Friday, September 28, 2012


A marriage of art and science, legend and tradition
 - even on the racks, you can feel their energy.
I am drawn to simplicity. I love the clean, functional lines of kayaks...a design tested and honed to near perfection over a period of possibly three thousand years. These sleek boats are truly a marriage of art and science. Their legendary use in some of the most remote and unforgiving places on the planet adds mystique, pure and simple. Add a "thrust generator" (the paddler) to this craft, and life on the water becomes an "adventure", each and every time.

Simplicity can extend beyond hull and deck design to the way we equip our boats. My "attention" is easily diverted (just ask Joan) so, when paddling, I try to keep the forward deck as clear as possible, stowing safety and trip items in the cockpit, on the rear deck, and in the hatches. It's a personal thing, but I find that the clean and uncomplicated "visual" over the forward deck enhances the paddling experience. With fewer things to tempt my hyperactive eyes, the deck becomes a clean slate. I can then focus, without even subliminal distraction, on the natural and intricate beauty of the marine environment.

Passing Octopus Point, wind and water, balance and harmony.
Perhaps there is a feng shui (wind / water) to equipping a kayak for a single day or for multiple days on the water. I frequently get some good-natured ribbing about a rather apparent need for "tidiness" in life. My only defence is that for me (and again, it's a very personal thing - there is no right or wrong), chaos is totally exhausting...order, on the other hand, is completely energizing. No matter whether it's my desk, the study, the household, the yard, or the kayak forward deck, the fewer the "distractions" the greater is the experience of balance and harmony. And without obstacles, energy seems to flow freely into and through life. There is an inherent peacefulness when order displaces disarray.

In trip planning, most of us usually take just what we need, with, perhaps a few "luxuries" that can be fit in. Essential items support and enrich the experience. Non-essential items can burden and take up limited space. They distract from the experience.

Soon, Joan and I will begin a long-anticipated "expedition" to some distant places. In many ways, it will be a time of discernment for what is to come in this rather interesting new phase of our lives. Having "grown up" once, it is very much like a new beginning. A second childhood? Well, maybe, if "childhood" is understood to be a time of wide-eyed learning, exploration, and discovery. Of course, we have gained at least a little wisdom over the years, and that will influence the mix, perhaps as yeast influences the dough. The kayaks will have to stay behind this time, but there will be ample opportunity for self-propelled adventure on the trails and amidst the ancient hills - an ideal venue for reflection and contemplation.

In life, as in a kayak, the journey itself should be the destination.
With limited space available, the process of preparing, of identifying what is necessary and what can be left behind has proven to be an interesting challenge. It has been helpful to think of the coming journey from the perspective of the kayak cockpit. The fewer the distractions on the "deck", the more the eyes, ears, hearts, and minds are free to absorb the fullness of whatever experiences await.

So like the clean, crisp lines of the kayaks as seen from the kayak cockpit, we're going to try to keep it simple - traveling light, with a focus on exploring the land, connecting with the people, and seeking opportunities to learn more about life...and the journey in life yet to come.

Of course, access to wi-fi will be rather essential since there are some pieces of technology you just can't leave home without these days. :)

More later, from another land.



  1. Hi to you both,
    I too believe balance and harmony can come with the way we bring simplicity and a sense of order to our lives. I even think there is a feng shui to the way we fill a back pack! Safe journey. :-) Gen.

  2. Have a great time, where ever you go,


  3. Now that's good news about the backpack, Gen. I have never been able to avoid complete and absolute chaos there! Duncan.

  4. Thank you for that, Sarah. We will spend some time near a part of the world you know very well. :) Duncan.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading about it.


  6. Hi Duncan & Joan,

    Simplicity is most definitely where it's at! Looking forward to reading about your trip :o)

    Kind Regards

  7. Thank you for that, Ian. Your fresh jams have now even further whet our "appetites". :) D&J