Crossing the Ditch

11 Nov

Hooray for Justin and James in finally setting out on their heroic attempt to cross the ditch in a completely inappropriate vessel. It’s no different from flying to the moon in a tiny tin can. Except of course the astronauts had no choice of better gear. The ditch crossers could take any number of safe options to get to NZ. It’s not the destination that’s important, it’s surviving the journey. It’s doing the incredible that’s important. To be Paul Caffyn requires more than doing the odd club paddle or to beat around the bays and rivers (which is where I am about now). You need to be incredible.
To GO, DO & BE.
I still think about Andrew McAuley fairly regularly. I didn’t know him but I wanted him to make it. Dying hasn’t diminished him and I think about the impact on his family. But there’s a part of me that still hopes that he survived and that he will reappear having drifted the last 80ks to Fjordland and after being stranded finally gets home. Like Tom Hanks. It’s a fantasy but Andrew is now legendary for the vastness of the endeavour. It was a standard Mirage 580! The mystery shrouds him and mythologizes him. In the seakayaking community his name will loom large. I know it’s no consolation to the surviving McAuleys but it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Better to die at sea in a heroic adventure than rot away a lifetime in safety and mediocrity wondering about what you might have done.
I doubt I will have the capacity for such vast boldness, at least not at sea. I think I have some of those qualities in business but each trip in my yak I make I get a feel for the spirit of the Andrew McAuleys and Paul Caffyns.

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Posted by on November 11, 2007 in Seakayaking News and Events


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