In June/July of 2015 I joined #teamtennessee and friends for a magical week of rafting and kayaking down the Middle fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. This gem takes those lucky enough to land a permit down 112 river miles of wonderful class 3-4 whitewater that twist through some of central Idaho’s most beautiful and remote terrain.
A day of kayaking in East Tennessee:
Both the 8 man rowing shell and the quadruple scull. And octopuses
Perspective is a funny thing. When we talk about rowing oceans it can seem daunting and even unattainable. The world is huge. Really, really big. Vast. Massive. Colossal. Elephantine. You get the point; to row 3000 miles of this planet’s big open ocean in a boat only 26 feet long is a tall order. As a wise old Chinese guy said a really long time ago; a really long journey begins with a single step. I don’t know if he said anything about the rest of the journey but that first step is then followed by a bunch more steps. Rowing an ocean is the same way, a bunch of strokes piled up over a month or two or three, maybe more, will get a little boat across a big ocean.
If we shift our perspective and think about tsunamis the world gets a lot smaller. Those puppies cover that same expansive ocean in a matter of hours and make the world seem a whole lot more connected. The Pacific Tsunami Warning center has a cool YouTube channel that makes those big oceans feel a lot smaller, and our neighbors on the other side of this space island feel a lot closer. Check out the far reaching effects of the earthquake that shook Chile last week:
You can find other videos on their channel, from historic quakes to the tsunami a few years ago out of Japan.
Professional Climber Alex Honnold does a great job addressing the topic of risk, and how it differs from consequence. As ocean rowers, we face similar questions that must be answered before undertaking an ocean adventure.
We’ve all got to remember to do what makes us tick. To do it daily, unapologetically, and with love. Here’s a cool short video from one of National Geographic’s film makers on doing what he loves, even when it’s not easy. http://ow.ly/qYR4X
The team gets asked all the time, “Why do you want to row an ocean?” To most it seems uncomfortable, expensive, difficult, arduous, and generally akin to tourture. In many ways it is. But the dispite these aspects we want to row an ocean to spend time communing with a part of our planet few will ever get to see, and to do so in a way even fewer will ever experience. We want to test ourselves and in doing so come to a better understanding of who we are, and we want to risk all that discomfort in exchange for an experience that is truly one-of-a-kind. In doing so we hope to inspire others to do the same, to do what makes them tick.
When what motivates us gets hard and we’re forced to fight for it; we all wonder if the path of least resistance may be the way to go, but there’s no reward there. As Robert Frost would say, take the road less travelled, even if it looks like more work.
I’ve spent the summer sailing on the 15 meter sailboat Blue Moon with Trey and Amy from Life at an Angle. You can check out their blog for more info and pictures from the trip. Lots more pictures (many I took) on their facebook page. I joined them in the Galapagos Islands and over the next 3 months we sailed about 3600 miles visiting and exploring the Marquesas Islands, the Tulamotu Islands, and the Society Islands of Tahiti, Riatea, and Bora Bora.
While I usually had the camera on them, I snuck myself into the shot form time to time.
It’s been a blast and I’ve learned a lot more about living, navigating, and loving life at sea but now it’s time for me to be headed back to the states. I’ll be visiting the great Pacific rowing race 2014 finish location in Hawaii and the start line in Monterey Bay, CA before returning to Tennessee.