Saturday, November 13, 2010

A secret to balance in a kayak (and life)..."feel" the waves.

"There's no secret to balance.
You just have to feel the waves"

- Frank Herbert

Paddling around here in the Salish Sea, or anywhere else for that matter, promises a lesson every time you launch.

On this day, just off Entrance Island, the waves challenged us to maintain focus...and balance. Staying balanced, when the world around you is "liquid rock and roll", is surprisingly easy once you and your kayak have had some time together. And you trust one another.

As I thought about it, it's really just a matter "feeling" the waves. Each crest and each trough, and every place in-between, inputs a sensation that multiple senses interpret. We just relax into the movement. As potential instability is perceived, corrections are made and the result is...balance and stability.

Life's a bit like that. There can be some rough "waters" out there. My kayak teaches me to stay relaxed. Feel the "waves", roll with them, and know that they are no match for the inner equilibrium that resides within us all. Waves eventually spend their energy and leave us in more tranquil waters...but with increased confidence and strength for the next time.

"Feel" the waves, and trust...


Pic above: Joan enjoys "feeling the waves" just off Entrance Island lighthouse. (While I pray that I don't drop my camera in the water - it's waterproof but it doesn't float!)


  1. The natural rhythm/pulse of the sea is always a wonderful experience. It always helps sooth the stormy waters of an unnatural/ engineered lifestyle that we are exposed to in today’s society. The pulse takes us back to the environment were we evolved from.

    David A

  2. Ya rolling with the waves is good but if you don't have a boat and are swimming in the water they have the tendency to splash up into your face. lol Guess I need a boat!

  3. Joan is certainly feeling the waves. For me I would not be caught on the water with such waves in a small craft. I know how you feel out there on the water. I get the same feeling in my garden, but smoother.

  4. It's like skiing, you have to "feel" the terrain with all your senses. Makes for a smooth and balanced run - on "frozen 'n roll"! Gen.

  5. Hi folks, we appreciate your interest and comments! Thanks for dropping by.

    David, I'm with you on that and like the way you put it. We could have some great conversations!

    L, you know that we can make a "little boat" available to you anytime! But no guarantees you won't get splashed! :-)

    Hi J, yes, a garden and all the beauty you nurture there "touches" the gardener - and that gives balance. You will know that very well.

    Hey Gen, yep, seems that "rock 'n roll" in whatever form is just plain nice to have around!

  6. The relationship between person and kayak is akin to the relationship we have with ourselves. Knowing your kayak and becoming one with it is as important as doing the same with one's self.

    great post.

  7. Agreed, Lee. It's a bit like "being comfortable in your own skin". For those drawn to sea kayaking, that "skin" is the narrow boat that we "put on". Keep those great stories of yours coming! D.