Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ever since men have gone down to the sea in ships, ohters have waited for them to return. The old houses near port towns were built with small steeples that sported an open walk way called the widow's walk. From such a high point a wife would look out to sea in hopes of seeing the top of a mast, an indication that her loved one was returning home safely. Sometimes that mast never appeared.
On our local Yahoo site, a paddler asked what we could learn from Andrew McAuley's loss " that it would never happen again." My response, in essence, was that there was nothing we could do to keep it from ever happening again. Going out on the water in any craft is inherently risky. One can, and should, reduce that risk with lessons, attention to weather and equipment and constant upgrading of their skills. One must accept, however, that to go out on the water is to accept certain risks.
Not going out on the water is not an option. People die in bed all the time.
Paddle safe...


Michael said...

Given the incredible rate of death caused by beds, it's a wonder they're still allowed!

JohnB said...

Well said !!!

I've heard said many times, "Death and taxes are the two certainties in life.” The latter I experience all the time and the former I’ve observed.

If I were to be able to choose, I’d rather die quickly so as not to prolong the anguish it brings to others. Anguish, that I have personally experienced and continue to do so.

And, if I were able to choose the place or the time, I’d just as soon die kayaking as I would in bed.

But most of us don’t choose the time or place. Live life to the fullest, enjoy and love those around you, as well as mother earth.

Water, be it an ocean, a lake, a river, a stream, a creek, has always been a special place for me; especially big water as in a Great Lake or ocean.

You just never know when this is your last heartbeat . . . it could be as your reading this ---------

derrick said...

good post. Even responsible, health nut, dedicated family types, suffering severe hypochondria die.

I don't want to die on the water, but I don't want to die before I'm dead either.

Nikki Leigh said...

I have a google alert for "widow's walk" since that's the title of one of my book titles. I really enjoyed your post :)

My story starts with a young woman preparing for her wedding in October 1841 as a gale is heading toward the Cape Ann coast. Her father's fishing boat is due in any day and she climbs onto the widow's walk to scan the horizon for his boat. Her concern turns to fear when she realizes the lighthouse isn't shining and her father is struggling to get to shore safely :)

Nikki Leigh

PS - So many potential stories along the coast. What would we do if we couldn't be on or near the water :)

Silbs said...

Nikki, sounds like a classic. The water is, indeed, rich fodder for stories. Seems to me there was even one about a guy in a whale.

bonnie said...

So I got laid off one year, and spent the summer being a kayak guide, and then I was on my way to an outplacement workshop one day when a gang of fundamentalist terrorists flew a plane into a building over my head.

You never know when it's going to be over.

The real tragedy is if you didn't manage to actually live before that happens.

Silbs said...

You all amaze and impress me with the depth of people I've run into through paddling. I wonder what the common thread is that draws us together. Grist for a blog, perhaps.