Current Time On The Rock

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Paddle Tale"

You've often heard the phrase ,"if only those walls could talk". So, I wandered what my paddles would say. Their most significant tale might be.......

From The Left:

Werner Ikelos: Graphite
Would probably relate how it came apart on an unsuccessful roll I attempted in a sea cave where I was pitched over by incoming waves from both ends and thrashed around in a little rock garden in the black of day. It was an experience I shall never forget and the only time I had to be rescued by another kayaker. Luckily I was with two very skilled paddlers at the time. I had a two piece dry suit on and it filled with water. The gaskets at the ankles held the water in. I was like an anchored buoy in the ocean unable to get back in the boat. The paddle separated probably because my hand went over the release button on the shaft. This was before Werner came out with the fix and button cover. I put a lot of miles and rolls since on that paddle here in Newfoundland. It is a bent shaft and ,well, one of my favorites.

Aqua Bound Seafarer: Carbon Fiber
This one would relate most of my paddles in British Columbia when I lived in Fort St. John. This paddle has been dunked in the Pacific and the Atlantic as well as many rivers and lakes up in Northern BC. It was one of my first paddles. It Also accompanied me when I followed part of a route that Alexander MacKenzie took to find a trading route to the far north. I was the first to solo kayak Williston Lake from the put in at a community called MacKenzie in the Parsnip Reach(after Alexander, I actually put in near a rock he engraved)to the Peace Reach some 150 miles away. I was paddling 30 miles a day and did the paddle in 5 days in June. The weather was unbelievably nice for the whole trip. Williston Lake is actually a huge reservoir backed up by the WAC Bennett Dam on the Peace River. It meanders through the Rocky Mountains and remains one of the best trips I've had to date. The scenery was simply stunning. I saw only one boat on the whole expanse of those waters during my trip. This trip was a fund raiser for the Hospital Foundation of which I was a member at the time. I raised $8000.00 for wheelchairs for our hospital.
I also taught my son to kayak and to roll with this one so it has special meaning draped all over its' surface.

Superior Greenland Stick: Graphite
Is one of my newer paddles I took command of about 3 months ago and haven't used anything since Sunday's past paddle when I used the one I made. I fell immediately in love with this paddle for all it has to offer. The light weight, the buoyancy, the feel, the aesthetic look and the confidence in solid construction with the Lendel paddle lock to keep the two piece paddle solid when on the water. I've put a few miles on this already and I am prepared to add many more. Some of my funnest rolls to date have been with this paddle and I intend to learn many more.

Stan's Greenland Paddle: Wenge Wood, Spruce and Cedar Laminate
This paddle was christened on Sunday Past, May 16th,2010. I was surprised how well it turned out. It did take me a bit longer to carve than expected because I got a cold in the midst of construction and felt like hell. I was determined to finish it though and still have its' sister the storm paddle ready to complete. I gave this paddle a good workout on Sunday. I gave myself a good workout on Sunday. I really put myself, my boat and my paddle in conditions I haven't been in in a while and in conditions I've never been in. This was along the rocky shore of the Avalon Peninsula in Witless Bay. I had tremendous fun and this paddle stood the test that none of the others have ever been put through so I suspect that it should serve me well when I choose to use it. It felt extremely nice in the water with just the occasional flutter.

Seward Saturna: Carbon Fiber
This paddle really only had one major trip by me and that was a week long paddle in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia on a fund raiser with 10 other paddlers for breast cancer. It was one of the paddles in The Paddle To A Cure Campaign put on by The Breast Cancer Foundation In Ontario and sponsored by Seaward KAyaks of LAdysmith on Vancouver Island. That paddle remains one of the most emotional paddles I have ever been on and the most rewarding experience in human nature I could ever have imagined. What I learned about the disease, the people around it and the efforts to fine a cure could not be expressed in such a short note, suffice to say, it has made me a better person inside. I trained two breast cancer survivors from the area I was living in to make the trip. I wasn't totally sure they would go through with it. One was ill the other in remission. One of the ladies passed on one month after we got back. It was sad but she had a picture framed of me fishing off a rock one evening on the trip, I didn't know she took. She gave it to me when we got back and thanked me for one of the most memorial experiences she had in a while. I was humbled and indebted to all the women for what they all had given me, a sense of hope, unconditional kindness and an adventure in the understanding of love and human nature I shall not soon forget. A very special paddle. It has been used as a spare on some trips. But it is close to my heart.

There are many other stories wrapped up in these blades based on comraderie and friendship of those who accompanied me on many trips like my pal Tony Rosetenberg whom has logged many hours and km with me on the water in the past few years. Thanks Tony and you will be pleased to know that you have paddled with four out of the five paddles. lol I'm sure we'll have more.

So I guess every stroke we take has a deeper meaning than sometimes we realize. The motor of our craft, our tool of propulsion our work of ingenuity and in many cases engineering. For me paddles are the lungs that allow me to breath life into my journeys and dreams into my adventures and sometimes hopes into successes. Paddle Safe, Paddle Hard!


paddlingOTAKU said...

Great stories. They certainly make you think about the miles we all do, and what goes along with them.



Silbs said...

Actually the first paddle would have asked where on earth did all the others come from...and now what are you going to do for money:)

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

Hey Otaku:
every kayak mile is a valuable mile to me. The cheapest any kind of therapy I could ever have. lol

I hear ya! Luckily two were purchased at cost when I had my little Kayak Shop out of my home in Northern BC. The others were purchased with change saved every year. The wooden one, that was just a labor of experience and the cheapest.