Here are some pictures from the Grand Manan paddle of 2 weeks ago. A group of 7 paddlers, all using NDK Explorers, braved the post hurricane weather and enjoyed an epic 6 day paddle. The waters of the bay are large and the cliffs on the west side of Grand Manan Island are huge.
On September 5th myself and a group of six other experienced paddlers loaded up our 7 NDK Explorers and prepared to make the transit out to Grand Manan Island and the Wolves. The day before saw the remnants of Hurricane Earl push up through the Grand Manan Chanel and the Bay of Fundy before veering to the east and out of our way. The day itself was bright and sunny with the forecast calling for SW 10-15 knot winds. The group discussed the situation and felt these conditions were acceptable for our departure, so off we went.
The first stop was the crossing of the Narrows and through customs before heading out through the narrows and into the channel. As it turned out, the weather was not going to cooperate. Increasing winds, a southerly swell and a generous tide race all conspired to keep us from venturing forward. We instead chose the safe course and rode the swell and following seas up the coast of Campobello island, looking for a safe spot to camp. Shortly thereafter we found a pleasant beach to make camp and settled in for a nice evening complete with a camp fire and good food.
The following day brought calm seas and light winds, perfect conditions for making the crossing. As we broke camp, the group decided to head south about a mile or so before initiating our crossing of the Grand Manan channel. This made for about a 9 mile crossing of what is some of the biggest waters in this area and certainly on the East Coast. Water temps were in the upper 40’s with air temps some where in the 60’s. All paddlers were in Kokatat dry suits, fully prepared for any type of immersion issues that might arise. As it was,about 3-4 miles from shore, one of our paddlers became sea sick and we were forced to initiate a towing line. All went well with this and we eventually reached shore without further issue. The eastern edge of the channel, about half a mile off shore did create a fairly strong tide race that was forming on the new ebb and this did cause us to adjust our landing point to the south ever so slightly. We stopped for lunch before heading out for another 2 mile stretch before making camp at Dark Harbor (a story all toitself).
The next day brought some light winds from the south and a little bit of chop, but the group was enjoying the rolling seas and the little bit of rock gardening that we were able to do along this rough and barren shore line. This side of Grand Manan has cliffs upwards of 200 to 300 feet tall with relatively few landing spots. We made our way over the course of about 3 hours to a small cove with a lovely camp site located up on the tall bluffs. Camping here was going to be hard work but would result in a spectacular view during the evening dinner session. We were all very excited about this spot and set about moving gear up a 200 foot cliff, via a rope and pulley sled system. After moving the gear, we set about moving the kayaks up into the tree line which was about 6-8 foot above the beach.
This is when we realized that something was sadly wrong. One of our party noticed a Coast Guard cutter rounding the southern tip of the island and we all stopped to watch, wondering what was going on. Within a few minutes, it was apparent that the cutter was heading directly towards us and that we were somehow involved in whatever was happening. We quickly grabbed our VHF radios, turned them to Ch. 16 and listened in to see what the problem was. We overheard broken conversation regarding a kayaker with a beacon that was going so we decided to contact the cutter directly.
Upon making contact, we were informed that they were searching for a kayaker with a blue kayak and a beacon that was going off. Instantly everyone turned to me and asked if I had a beacon, to which I promptly replied yes. My PFD had been stored in my kayak up in the trees, so I scrambled up the rocks, got into the boat, and much to my dismay there was my SPOT messenger with the 911 light blinking red. Up until that moment I was still hoping that it was not me who had caused this search, and as I looked at that red blinking light a pit in my stomach formed as I realized that not only was it my beacon, but I knew that my familyhad been contacted by the SPOT service and that they must be in a horrible state of mind.
I have paddled over 4000 miles with the same SPOT messenger and used it religiously to notify my family of my location and my status. I had been blessed with never having had to hit either of the ‘help’ buttons nor had I ever inadvertently pressed the 911 button. However, there were certainly many moments when I had contemplated what would happen should either of those scenarios become reality. So, as this all flashed through my mind in an instant, I was quick to climb back down the bank, get on the radio with the Coast Guard and assure them that it was me they were searching for and that in fact I was fine; that this was entirely and accident. They were grateful that all was well and we all thanked them multiple times before signing off.
My thoughts were immediately on my family and the duress that they were surely going through, wondering if I was ok. We as a group quickly pulled out cell phones and made contact with them, letting everyone know that al lwas well. The Coast Guard and the SPOT service had also proactively reached out to my family letting them know that I was found and that all was well.
The next 4 days as we paddled around the island and worked our way back to home base, all of us had time to reflect on this situation and do some of our own internal analysis. It was only a little ironic that the week before I had posted a link to a group of Netherlands paddlers that had actually truly been in need of a rescue, and now here I was reviewing my own situation, trying to figure out what the lessons learned were and how to best share them with others. Which all leads me to the critical part ofthis event, the analysis and the lessons learned.
First was the realization that every paddler undertaking a trip like this should have some type of beacon on their person or within their group, this includes either a standard EPIRB or a SPOT messenger. I say this because after reviewing all the facts, even with a beacon, it took the Coast Guard over 3 hours to get to our location, and they had our exact GPS coordinates. Why so long? Well apparently the first hour after the beacon went off saw the SPOT service and the Coast Guard making calls trying to determine the validity of the beacon as well as collecting as much information as possible about me and where I was. This data collection was necessary before a search and rescue could be initiated.
This leads to the second big lesson, you must file a float plan with some onethat will be contacted in the event of an emergency. As it turns out, my daughter new of my plans, but she was not on the call list. My family, in their attempt to protect my children, chose not to contact her thus leaving a large information void regarding my location and my actuall paddling plans. Had I filed a float plan with my entire family I could possibly have saved agreat deal of time that was wasted gathering information before initiating a rescue.
Third and possibly most important of all is immersion gear. This ‘non’rescue took over 3 hours before a ship arrived at the scene. Had this been a real emergency and had I been in the waters with a temperature of 48 degrees, even with the dry suit and the wool base layer I was wearing, I would have been in a dire situation. Exhaustion and unconsciousness can occur in as little as 30 minutes without the proper gear. Three hours, even with a dry suit would have been extremely challenging for me to remain conscious and functioning. Immersion gear must be appropriate to the water temperatures and not the air, although as a long distance paddler I do realize the challenge that this can some times create.
I was lucky that this was a ‘non’ emergency that not only tested my gear,but also tested my preparedness and that of our group. I learned some valuable lessons from this experience as did the others in our party. At this point I still do not know how my device was activated. The best guess is that I had taken off my PFD, laid it face down, and that some how it was stepped on thus causing the 911 button to be pressed. It is worth noting that the new SPOT device has a cap covering this button to help avoid this exact scenario. I have always been extremely pleased with my SPOT device, often telling others that this is the way all sea based electronics should perform. I am happy to say that in this scenario, it, and the SPOT team did an amazing job in initiating this rescue.
Well, after watching Earl race up the coast and either wreak havoc on my friends down south or create a wild and crazy playground for others (you know who you are), he has finally arrived here in the Bay of Fundy. Earl is now a tropical storm, but still he packs strong winds and a good heaping helping of swell. My plans to be back on the water and out into Grand Manan channel is now on hold for a day, possibly two, as I wait for things to settle down.
Even in calm waters, the crossing to Grand Manan is a big and challenging open water adventure. Strong currents, huge tides (20 plus feet this week) and often thick fog, all conspire to challenge the senses. Throw in swell that has been building up the east coast and mix in a little strong wind, well, you undoubtedly get the picture. Sunday may end up being the day to depart, but if not, it will be Monday.
For anyone that read the post about the rescued sea kayakers, you will know that erring on the side of caution is critical when planning these types of open water outings. As the storm passess and the winds calm, I will re-evaluate my decision on heading out, only choosing to do so when conditions are safe but still challenging.
A group of nine skilled 'Leader' kayakers in the Netherlands talk about what went wrong on their June 13 paddle. The group departed for a social/training paddle and quickly found themselves in need of a coast gaurd rescue. They have just recently released an incident report that should be read by ALL kayakers.
The report is a fascinating description of the events that occurred and their post trip observations of what went wrong as well as recommendations for the future. It reminded me of a story from George Gronseth's "Sea Kayaker Deep Trouble" book. A book by itself that all kayakers should take the time to purchase and read.
You can read the incident report at this link.
Thanks to everyone who has inquired about the trip of late and my well being. I unfortunately have not been able to do much updating, but I hope to correct that shortly. Briefly, I have come off the water for an extended recuperation period in hopes of getting my arm healed. It became such an issue that I was barely able to paddle 5 miles, let alone paddle for multiple days in a row. I am happy to say it is feeling better and I am optimistic about a full recovery. Please stay tuned as I will soon be updating the site with more details of the trip and some great imagery that I captured over the last 6 months.
Sitting on a rock today, overlooking the serenity of the bay - boats anchored in mist, seals diving for food, gulls circling overhead, I began to contemplate how the simple act of kindness from others towards me has profoundly affected my journey. As I have traveled up the Atlantic Coast, their have been many occasions where I found myself in genuine need of and extraordinary act of kindness; each and every time gifts of kindness were bestowed upon me. At other times, acts of kindness appeared out of the blue, random and much appreciated gifts from Spirit. Whether in need or not, each act had the same affect on me, complete joy in my journey and a strong and endearing faith in the kindness of man..
Many of these acts of kindness involved people opening up their homes to a complete stranger, paddling around North America in a simple orange, now blue, kayak. Often tired, dirty and somewhat smelly, I was more often than not, quite a sight. These warm, caring, loving people, did not have to open up their houses - but they did. I never once asked for these gifts, they were just given to me from the heart and soul. On most occasions I was taken in by people I did not know, immediately fed wonderful food and offered showers, shelter, and a soft warm bed. Many of these people had young children in their homes; what a wonderful lesson this was for those old enough to understand; parents being kind to complete strangers, no sense of fear or doubt in their minds, simply what you are supposed to do for your fellow man.
Mainstream American media would have you believe that everyone you don't know is a stranger and a threat to you and your family. They constantly tell stories of tragedies that involve an innocent person and someone they did not know. The message they push is nothing more than Fear. It is a sad time when the vast majority of people in this country would hesitate to give a stranger a ride to the grocery store or heaven forbid, invite them into their homes for a warm meal and the comfort of shelter.
I am here to reinforce the truth; good people are out there and they are waiting for your simple act of kindness to change their life. We each have the power to dramatically change the world through these acts of kindness and compassion. This is such a powerful concept that Michael J. Chase has written a book, 'am I being kind' and started a foundation called The Kindness Center that he uses to spread the word. His belief that kindess can not only make you a better, happier and more compassionate person, but it also has the benefit of empowering others. Those who receive your act of kindness are dramatically changed; their view of the world slowy begins to brighten. If we all partook in true unconditional acts of kindness, imagine the change we could make in our society.
Poverty, homelessness, descrimination, violence, all of these things would begin to wane. Most of us, even in tough times have more than enough to give to others less fortunate. I live on Peanut Butter and Oats, yet still give whatever is in my pockets to those in need. If it is change then they get that, if it is a $20 bill, they get that, in all cases I simply give because it is in my power to do so. My belief that others are more in need than myself, and my simple acts of giving and acts of kindness bring me more joy than anything else in life other than my children and my family.
My challenge to you is simple. Make kindness a way of life, make it your passion and one of your missions each and every day. Make these acts of kindness random and always unconditional. For it is in the spirit of unconditional giving that we can receive an incredible sense of joy. Start small, find someone today and simply do something nice for them. Better yet, make sure it is someone that is unknown to you and maybe even someone that you normally would avoid. Watch the surprise, hesitation and then happiness that spreads across their face.
We can all change the world, it really can be done and it really is that simple. One act of kindness at a time.
Peace & Love,
am I being kind - Michael J. Chase, Founder of The Kindness Center
The views up in the Bay of Fundy are not just spectacular because of the tidal swing, but also because of the beautiful light that plays out on the little fishing villages. This image was take about 2 weeks ago as the sun set over Lubec, one of the prettiest and nicest places I have visited ever.
More images can be found in the new gallery I just created, found here.
This is an indescribable place, but I will do my best to give you a glimpse into the most amazing tides anywhere in the world. They claim that 100 billion (yes, BILLION) tons of seawater flow in and out of the bay each day. The result is a dramatic ebb and flow of the ocean producing incredible currents while turning apparently small rock outcroppings into massive islands as the tide ebbs out. As the flood begins, the waters begin to rise, and suddenly land that was accessible on foot is quickly covered by the incoming water.
The water temperature this time of the year is in the 40's, so on the rush of the flood, all of that incoming cold water combined with the humid warm air found on land creates a daily rush of fog. You can sit on the shore and quickly feel the temperature change as the cold water begins to rush in. The fog ebbs as well; sometimes thin and wispy, other times so thick you can barely see in front of you. The weather dynamics are thus constantly in a state of flux as the cold water comes in and the SW wind comes up in the afternoon bringing in even more cool air.
Paddling in these conditions is sublime and yet difficult and often dangerous. On the day I arrived in Lubec a young woman out for a paddle found herself caught in an 8 Knot current that was quickly pulling her out of the bay, into the narrows and points unknown. A swift rescue by the locals averted what could have been a catastrophe. The currents and fog are not the only problems. Water temperatures in the upper 40s make immersion a true danger. At those temps, a person without the proper clothing will succumb to exhaustion and blackout in as little as 30 minutes. Death can occur within 1-3 hours.
Proper training and the appropriate clothing become an essential part of your survival kit. I personally wear a Kokatat Watersports Wear Expedition dry suit with various layers of icebreaker wool base layers. My Kokatat suit has protected me in not only these cold waters but throughout my entire passage up into Alaska and the frigid waters of Glacier Bay. With all of its use, it was a great relief to have Kokatat and Gore-Tex stand behind their product and provide me with a replacement suit this past week. I am honored to be using a product made by companies that value their customer and stand behind what they manufacture.
The tide range the week I arrived in the Bay was upwards of 21 feet. I arrived in Lubec on a high tide that brought me right up to shore. Even though I timed my arrival to within 30 minutes of slack, I was soon to learn that during the higher tides, there really was no such thing as slack. As I arrived, I was barely able to make it up the narrows and around the break wall as slack had quickly turned to an ebb and the tide was rushing out at an ever increasing rate. That evening it was a dramatic site, looking out over the narrows that 6 hours before were filled with rushing water, now was a significantly smaller river of rushing water surrounded byseveral hundred yards of shoreline. The picture of this scene is located below.
I have now successfully paddled from the southern most point of the US in Key West FL to the Eastern Most Point, Lubec Maine. I completed this by paddling more than 80% of the time in the Atlantic Ocean. It was truly an epic paddle for me and a journey that I will never forget. Over the weeks I will have much to write about, but for now, I wanted to stop and say thanks to all of my Family and friends that have given me such unconditional love and support. I would also not have made it were it not for the amazing people I have met along the way. Many of whom opened their homes and families to helping me out, a complete stranger paddling a simple kayak and living a simple life.
This journey has once again taught me that kindness and love triumphs over everything else. That loving even those that would do us harm is the only way to confront conflict, for there is no other path. I am truly blessed to have had this experience, and to have learned these lessons. No one is perfect, we all have made mistakes. The true test is how we live our lives at this moment, for it is only in the Now that we have any control whatsoever. The past, good or bad, can never be changed and the future is nothing more than the path we create from each and every moment we live now.
I am now forced to take a break due to a complete breakdown of my entire body and most especially my fore-arm. Almost 6 months of paddling in big ocean water has worn me down to the point that I worry it is no longer safe to continue in the harsh waters of Nova Scotia. At this point I will rest a bit, seek some treatment, and evaluate my options before making a final decision next week.
Peace & Love
It is strange how the sudden onset of complete fog has changed my perception of everything on the water. It is a complete and utter change in one's senses and orientation. Three days ago the fog set in so thick that I could barely see 100 yards in front of me. Not content to sit on an island, I was forced to venture off into the white, trusting my senses and my hard earned navigation skills.
In the fog, it is hard not to notice both the silence and the noise. Suddenly waves have new meaning as does the ding heard from a distant buoy. The diesel engines on the lobster boats have a distinct sound when they are travelling away from you as apposed to coming at you.
Camping on islands in the middle of the sea, surrounded by water and waves, and an invisible blanket of white, is however, the most surreal feeling of all. Last night I stood on a rock ledge watching the tide come in. Waves were breaking high on the south side of the island and I could not help but be at complete and utter peace. I had this continuing vision of looking down from above, me alone on the tip of this island in the middle of the sea. A seal swam by and a few gulls made their presence known, but other than that, I felt completely alone and yet not alone at all.
In these moments, I am so grateful to have made this journey and to have accomplished so much. My sense of peace and love is a guding force in how I see and interact with this beautiful world we live in. I only wish that everyone could experience moments like this, seeing how a simple island in the middle of the big vast ocean can put everything that is important in life in complete perspective.
Live, Love, be in Peace, Laugh a bunch, and never ever Judge.....
Suzanne, the New England Kokatat rep has really helped me out today. She has graciously donated a like new 'Demo' expedition dry suit to help me through the chilly northern waters. I have been paddling in a Kokatat dry suit for the last 4300 miles, relying on it to protect me from not only the water but the elements. As you can imagine, after 4300 miles, it had seen quite a bit of wear and tear. As I continue on my Atlantic Odyssey, this suit will greatly aid my survivability in not only the cold waters but also the rapidly changing late summer and early fall weather. I am extremely proud to be using such a great product and am very appreciative of Suzannes generosity.
Yesterday we had over 350 hits to the website and hope that this number continues to grow as people begin to learn about the One Ocean Project and Glenn Charles. We are looking for sponsorship and media coverage from companies that allign with our mission - oceanic awareness, health and nutrition, and self growth. We are constantly seeking to expand our footprint and engage more individuals in our Journey. If you know of anyone interested in sponsoring or covering the Odyssey from a media perspective, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our sponsor request form.
The One Ocean Project Team
Glenn is in the top right corner with friends he met at the Symposium in Rhode Island.
For those who frequent our site, you may notice that we are undergoing construction. Take some time to check out our new features and continue to come back for more updates. The following are some of our new sections:
About - Social Media Footprint: As our sponsorship increases, we are aiming to increase our social media footprint. Join the Odyssey by following us on facebook (The One Ocean Project page) and twitter (@oneoceanproject) or sign up on our website.
News & Media: This section will feature information about the One Ocean Project as it appears on websites, in the news, and on blogs.
- Check us out on tumblr.com http://mcc4b3.com/post/704472270
Support Us - Weekly Special: We will be selling a fine art print on a weekly basis for a phenomenal price reduction. Part of the proceeds will go to the One Ocean Project, while another portion will go to a Gulf Coast organization involved in the unfortunate oil-spill. You are also able to purchase prints from the portfolio at any time and by the google checkout box on the right hand side of the website.
Sponsorhip: We have received some exciting new sponsorship. Soon you will be able to link to the webpages of our sponsors through the Sponsorship page. Any interested sponsors can also fill out the sponsorship request form. We are always looking for sponsors who allign with our goals of promoting awareness of the world's waterways, self-growth and transformation through the serenity of the water, health and nutrition, and awareness through photography.
Guest Book: Sign our guest book and let us know who is following along.
Stay tuned for more updates.
I am extremely excited to announce that Nigel Dennis Kayaks (NDK), has become an official sponsor of the One Ocean Project. I have been paddling an NDK Explorer around North America for the last 18 months, putting well over 4000 miles of water under the boat. It has seen sand, rocks, dirt, big swell, little swell, flat water, 40 Knot winds, big surf landings and big surf launches. Through it all, my explorer has performed flawlessly; transporting me and my gear to locations far and near. It has been beaten and bruised, banged up and torn, but easily repaired and then happily put back into the water.
However, after over 4000 miles, it was time to commission a new boat and Nigel generously stepped up to help out, donating a brand new NDK Explorer so that I can safely continue my journey. When I first met Nigel this weekend, I said hello and then thank you. I had no expectations of getting a boat, I simply wanted to meet him and thank him for producing such a fine boat; one that could safely transport a complete novice up the Inside Passage and into the harsh and treacherous waters of Alaska. My Explorer got me up their in one piece and brought me back safely. When I started out Leg 2 of my Journey, the Atlantic Odyssey, I simply patched up the boat and set sail up the Atlantic Coast of North America.
The boat did an amazing job of carrying me and my gear through some of the roughest waters in North America. Paddling through the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic', the Outer Banks, it withstood a constant thrashing by the waves and surf, often being tossed around in the water and on shore. It was dragged hundreds of yards up and down beaches of sand and shell, and yet it never once complained. Simple and easy fiberglass patches repaired any damage done, and the boat continued to work its magic in the Atlantic waters.
I simply can't imagine paddling any other boat for long distance expeditions/trekking. My orange NDK will be sorely missed, but I look forward to commissioning my new boat tomorrow as I set off for points north. The Orange NDK will be patched up by Kayak Waveology and then we will auction her off later this year. A portion of the proceeds will go to a charity performing services in the very tragic Gulf oil spill cleanup.
I am honored and humbled to be paddling an NDK and look forward to representing the true spirit of Nigel Dennis Kayaks, paddling through both calm and challenging waters. There is a reason why NDKs are the choice of kayak explorers world wide, and I am now part of the living testament to their versatility, build quality, and sea worthiness. The Odyssey continues thanks to Nigel, I am forever grateful.
It is Friday and this is the first true day of the symposium. All the participants and coaches have arrived, including a great group of pros from England. Maine Island Kayak company, Nigel Dennis Kayaks, and Kayak Waveology are leading the organizations at this years event. The event represents a great opportunity to not just gain instruction, but to also meet with other folks that are just as passionate about kayaking as I am.
Today I opted to go with Nigel's group that was focused on Core Paddling. While at first this may seem silly for someone paddling around North America, I decided that I spend 90% of my time paddling straight and I really need to perfect that area of my 'game'. So Nigel spent the first part of the morning talking about strokes, paddles, and the affects that these have on your overall paddle performance. We then had the opportunity to go out on the water and have our stroke video taped first w/o any instruction and then after a brief critique, we were filmed again. During the lunch break we then had the opportunity to review the film and hear the critique of our before and after strokes.
I had always known that I was not a fast paddler, often falling behind any group I am with. I am however steady and strong so it has never really been an issue. On the Atlantic Odyssey, I have come to realize that my logic was flawed, and that by perfecting my stroke as well as using the right paddle and paddle length, I could dramatically increase my performance (miles/speed) with no additional energy output. In fact you could make the argument that by properly executing the stroke with the correct equipment, all things being equal, I could actually reduce my energy output. This hit me like a rock upside the head today and I realized that I really needed to work on this.
Well, after the instruction, video, and trying different paddles, I now have the knowledge to begin correcting things and hopefully improve my paddling efficiency. Like any change, this can be painful to do. Our bodies become mechanically trained and when we want to change things it often proves frustrating and physically painful. Luckily I have some time to work on this and look forward to the challenge of improving my stroke.
I also have some great sponsorships to announce but will wait until tomorrow when things are finalized to spread the word. In the meantime, I encourage everyone who is really into kayaking to attend a symposium or find a local coach and really work on perfecting your stroke. What a huge difference this makes in happy paddling.
Well, the journey has been long and at times arduous. As a result, my boat is in a world of hurt and I am happy to have safely arrived in Newport. The last two days paddling saw fog so thick I could barely see 100 feet in front of me. The soup caused me to paddle the shoreline in order to not get lost. Yesterday morning as I was loading the boat the surf ripped the rear boat hatch off of it's tether. So, since I had thought about this day for a while, a make shift hatch cover was erected using a large plastic bag and rope. I had been planning on acquiring spare hatch covers but had procrastinated doing so. Needless to say, the final 17 miles paddling into port were a little worrisome knowing a plastic bag was all that kept surf and waves from entering the boat.
My good friends Herb and Cindy have put me up at their place and I had the opportunity to pull all my gear out and wash the accumulated sand away. Tomorrow I will begin the process of fiberglass repair on the boat, fixing the great deal of damage that has taken its toll on the underside of the Yak. The good folks at The Kayak Center helped me get a hatch cover that will hopefully hold me until I can have NDK covers shipped up from NC.
After a few days of rest and repair I will begin the final leg pushing north. I still have some big challenges in front of me and the first one up will be rounding the Cape. I will look for good weather and calm seas before beginning the 17 mile stretch up to the tip and sheltered waters that lie beyond.
Over the next couple of days I hope to get some more posts up as well as some of my latest thoughts on gear, kayak camping, and the nutritional/energy challenges that I have faced. As always, I am so grateful to all that have helped and supported my journey. Moving forward, you will notice the sale of Fine-Art prints as a mechanism to help support my efforts. I hope you will take some time, peruse the galleries, and if at all possible, make a small purchase to help me out.
Peace & Love,
After a huge day today and 4 long or short months, I sit on the beach staring at the lights of New York City. It was a fantastic day that has ended with a picturesque sunset. Tomorrow I make the crossing and head up the inside of the city and then out to the back side of Long Island. The Atlantic has not disappointed me and I look forward to the next phase of this epic paddle.
On a down note, it does appear that the lovely dock master who dragged my loaded kayak out of the water, up a boat ramp, and over some stones did indeed put a structural crack in the boat. I had felt water coming in over the last day or two and then tonight, unloaded the boat and flipped it over. Sure enough, there it was, all the way to the fiberglass on one side. I am a little concerned because of the location of the crack, almost running in line with the rear bulk head. This may prove challenging to fully repair, so we shall see. Somewhere in the next week or so I will have to get it out of the water and do the repair. Lesson, make sure the dock master knows why your boat is tied up to the Kayak Only dock....
I was speaking with my daughter the other day, telling her about people that had taken me in, allowing me to sleep in a comfortable bed and have nice warm shower. As I told her this she made the comment about being uncomfortable staying with strangers. I immediately reminded her that 'There Are No Strangers', she laughed and we went on with our conversation.
However, for me, this goes to the core of what I have found and who I have become. I truly believe that there are no strangers, only new friends and new loved ones that we have simply not met. The kindness, generosity, and love that are gifted to me from these people are beyond words. Once again, as in Alaska, I would not be able to do what I am doing without meeting these people, opening up to having them in my life and at the same time allowing them to open up and let me into theirs.
Imagine a world where we all finally realized that there were no strangers. That we are all of ONE, and that everything and everyone was simply a function of LOVE. This type of world would be free of violence, hatred, fear, and intolerance. Many spiritual leaders have written of a world such as this. I can only say that I am living it now and it is such a beautiful thing. My world is so much richer and full of happiness, peace, and love, because of this simple shift in my world view.
Today, make an attempt to view everyone that crosses your path with this thought and see what a difference it makes in your life. One step at a time we can all change the world.
Peace & Love