Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A sweet, gentle day to be on the water...and exhilaration!

On the beach at Maple Bay.
It was soooo good to be back on the water today and it was a sweet, gentle day. The air temperature was a balmy 8 degrees under overcast skies...and not a breath of wind. Usually we prefer some "bumps and lumps" but today, well, it was just kind of special. Maple Bay, across the channel from Saltspring Island, is one of our favourite launch spots, it's just five minutes from home and you can paddle "forever" in the fjord-like Sansum Narrows.

Crossing the Narrows to Saltspring.
Paddling in the late fall and winter can be very special here. The water is clear, the seals are curious, the shore birds are relaxed, the starfish seem extra big and colourful, the fragrance of the sea and of the forests blend to produce the most gorgeous of perfumesAlthough this time of the year can be wildly stormy with winds and waves, today was an incredibly gentle day.

At high tide, these two "pillars" are mostly underwater.
Most of us need days like this every now and again. Gentle days that provide respite and the opportunity to rebuild our strength and our composure. They allow us to focus and to be mindful. On these days, there are no battles to be fought, no world demanding our involvement and our finite energies. We all need time apart, time to "cross to the other side" of the channel, time to find new perspectives and fresh sources of meaning. There, we can breathe deeply and slowly, knowing that we have the is ours.

A world of reflections.
The gentle days give us the opportunity to come to know ourselves better, for it is in the quiet that we are most often able to hear the small, still voice deep within. It is a voice that engages us with our hopes and our dreams. It needs to be heard, without distraction, every now and again. 

Energized, once again.
And then...when you feel your strength returning, you engage your core, you paddle hard, you revel in the quick cadence, you feel the relative wind on your face, and you experience...exhilaration.

May you too, find those sweet, gentle days.



  1. Great post Duncan! I really love that last paragraph as it sums up what hooked us in our adventure.

    Now I head to work with a big smile on my face. Thanks!!!


  2. Duncan, I am so pleased you did manage to get out on the water like you told me. It really is a peaceful place to be when the weather is calm. Maybe you'll be able to get out at evenings also when the busyness of the day has died down and have a paddle under the stars. How romantic that sounds. Enjoy.

  3. Roger the "big smile" Mark, and that's one of the things that KEEPS us paddling! Thanks for stopping by. D.

    An evening paddle? You bet, J - coming very soon! And even under the overcast, very, um, "romantic". ;) Thanks for that. D.

  4. Awesome post. The photo of the pillars is beautiful. I agree kayaking on calm days is like meditation. Much akin to that point where your running and your 100% aware and in your zone.

    I felt it! Thanks for that!

  5. Thanks Lee, I agree 100 percent. The experience of the "zone" is beyond endorphins and once again, it is so often self-propelled movement (on a good day) that gets you there. Glad you enjoyed the pic! D.

  6. I'm so glad you and J had that gentle day. You've been riding a lot of big waves lately.

  7. Thanks for that, Cathy. They say that practicing your "paddling strokes" on the rougher water makes you a stronger "kayaker"...I'm hoping that's true! Appreciate you dropping by. D.

  8. Beautiful pics. I have never seen those two pillars out there. Looks like a very peaceful day.

  9. Hi L. Those two rocks are off Saltspring, as you paddle towards Vesuvius. There is also a tiny, pebble beach close by, a perfect place to come ashore and cook up some lunch or dinner in what is usually perfect isolation. Truly "another world", yet so close to home. It was, indeed, a peace-filled paddle. Many thanks. D.