Saturday, February 10, 2007
The kayaking world sits quietly this morning, paddles still, resting on our cockpit rims, waiting to hear some good news from New Zealand. Andrew McAuley has been separated from his boat only a day's paddle from New Zealand's Milford Sound. His boat has been located, but as I write, he is still missing.
Naturally some will be saying his trip was foolhardy and he should never have been out there, risking all, but let us not forget, he had to be out there. Challenges like these are not really voluntary. They grind away at your inner being, until you just 'do it' as the expression goes. Andrew went and did it. We need to rejoice in that fact. Hopefully he will be found and we'll find out what happened which separated him and his kayak. But if the news is otherwise, never forget that had mankind spent the past few million years without daring to face its challenging moments, we'd be still living in trees looking over the grasslands, wondering if it was safe to switch trees. We may not be here at all. Most life forms, never got this far.
Every time someone like Andrew has the guts to try something new, we all move ahead just a little bit more. It doesn't mean we all have to take risks like these and that's the wonderful thing. We get to move ahead with these people. They literally take us with them. For the vast majority, that's why we're here today, not risking much, living quiet lives, yet at the same time, we're the beneficiaries of all the risk-takers who've lived before us.
So come home safe, Andrew. Take us with you on your next great challenge!