On Celtic Tides

Posted by Robert N Pruden on Jan 7, 2006

I am reading this very well written book by Chris Duff and wanted to share a paragraph with you all. This paragraph is exactly how I have experienced paddling solo during my cross-Canada trip. If there are any of you who might be in doubt as to just exactly what it is that you are feeling while "out there", read on:

"I love the feel of the boat snugly wrapped around me; the firmness of the bulkhead against my feet, the touch of the deck on my slightly bent knees, and the padded cockpit lightly holding my hips within the seat. While my eyes wandered across the waves, out to the distant shoreline and always back to the bow gracefully slicing into the next swell, my body felt each rise and fall of the sea. I reached forward, slipped the paddle into the bow wave, pulled back, and felt shoulder, arm, and stomach muscles tense. Fingers tightened around the shaft of the paddle, pulled smoothly, then relaxed as the blade exited at the read of the cockpit. Rotate, reach, plant, pull. Again and again. Through the skin of the boat I could almost feel the caress fo the waves, two worlds meeting in the rhythm of muscle, and the rise and fall of the swell. I closed my eyes, smiled, and paddled for several minutes, wanting to live these first moments as deeply as I could." (p.23)

I remember so many times when I gently paddled the VJ with closed eyes, making every effort to let the rest of my senses absorb the moment as I bathed my body in the bright warming sunshine. I attempted to stretch time to its limits, to max out on Eden, or, to quote Robin Williams in the movie "The Dead Poet's Society": "...carpe diem" (sieze the moment). By the act of siezing the moment, we are lost in time and dwell were only Gods dare to go. I can't wait to get back on the river, to paddle another 1000...no...2000 kms to get to where I want to be. Getting to Hudson Bay seems almost a moot objective, it's how I get there that will count.

Robert N Pruden