Sea Kayaking Should be FUN not Serious

by Eric Soares on December 8, 2010

Tsunami Rangers' top secret pirate flag

A few months ago Tsunami Ranger Michael Powers wrote an article in Sea Kayaker magazine about getting lost while paddling solo in big waves and fog.  In the next issue, an irate reader railed at Michael for the very boo boos that he had already owned up to, and labeled him “arrogant and egotistical” for thinking he could go out in rough conditions without gadgets. The letter writer then denigrated the Tsunami Rangers.  He indicated that our name expressed an attitude that nature “is a temperamental adversary that can be managed through boundless human determination and skill.”

Eric arrests Michael for having too much fun

Boundless determination coupled with skill is a good thing while in nature.  I’m not sure that Tsunami Rangers symbolizes that, but I agree with the sentiment.  I disagree with the temperamental adversary part.  No how, no way do we view nature as a fickle opponent, an enemy to contend with and contest against.

In fact, we view nature reverently, love it, and desire to immerse ourselves in it.  We do not keep the sea at arm’s length, but seek to become one with the sea, to play in the water as water beings, to experience the profound joy of being with the sea as it changes from day to day, moment to moment.  That is, we like to have fun while sea kayaking.  On that day in Michael’s story, he failed to align with the sea, and thus got lost in the fog.  His fun quotient went down.  End of story.

Tsunami Rangers' ancestors ply the Great Wave off Kanagawa

There is no need to be so serious about messing around in boats, to be rigid as to what is right and wrong, to be afraid of the elements and thus hold back and stay put in the straight and narrow, never taking chances.  We say go for it and follow your heart’s desire when on the water.  Don’t get mired in the doldrums, where it’s safe, and nothing ever happens….  And time passes you by.

We came up with the name Tsunami Rangers while musing.  We remembered our childhood dreams of being pirates, sea gypsies who roam the wild waters.  We put ourselves in the painting of the Great Wave off Kanagawa.  The name Tsunami Rangers was meant to be fanciful and fun, not boring and correct.  Just for fun we use secret code words and give ourselves naval ranks (if the military can do it, why not us?).

Imagine yourself in The Great Wave off Mavericks

It’s true that any boater can have a miserable experience in the sea, as Michael did that day.  Most kayakers can relate a time or two that was considerably less than enjoyable.  It happens.  So what?  There is no need to be haunted by hardship and daunted by danger, or hate people who live on the edge—where transformation occurs.  Instead, marvel at each vista, and seek new horizons.  Revel in big seas, surf zones, storms, anywhere that the sea can be experienced to its fullest.  Life is short, so live yours the way you have dreamed it.  Why not put yourself in the painting!  For me, sea kayaking, in all its forms, is fun.  How is it for you?

Like this post? Then please help us out and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. And don't miss any Tsunami Rangers posts: subscribe by e-mail or subscribe by RSS. And you can leave a comment below...

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

gnarlydog December 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Eric, one of your better posts!
Your philosophy is shared here and your words are simply brilliant.
I have a word of advice to the ever lurking anal retentive judgmental control freak: don’t judge others by your own limitations.

Reply

Wayne Hanley December 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I will echo Gnarlydogs words and add that I found the reader response in Sea Kayaker way over the top. In this overly PC world ruled by “Health and Safety” regulation we should still be able to take responsibility for our own action, push our limits, and learn from our mistake!
As we have discuss elsewhere I have a few long term injuries from doing the things I enjoy, if I had my time again would I avoid these injuries, hell yes, would I stop doing the things that led to them, NO! The problem is if I had my time again I would not won’t to know the outcome of my actions, so looks like I’d still have my injuries.

Reply

John Lull December 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Nice post, Eric, and I couldn’t agree more with the fun aspect! The main thing is to have fun, explore, and enjoy the experience out on the water. I do have to add that the fun quotient rises when you aren’t clueless and have at least some of the necessary skills to have a good time, rather than a terrifying experience. So yeah, Michael dropped the ball in that respect (lack of navigation skills, for one), but he realizes that and admitted it. We’ve all made mistakes on the sea and we could all tell the tales and the lessons learned.

As to the guy who wrote a letter to the editor of Sea Kayaker, he was way off base when he concluded the Tsunami Rangers are all about reckless behavior and that we encourage that attitude. He evidently never noticed some of the contributions we have made to the sea kayaking community in terms of safety. We’ve written articles, books, and produced videos, all dealing with safety and skill development. I won’t list them here, unless someone wants me to. Some of these publications/videos even had safety as the key component. But they all emphasized the main reason for getting on the water: fun and adventure.

Many of us have done time as instructors, once again emphasizing safety and skill development. All to the same end: to have fun!

Reply

Paul McHugh December 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm

My ignorance is pure. I’ve neither read an account of Michael’s lost voyage, nor the critic’s letter. My instinct is to let both stand. Confessions can be criticized; and a criticism can itself be tantamount to a confession. All things give evidence of themselves. The wise extract meaning, no matter the stimulus. The ocean is the great mother, the sweetest of friends, the greatest of antagonists, no less than life or existence, in and of itself. If one survives the risk assumed, the episode has to be considered a success. If one does not survive, yet clearly perceives the essential nature of the encounter, that may be a different sort of success. May all beings prosper. Peace out, dawgs!

Reply

John Soares December 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

Eric, I totally agree on the importance of having fun in all outdoors activities.

There’s a strong move toward using the highest level of technology in sports. My main focus is hiking, and many hikers and websites now focus on using GPS to find your way. I say fine, if that’s what you really want to do.

I still prefer to use maps and my own sense of geography and direction. It’s more “fun.”

Reply

Wayne Horodowich December 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

Hi Eric, Wayne Horodowich here from the University of sea kayaking adding my two cents.

I really find it interesting reading comments from others regarding risk taking when they are in the comfort of their own home. I feel everyone is entitled to an opinion. When the reader said, “although powers account irritated and appalled me more than any other safety story I’ve read in 14 years as a sea kayak or subscriber, I’m glad you ran it.” What I find hard to understand is how someone can get irritated and appalled by reading an account of someone else’s self admitted stupidity. Michael had the nerve and wisdom to advertise his poor judgment (a more polite way of saying stupidity) as a lesson to others. The words irritation and being appalled are very personal. Michael did not do anything to this individual. He did nothing to hurt the sea kayaking community. In fact, by advertising his mistakes I believe he is helping the collective sea kayaking community.

Personally, I have always had difficult with armchair quarterbacks criticizing the actions of others while in the safety of their own homes and not being present at the time when the decision was made. Even though Michael made a poor decision in hindsight, I am sure he felt like it was a good idea at the time. Once he got out into open waters he freely admits he made a poor choice. Realizing it was not safe to land at that location, he used all the skills at his disposal to make the best out of a bad situation. His decision to proceed eventually resulted with him getting back to shore unharmed and a bit wiser. Those readers sitting at home should use their energy learning from the mistakes of others rather than being irritated and appalled.

I believe everyone has the right to push their limits as far as they choose. I also believe, everyone has the right to live and die as they choose. I must add, all this is dependent upon not hurting others by your personal choice. In this case, Michael did not hurt anyone, because he survived. If his actions had caused a search and rescue party to be launched, I would be reaming Michael myself and I am sure his family and friends would have been adversely affected. Every time a search and rescue party goes out, there is a risk to the lives of the men and women doing the searching, aside from the expense of the search. The Coast Guard and search and rescue are on call when there are mishaps at sea. I do make a distinction between mishap and someone pushing extreme limits. I don’t believe professional rescue personnel are there for the luxury of those who wish to push their limits to the extreme. I applaud those who push their limits. I think very highly of skilled practitioners taking on extreme challenges. I do have difficulty when extremists expect to get rescued by others. I wish extremists would sign waivers stating they do not wish to be rescued in the event they are extreme challenge goes bad. I also wish professional rescue agencies had a stupidity scale with a particular fee charged to individuals when they have to get rescued. The greater the stupidity higher the fee.

To finish my post on a lighter note, I will answer your question about sea kayaking being fun. I am frequently asked where is my favorite place to kayak. My reply is dependent upon the mood on any particular day. If my fun factor wants adventure and risk I will play in sea caves, rock gardens or surf. On another day, my mood could be craving a slow meander along a quiet shoreline. Any day I teach a class is a fun day for me. I agree with you when you say, “for me, sea kayaking, in all its forms, is fun.”

Reply

Eric Soares December 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

I thank everyone above for the wide range of comments. It happens that I agree with you all, but even if I didn’t, I would still appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Gnarlydog is direct. Yes. Paul McHugh is taoist (had to read it twice, but I can dig it)! The Johns are my friend and brother, respectively, so I figured they’d come up with something good–and they did. The two Waynes gave very good responses. I’m especially impressed with Wayne Horodowich’s detailed essay. I guess that’s why he’s “the Professor” at the University of Sea Kayaking.

Again, thanks everyone. I welcome other comments about safety vs risk, fun vs seriousness.

Reply

Derek C. Hutchinson December 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

Michael’s Sea Kayaker article demonstrates once again the need for a Kayaker certification program with penalties for kayakers who paddle in conditions not listed on their license. Fee and applications need to be sent of an authorized kayak licensing board where annual certified skill level stickers be affixed prominently on each kayak and a laminated pocket licenses be carried on the kayakers person at all times while in or around the water.
Michael behavior show the need for ridged boundaries to be placed around recreational sea kayaking before anyone else gets lost in the fog or does something really irresponsible like kayaking in to sea caves or taking out new people without first having the correct and proper certifications. The letter to the editor in Kayaker only got part of the story correct and didn’t get to the heart of the problems with the Tsunami Ranger. The TR’s cavalier kayaking ethos only encourages fools and followers to risk their lives all in the context of “having fun!” What’s next? Running with scissors and pissing on electric fences? Now there is a solution for the TR recklessness. They should all be put under the tutelage of more sane and reasonable kayakers like those Banzai Bozos and seek new inspiration through the use of more stable kayaks and restricted to paddling in force 3 sea or less. Only through tight control over kayakers will the true seriousness of this vocation be realized. We cannot have people following the TR example of going out on the sea because it’s fun.
I say it’s time to strip the TR’s of their false ranks, give them stable, safe kayaks and stop them from having excessive and unlicensed fun. I think it time everyone sends me the application and licensing fees and I’ll make the determination as to who is qualified to paddle in what conditions and provide certification course to move up in skill levels and ensure kayaker’s purchase their insurance and access through ME! I’ll be the one to dictate when, where who and how kayaking should be done! Without control you are nothing but flotsam drifting on ocean currents under the allusion that you’re having fun.

Reply

dan lewis December 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

Thanks for the post Eric and the comments everyone! I haven’t read the article or letter in response. When I teach kayaking I start with a spiel about fun and safety. In our society, we tend to think of fun and safety as being at opposite ends of a spectrum—wearing your PFD is safe, but paddling naked is fun! Minimum three in a group is safe, but solo paddling is fun! Then I ask if anyone has ever found themselves in a position where they thought they were about to die (I have, twice, while paddling). And was that fun? Overwhelming response: No! That was not fun. So there is a connection: if you’re not feeling safe, you won’t be having fun. Now, there are options in terms of skills and equipment for safety. Take clothing: the range (in cold water) goes from cotton, to naked, to woolies, to neoprene to a drysuit, with the most extreme being a wetsuit under a drysuit. It is up to us as paddlers to choose to minimize risks to a level we are comfortable with. This is a personal choice. Different people have different tolerances for danger and risk. I personally am a chickenshit—I like to stay well within my limits. Of course my limits are considerably higher than most of my friends, so I often do my wildest paddling solo, which of course forces me to be more cautious than I would like. But my friends think I am crazy and would never go out with me in the conditions I love. Why do I do it? Like the Tsunami Rangers, I love to feel at harmony with some of the wildest conditions on the planet, to sit there in the midst of the maelstrom and feel calm and quiet. It helps to have good judgement—the goal of all sea kayak expeditions is to get back to dry land, safe and sound. Thanks to Eric and the Rangers for keeping it FUN!

Reply

Bill Collins December 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

Eric, thank you for your excellent explanation of how many of us choose
to perceive our relationship with Nature. My perspective is that individuals should have the freedom to choose their own level of risk in their outdoor activities as long as they do not jeopardize the safety or well being of another individual without their consent. We can all recall accounts of individuals who have had remarkable experiences in Nature without endangering others. If they share those accounts with us and the successes achieved or mistakes made, then we can benefit from being open-minded and willing to learn. In regard to the current trend of humans becoming more technology dependent, I will propose that not always knowing the destination and allowing yourself to become immersed in the experience can sometimes lead to an increased awareness of your own capabilities and personal connection to the natural world. Season’s Greetings to all fellow paddlers and “fun seekers”!

Reply

John Nagle December 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

If you didn’t get it, the last comments were not posted by Derek C. Hutchinson but by one of those Banzai Bozos who really need to get on the water more often. I hope you got the joke because it was all in Fun!
John Nagle Banzai #3

Reply

Jim Kakuk December 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The sea kayaking community is noted for diversity. We all take different paths on the sea, some are easy and short, some long or difficult. The goals are the same, physical and mental immersion and to enjoy the age old bounty of the sea, and return home with a picture, story, laugh, memory or adventure. We usually go with friends or companions but no matter, we get the same connection with her, and that is one to one. It is a big picture but there is only one subject, nature and your place in it. From the paddlers point of view it is “her and I”, everyone else is an observer. Which are you?

Look at it as a painting, from a distance on a calm sea there is a variegated surface and scanning the horizon or surf zone just a sliver of a kayak on an endless canvas with unseen water below and above us only sky. Our existence on her is temporary we can be removed with just a simple brush stroke of sea blue pastel paint. our experiences make up the big picture, a spiritual connection, no gadgets, primitive. In “the sea” there is no religion and no problems, only solution.

Reply

John Lull December 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

“If you didn’t get it, the last comments were not posted by Derek C. Hutchinson but by one of those Banzai Bozos who really need to get on the water more often. I hope you got the joke because it was all in Fun!”

Hey John, I’ve yet to get up off the floor from laughing, so yeah I got it was a joke, and didn’t think it was Derek, but it’s just the sort of joke he might make.

I do have one question for you: Since when does it require a license to run around naked with a pair of scissors, pissing on electric fences?! I never needed any certification for that…

Reply

Eric Soares December 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Thank you Dan and Bill for your cogent comments. And you, Jim, for your “spiritual/spatial relationship of it all” type of comment (a famous Force Ten kayaking team quotation). Now, as for Mr. John Nagle and these so-called Banzai Bozos, the only sea kayakers on earth who wear clown masks when paddling to hide their identities, I say “I’d sure love to kayak again with y’all. We miss you funguys.”

Right up until I got to the Banzai Bozo part, I thought the bogus Derek Hutchinson comment was real, because Derek is the kind of guy who would engage in that great sardonic humor we all love.

This is fun. Anyone else wish to comment?

Reply

bob December 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm

don’t know if it was derek or not but loved it and all the posts.if any of you guys have any fun of any sort, i will have to come back out there and set you straight!

Reply

John Kirk-Anderson December 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Tsk, Tsk, Eric.

Pissing off (or was that on?) the pedants again!

Hajime!!!

🙂

JKA

Reply

Eric Soares December 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Okay, I’m going to rain on my own parade. I’m happy to piss on pedants and love to have fun in the sea. Given. But I do want to stress that I’m not advocating having fun and abandoning all common sense. That’s not smart.

Paul Caffyn sent me an email yesterday about the 2 French kayakers who died while kayaking in a boat with no spray skirt into a wind storm that a local warned them against. Their desire to have fun overruled their capabilities, given the sea state. RIP. Their needless deaths warn us to be careful, be prepared, listen to experts w/local knowledge, look and think before we plunge into the sea.

BTW, I will have a future blog post (slated for late January 2011), on how to scout the sea. I would run it sooner, but have some really good posts lined up, ready to go. Next week it will be on swimming versus kayaking. Stay tuned.

Reply

Shannon Nee December 10, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Eric, I think you’re awesome! I’m standing safely on shore here (yes, it’s where I prefer to be) but I revel in the joy and abandonment you guys have out there on the ocean. Your grin tells the whole story, man. And anyone who’s spent 10 minutes with you knows that you’re a guy who has befriended common sense. Haven’t all worthy adventurers down through time mated their boldness to common sense (or experience, or good advice)? I don’t like the sound of that guy’s public scold–like some humorless old nanny or bureaucrat. There was a little book published in ’94 called “Politically Correct Bedtime Stories,” a reworking of old fables and fairy tales to bring them up to code with OSHA and in favor with the dictums of NOW. There is a part in one of the stories, “The Three Codependent Goats Gruff,” which reminds me of that uptight criticism the Tsunami Rangers received. No longer can the smallest goat just cross the bridge, no: “This goat was the least chronologically accomplished of the siblings and thus had achieved the least superiority in size. When he reached the bridge, he lashed on his safety helmet and grasped the handrail.” While you’re never going to catch me inside an ocean-going kayak–I don’t even like getting my calves wet–why should I or anyone else buzzkill your peace and happiness? Everyone’s minding everyone’s business. It’s sad. But you’re cool! With love, Cousin Shannon

Reply

John Lull December 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

Ok, now we’ve had our fun with the Bozos, in the spirit of the last two comments, I want to point out I (a Tsunami Ranger) wrote an entire book, ‘Sea kayaking Safety and Rescue,’ based around the theme of safety, common sense, seamanship, and learning the essential skills for paddling in a wide variety of environments, especially surf, rock gardens, and rough water. Note the term ‘safety’ in the title. I think anyone who actually reads that book, or watches video Eric and I produced on kayaking ocean rock gardens will agree it emphasizes safe procedures. Both of these publications and many more by Tsunami Rangers, including this very blog, are out there for all the public to use.

This is why I reacted somewhat negatively to that guy who strongly implied that the Tsunami Rangers, as a whole, encouraged reckless behavior. I had no issue with him pointing out Michael’s unpreparedness and poor judgment on his adventure, and I don’t think Michael did either, since he admitted to it and published an account as a warning to others. It’s the extrapolation to implying a general trend among the Tsunami Rangers that I objected to. Especially in light of our efforts to share what we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) with the public. The whole point is to have a good time while managing the risks as best we can.

Guess I should have sent a comment like this to Sea Kayaker mag, but it’s a lot more fun to write it here. Someone should send this blog to the herbert who started all the fuss!

Reply

Eric Soares December 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

I laughed so hard at Shannon’s Codependent Goats Gruff analogy that I’m still wiping tears from my eyes as I write this. I better grasp the handrail more firmly lest I fall on the ground in a spaz attack of mirth. Thank you Shannon!

And John, thanks for standing up for us re safety. In our 25 years as a team, no Tsunami Ranger has died or had a life-threatening injury while kayaking (knock on wood). True, I got knocked out briefly (even wearing a helmet and 2 neoprene head liners) when struck by another boat, Jim hurt his shoulder and had one really bad swim, Michael cut his face on the reef, John got skewered in the back by another boat, Glenn Gilchrist cracked a rib, and the like. As any martial artist will attest, when you do dangerous activities, stuff happens. Risk is part of the equation.

And I do hope the gentleman who wrote the letter-in-question in SEA KAYAKER Magazine reads this blog post. I invite him to comment. If he does, I give my word I will not be smart ass.

Reply

capt jack December 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Re Mikey’s article, I think I said my piece in a letter to SK (which I have not seen yet). However, I thank all, real and bogus, who wrote these comments. Great fun!

For myself, I have no time for pissing contests with chicken shit naysayers. I am too much of a chickenshit myself to naysay anyone with more huevos than I. Most of my friends have done (and do) things I either could not or would not do—whether legally, morally, common-sensibly, or not. Whether I go to heaven or hell, they are the friends I want to be with. (Remember, Jesus was one of them.)

Therefore I call on all chickenshits to join me and acknowledge our place on the barstools of life, and admire the gangsters and warriors and lovers and death-defying crazy-f***s who pee on life’s extremes.

More, not only do I think Mike made the right choice that morning (because he did it for his wife and marriage—and took the precautions he thought he needed at the time—and gave us a hell of a story to read which we would not have had otherwise—thank you Mike, and thank you God!), I think life would be a pretty boring meaningless piss in the toilet if people like Mike did not make choices like that, whether for fun, duty, or just the poop-assed hell of it all.
Pee on electric fences. Pee off the opera house balcony. And if you really want to have fun, steal a cop’s hat and pee on it and run like hell.
—thus spake the captain of chickenshit

Reply

Eric Soares December 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Captain Jack! Ye are neither a naysayer nor a chickenshit! Ye are a man who has taken a very interesting path in life and have faced major danger and taken the consequences. My hat is off to you.

Readers: Captain Jack (aka Padre Jack, among other names), will be writing a compelling guest column in my blog in a couple of weeks, so don’t miss it!

Arrrh!

Reply

Tess Dodd December 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Sea kayaking should be FUN not serious and while we take gaining skills seriously, we also like to have fun with those skills http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2010/07/technique-thong-rolls.html

I’ve enjoyed your comments, you guys seem to prefer peeing on fences (& everything else) to sitting on them!

Reply

Eric Soares December 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Tess. For my curious readers, I highly recommend Tess’ blog and that of gnarlydognews. Both are embedded in Tess’ comment above. These are two well-written and topical sea kayaking blogs.

Reply

Wayne Hanley December 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Eric, Tess also has a Musk Stick (confectionary) roll in the development stage as well. I’ll let her explain.

Reply

Moulton Avery February 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I’ve always held that it takes a lot of courage to publicly air one’s blunders, near-misses etc. Rather than castigation (or advocating castration), we should be grateful to those who care enough about their fellow paddlers to share their own mishaps so that others can learn from them.

As for recklessness, arrogance and egotistical attitudes, I’ve always contended that the Whonanny Grangers are nothing if not hard core on safety, training, experience, and looking out for their mates, while at the same time not taking themselves too seriously and blowing it out their steel-bunned bottoms at hurricane force. Michael deserves our thanks & he has my respect and admiration for sharing his story. Some of the Granger video footage does make me bum pucker up painfully, but there’s no denying that these fellow paddlers are at the top of their game and having the time of their lives. Go Grangers!

As for those Banzai Bozos, that’s another matter entirely. I was particularly incensed back in the day by their reckless and irresponsible decision to wear garish pink afro wigs instead of sturdy helmets. That kind of behavior sets a very bad example for our precious youth. Think about the children, you Bozos!

Finally, I’ve know a lot of really fine SAR people and never found a single one who favored charging for rescues, regardless of the circumstances involved. They aren’t in it for the money, and charging for rescue would be antithetical to what’s in their hearts.

Sorry Eric, that’s as short as I could get this after hours and hours of strenuous editing.

Gotta go take a nap….

Reply

Doug Lloyd March 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Eric, a big wet smack-on-the-back greeting from the cool-hand coast – at least, we only recently put our pogies back in their bins here in BC. Not so much down there, eh? So, looks like there was some back-and-forth banter over the response to Michael Powers’ article in SK Magazine. It’s been entertaining if not enlightening following the wake. And as Strother Martin, “The Captain” said in the 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.”

At least, I think part of the inflammatory language and unfounded allegations directed toward Michael and indeed, the Rangers lies in the notion behind the use of certain nomenclature common to the touring crowd. Terms like seamanship, proficiency, expertise, navigation, and safe route planning almost completely preclude the activities of extreme rock gardening and play in heavy-surf, sea/land interface zones, and the prefixation, “Tsunami” just further corroborates to those in the other camp, their accusations of manic eccentricities.

This is all very unfortunate, if somewhat understandable. Unless one is aware of how serious you take your fun in a context of responsible training and respect for the sea, it is difficult to moderate the view of overwrought risk-taking. Because of the ignorance or due to a discounting of key principals like your swimmer first/kayaker second ideation, Sea Conditions Rating Scale (SCRS) usage, specialized equipment employment, and physical/mental adroitness, I can see why John finally felt the need to make mention here in your blog of his excellent safety book and the preponderance of safety that permeates all you do.

At the end of the day, whether you are a touring paddler or an ocean play boater, it all comes down to knowing your ocean environment intimately and the limitations imposed by the available skill sets and gear. A man has got know his limitations someone once said. Paddlers also have got to get their thinking right. Again, to quote The Captain, speaking to Cool Hand Luke: “You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right. And I mean RIGHT”.

Moulton Avery ran an excellent piece on the SK Magazine blog a while back that included some thoughts about the dangers of emotional thinking with respect to risk-analysis. I’m sure Michael is aware of how his mental apparatus failed to leave enough of a margin in the fog and big waves. I think at the end of the day (I hope so) he realizes kayaking should be FUN not serious – but that fun should be taken SERIOUSLY – lest we eventually lose the freedom we currently enjoy to seriously have that fun.

Reply

Eric Soares March 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Words of wisdom, Lloyd. Thank you.

I particularly like the Dirty Harry line you mentioned: “A man has got to know his limitations.” It’s apropos here.

When Michael launched that foggy day, we could have also said, “Ya feel lucky, punk? Will do ya?”

So, again, thanks. Your reasoning really “made my day.”

Reply

Robin Thacker April 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

`Nice? It’s the ONLY thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolute nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: `messing–about–in–boats; messing—-‘
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (River Rat to Mole)

Reply

Eric Soares April 2, 2011 at 7:26 am

That is the bottom line: messing-about-in-boats. I love Wind in the Willows. Thanks, Robin, for placing the emphasis where it belongs.

Reply

miglior microonde 2015 June 25, 2015 at 12:59 am

If you wish for to improve your experience just
keep visiting this site and be updated with the most
up-to-date gossip posted here.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: