Thursday, February 25, 2010

To my Solstice GT...a letter to a kayak.

The very act of writing, recording one's thoughts, or maintaining a journal can have great therapeutic value. This is true especially for times when your best-made plans just don't come to fruition...for any number of good reasons. I know that for the past little while, despite excellent February paddling weather here on Vancouver Island, my kayak has wondered what has become of me. And so I wrote my Solstice a letter - I think we'll both feel better and I'm sure she won't mind me sharing.

My dear Solstice GT,

First of all, let me say that I understand. I do know how you must feel. It's been too long since we have been on the water together, and please believe me, I am missing that as much as you. I know that the last time we were out, there was that annoying "incident". I don't know how it happened. but somehow, half of the little black "yoke", where you rest your rudder, snapped off. It wasn't a big thing, but we both know that the rudder was no longer safely secured and held in place. When the crosswind came up, it blew it slightly askew and we were no longer the fine aerodynamic team that we usually are. I decided that I would get this matter looked at before we launched again.

During the past couple of weeks, I've had some time to think. I remember when you first came to us. My, that was fifteen years ago now! Where has the time gone?  We had enjoyed so many different kayaks but you were just so special, right from the very beginning. Your bright "mint" gel coat has always made the droplets of sea water sparkle and dance on your proud deck. You've always tracked so straight and enjoyed plunging your bow into the swell. And when J's GTS arrived, what a day that was! It was clearly love at first sight. And now, the two of you are inseparable! You live to be on the water and as cosy (and tidy) as the garage is, I know that's not where sea kayaks are meant to be!

Oh I know what you're thinking. I hardly ever deploy the rudder and, yes, we could just "bungee" it in place. But you also know how particular I am...I like everything to be in working order - just in case. You're probably going to remind me that I drive a lot of people crazy with my need for tidiness and good order. And I know that I promised you that we would have this issue looked as soon as possible. Please forgive me, but it really has been busy this past while.

Yes, and I do know how you feel when I blog about trail running and Vibram FiveFingers. Some of my kayaking friends probably roll their eyes too. And what's wrong with enjoying two sports? Believe me, it's never a reflection on you personally. You probably don't know this, but when J and I are out on the trails, we talk about you both all the time and all the fun we're going to have together. We've got some great ideas for some more cool adventures - you're going to love them, I promise. Of course we love kayaking but we love to run too. And you have to admit, it doesn't take nearly as much time to get ready. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming gathering and packing up all the paddling gear. I know that you've suggested we just take the paddle, spray cover, and PFD - forget all that other stuff. Yes, of course, we could get away much faster if we just left all the other gear at home. But I need the radio and I love the GPS. Yes, yes, I know you've pointed out to me many times that you have a perfectly serviceable deck mounted marine compass and your suggestion that I'm too lazy to calculate our distances on the charts is not exactly fair. You're rather impatient with me right now.

I heard you and J's yellow GTS talking last night. I'm so glad you have each other. And I was very touched that the GTS offered to loan you her rudder yoke but then what would J do? Yes, you and I could just go out solo but we both know that it's a lot more fun for us all to be together. Besides if J and GTS were not there, who would I take pictures of for my blog?

I have not forgotten my promise to you on January 1st. We will get out on the water together every single month this year - even if we have to go out with your broken rudder yoke, we'll get on the water. And remember good friend, you are much more than a yoke. It is, after all, just a deck fitting. Your value is inestimable to me. Besides, half a yoke is better than no yoke at all! Just yoking! Oh, I'm sorry, you probably won't find that very funny.

 I must leave off now, dear Solstice. Tomorrow, I promise, I'll call about getting you an appointment. "Hang in" there (sorry, I couldn't resist that but you do look so comfortable in the garage). We'll be on the water soon enough.

Your paddling partner,



  1. Very sweet and cute....but...well.... call me I know of a couple of good therapists in town and I can give you their numbers.LOL

  2. Thank you. Do you think they'd mind if I brought my boat to the counselling session...would there be additional charges? There is hope however. If we can find a "window" tomorrow to get on the water, I think we'll be OK - broken yoke or not.

  3. I'm sure there would be no charge....I wish you luck tomorrow and hope you can get out on the water!!