Well we have finally reached that longed for part of summer, paddle time. From the outside looking at the lives of those employed in the boating industry may seem to be the ideal life, the opportunity to pursue your passion as an occupation. The problem with this stems from the fact that while many of us entered this field as a result of a passion for the outdoors and in particular spending time on the water, the passion resulted in a business that needs to be run. What this means in practical terms is that there are weekends spent at boat shows, there are people who want to go paddling in the boats on weekends when they are free, then there are of course the normal events that happen in life, weddings to attend, those regular family obligations that come up and are often planned for summer weekends. While taking people out paddling may sound like a fun filled task it ends in the reality of loading and unloading boats and helping new paddlers in and out of the boats and never leaving the shore. These things make even getting weekends away to simply paddle at times difficult, but that is not specific to this industry many I know struggle with this or a variation of it.
To those who I have taken paddling this is not a complaint, there is a certain enjoyment that comes form sharing the experience of being out on the water, to seeing people out in a kayak for the first time and discovering that despite all the talk of rolling kayaks that you don’t instantly end up looking up at the water’s surface when you enter one. That by the way seems to be an impression that quite a number of people have of this sport, while rolling has its place as a rescue which is its intended purpose, sometimes you get the impression from some that getting on the water and rolling is the reason kayaks exist. There are a lot of people out there paddling many of them for the shear joy of being on the water on a nice day they are never going to push the limits of anything except the strength of their sun block, and short of doing something thoughtless or being on the receiving end of such an act are highly unlikely to end up wet. This is not to discount the need be able to self rescue I hope to do some practicing while away when I can find a nice quiet spot to do so, far enough away that no one will call 911 to report on a kayak being attacked by some large ungainly creature that seems intent on causing harm.
To get somewhat back on track as this post did not go in the direction intended at the start, while it is sometimes difficult to get out on the water the time spent there is important from more than one perspective. For me it is a chance to relax, no phone, no Internet, no extraneous noise, just nature, a chance to do something that I enjoy for the sheer joy of it. Even though there will be paddling for the sake of paddling, the business part that can no longer be separated entirely from time on the water, because my passion is also my business.