Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paddling "little boats" with "grown-up" ships...

Two of our newest BC Ferries - two ships passing in the (day) light.
We have a friend who affectionately (I think) refers to our sea kayaks as "little boats". Although I'm sure she is teasing us, I always feign a sensitivity. After all, our "little" craft are ocean-going vessels, capable of all-weather (within reason) multi-week expeditions. Their design reflects 4000 years of history - with very little substantial change over that significant period of time. Wood or whalebone frame, covered in stitched animal skin, may have been replaced by kevlar and the hull design tweaked with the aid of CAD software - but essentially, they are the same boat.

Commercial vessels, near Nanaimo Harbour.
Paddling on the ocean means taking into consideration tides, currents, winds, fetch, gigantic marine mammals, yachts, cruise ships, ocean tugs towing log booms, and freighters longer than football fields. There is raw, untamed nature...and there are the "grown up" ships, that dwarf us and find us impossible to "see", on even their most sophisticated radar systems.

Yours truly - "one man and the sea" (Rather "Hemingway-esque?")
"Little boats", dear friend? Yes, assuredly, but they are sturdy and brave little boats. And that is not to mention the intrepid paddlers who guide their course with fined-tuned cadence, and due care and caution.

I'm sure other sea kayakers might give a nod to these sentiments. :)


PS Lest anyone feel the need to caution us about mixing "little boats" with "grown-up" ships, trust me, we are very cautious and respectful of large ocean-going vessels - and paddle well out of their way. Honest.


  1. Yes D I am sure your "little boats" are as brave as the courageous people who paddle them in all types of waters and weather. Myself,(when someone actually gets around to taking me kayaking), I like to stick to the coastline, on sunny days. with calm waters. I'm just not as brave when I can't get up and walk around on the boat's deck. LOL Affectionately L

  2. Beautiful ferries, and the distance they travel is not even very far? Would be an enjoyable cruise. One day.

  3. Haha, thanks L. Don't worry, you'll get your chance - the "coastline" is the preferred venue, believe me. D.

    Hi Dugald, yes the ferries do offer a nice "cruise". Both ferries in the picture leave Nanaimo (here on Vancouver Island) for Vancouver. One is a 90 minute crossing and the other a 2 hour crossing. It is a very pleasant experience. Thanks for stopping by. Duncan.

  4. Indeed I do nod!

    next time ask him to roll his big boy boat! haha

  5. I have a sense the captain would turn down the invitation - executing a paddle float re-entry would be tough enough! :) Thanks Lee. Duncan.

  6. Hi D&J,

    We love our little boats as they become essentially part of us. As for the "grown-up" ships ..... love them too when I'm on board, in the Caribbean, sipping on something cold and enjoying the warm sun. LOL


  7. Thanks for that, Mark. I've never been on a cruise ship but they seem big enough to be able to offer a special "paddling pond" for kayakers to practice their skills - while enjoying the multitude of amenities! :) D.