A short pause

So what do paddlers do when they’re not out paddling? They read about paddling, of course. I will shortly include some brief reviews of books that I have read over the past several months. It is always interesting to understand others’ perspectives on kayaking – and on life – which are revealed to varying degrees dependent upon the author. Some writers prefer to focus purely on the task/journey at hand, while others reveal a little more about themselves – their fears, their inspirations, their frailties. I think that perhaps most of us are more inclined towards the latter type of memoir, and I know that I’m not averse to a bit of soul-baring. We are, after all, just human. This has been brought home to me especially of late after receiving a piece of news that has given my aspirations for the New Year and beyond some new impetus. It seems that my recent eye problems are a warning sign of something a little more serious. I am now embarked upon a new journey in life, one that offers challenges, but also a great deal of hope. It has given me pause for thought, but it will be a short pause as I fully intend to get on with the business of living (and kayaking) forthwith. As a good friend told me, “Carpe diem – and make sure to carpe every diem you can get hold of”. Too true.

Palm Kaikoura Tour Buoyancy Aid

Palm Kaikoura Tour Buoyancy Aid

Aside from these distractions, festive-time family commitments and associated travels have prevented us from taking advantage of the period of benign (albeit cold) weather conditions that has prevailed in recent days on the west of Scotland. But there’s still some holiday time left and, as soon as I can adapt to the prospect of my hands freezing to the paddle shaft, I will be right out there. Christmas pressies included one piece of significant gear – a Palm Kaikoura buoyancy aid for Alan. The constant whingeing occasional comment about the lack of pockets in his previous BA served as a useful hint to me as to what to get Alan for Christmas. There has been significant discussion on the UK Rivers Guidebook sea kayaking forum about the addition of plastic zips to the Kaikoura, thus removing the potential for corrosion of their metal predecessors. As a result of the forum, I was fortunate enough to source the latest model and Alan is now the proud possessor of a multi-pocketed, corrosion free, state-of-the-art BA in which to stuff many trips’ worth of used sweetie papers and peanut packets. Comments about its qualities upon immersion will follow (in the summer).

A happy, paddling-filled New Year to everyone!

“Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges”. The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda