Monday, February 01, 2010
Who Hates Wind?
Who hates wind?
Marcus and Biff, that's who.
They were making fantastic progress around Tierra del Fuego for a while, but then relentless winds pinned them in place (fortunately in a sheltered bay) for 11 days straight. When the possibility of a helicopter ride out of there unexpectedly materialized one day, they weighed their options & chose to abandon ship (literally, they left their kayaks behind).
Can't have been an easy call. It takes courage to do the sort of thing they were trying to do. It also takes guts & a good dose of common sense, in the end, to say "OK, this isn't working out, our options are getting slimmer with each passing day, we have been granted this opportunity to get out with no further risk to life & limb - let's take it."
I think back to Marcus's early days & laugh. He had a number of us women of the barge in full mother-hen mode because he seemed to be fearless. That might sound like a compliment, but I think fear, at a controllable/overrideable level (not unreasonable fear or panic, those are no good at all, just a healthy respect for the overwhelming power of wind & water & all the other hazards out there) is a pretty necessary emotion to have in kayaking.
I don't think we needed to worry quite so much - I think Marcus just had to go a lot further than most of us do to find his limits.
So, congratulations to them, in spite of the early end. I would've loved it if they'd made it, but at the same time, they'd been in the same place for an awfully long time, the last Spot track had a certain silent eloquence, and scanning on up the coast they were going to be travelling next, I wasn't seeing any nice places to run in. In light of all that, the announcement that they were bailing was not a surprise & in fact was maybe even a bit of a relief.
I hope they will be doing a presentation or two when they will get back - it should be fascinating.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to watch Marcus develop as a paddler. And now I'm getting to watch him develop as a sailor too - last year he bought a Laser & joined Sebago! Yeah, that "Who hates wind?" thing was hyperbole - it's not all wind, just the winds that are blowing too hard from the wrong direction, halfway through a big expedition. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he does at Sebago's Laser regatta (May 22nd, official Notice of Race in process but any Laser sailors out there, mark your calendars if you'd like to join us on J-Bay!).