringing to the rest of us, adventures as they happen. Good for him!
I made my break with the everyday when I was 24, and never did come back... or did I? LOL

Silbs said...

As always, your feed back is wise and most welcome. Thanks.