Saturday, August 8, 2009

Now What??

Well it's been five months since completing our Bass Strait Crossing and one of the most commonly asked questions I get is, where will your next paddle be? Well it's not that simple! I've since been on the water only a handful of times and it was on one of those occasions that I found this guy pictured here- I spotted him on the beach as I was carrying my kayak to the water and noticed that he looked as confused as I felt. I stopped to talk to him to see if I could learn anything but sadly he revealed nothing, although he was kind enough to let me take his picture. Seriously, it has been very hard to get excited about doing any paddling at all since Bass Strait and trying to understand why has been a challenge in itself.

The first reason is an obvious one- Bass Strait is simply magnificent! The Islands, the crossings, the rock pools, the views and the energy that you feel the moment you put your kayak in the water is something that I may be looking long and hard to find again. The other reason however, took me a little longer to work out. For about a year and a half prior to the trip, every time I put my kayak in the water was with a purpose in mind. I was either trying a new boat or paddle, some cold weather gear or new camping kit with Bass Strait in mind or I might have been trying new tricks and developing new skills, trying to paddle further each time or see what size surf I could handle before cracking. It actually goes back even further, I remember when I got my very first kayak, I knew that one day I would do a serious expedition. That's right, now I don't have any more reasons to paddle!

Well that's not right. There are a thousand and one reasons to go for a paddle and unfortunately there aren't as many days available, but having discovered the problem has definitely helped in overcoming it. I simply need a new goal! A new expedition to work towards and quite simply, I can't think of anywhere else other than going back. No, not Bass Strait as I couldn't handle the logistical side of things again but I definitely think that Tasmania is on the cards for me. There are so many places to see by kayak around Tassie that I could be planning a trip every two years until I'm simply too old to paddle.

Now it hasn't been all that bad to spend some time off the water, it's given me a chance to re-discover my family. Not having to disappear every Saturday and/or Sunday, sometimes even before Skubi or Saskia were even awake, has been a welcomed change. And now we are planning an expedition of our own, we will spend almost two months driving around Europe catching up with family and visiting new places without a kayak on the roof.

As for kayaking, the Bass Strait trip is not officially complete. We are are currently working on a presentation that will be shown for the first time at Queensland Canoeing's 2nd National Sea kayak Symposium on the Gold Coast. What good is an expedition if you don't bring back heaps of photos and share them with other paddlers?

Anyhow, that all for now as I have to go and wash the dust off my kayak.

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