Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I walked our dog Moss this morning. I liked the way he blended into the landscape. That is, except for his garish hunting jacket. It made me think about my paddling style and how I like to quietly go exploring. I don't like lavish trips with loads of publicity, sponsors and media interviews. Let other people splash their hi-tec paddles and show off their fancy boats. I like the freedom and independence of doing things for myself.
A new sea kayak expedition is being planned for Newfoundland this coming summer. They will be well sponsored by various companies who will supply boats and other gear as is the way these days. I suppose that helps reduce costs and makes a big expedition affordable. It's a bit like the picture of Moss above. He only gets to have a walk during hunting season if he wears his jacket. Like Moss, if that's the only way one can get to go, alright, but it isn't what I think of as kayaking for pleasure. I enjoy the feeling that my paddling trips are all mine, planned and equiped and carried out by me and my partners, if any. No one needs to give me anything, I don't go begging for fancy equipment. When the trip is done and I'm back home, no one will be asking for any favours because I was given something and now they want some pay-back. My freedom to paddle is too precious to sign it away to anyone.
It means my trips are perhaps reduced in scope and not as well equiped, but the satisfaction of knowing I did it with my own two hands gives me great pleasure. I hate feeling beholden to others. When I walk up the beach and shake the hand of a local resident I know we are equals, both there because of our own efforts and not a bunch of freebies.