I’m working on an article right now about sea kayaking. It’s a retrospective, a look back at how sea kayaking has changed over the past 30 years, things that are different, and other things that have remained the same. It’s an instructive task, and I’m getting to talk with some folks who have watched it all happen and hear their stories and observations.
It’s a long way from done, this article of mine, and I tend to procrastinate right up until deadline, but there are a couple things I have been thinking about as I start to put the piece together:
First big realization is that I am old. I must be, if I can write a story like this one. I first got in a sea kayak in 1986 in Ketchikan, Alaska. I knew it was going to be a part of my life even before those first strokes – everything about it appealed to me – and still does. But to have such first-hand memories from that far back does tend to date a person.
The second observation I have been hit with is that sea kayaking is the stories of adventure in remote places, of hard routes in stormy weather. It is about the places you can dream of going and the company of those you can trust to go with you. Sea kayaking is not a sport so much as it is a way to get to where you could not otherwise go. Thirty years ago, a kayak was a key that could unlock the door to amazing adventures. It still is… that part hasn’t changed at all.