The Benefits of Building a Kayak

by | Jan 21, 2016

I have been distracted from blogging for a year. 2015 was a year of chaotic family life crisis. My prior rhythm of writing blown apart by trips to the ER, Emma’s heart surgery, court crap and a plethora of other events ranging from the banal to the consuming. Somehow, despite life’s attempts to subjugate my passions, my marriage has grown stronger, my girls continue to mature and challenge me to be a better parent, and in splendid albeit brief moments we find happiness together.

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Content creation is a passion of mine. Sharing what excites me with whomever wants to listen read or view. Buoyed by some vlog viewing I dabbled with video; it’s hard work, committing and time consuming beyond what I could realistically devote to it.

Igniting my passion and through it rekindling my inner raison d’etre makes me a better person, husband and father. Fanning those flames is going to be, it’s got to be, a focus of mine.

In the autumn of 2015 in a paroxysm of compassion I agreed to build a small rolling kayak for Virginia. Subsequently, Jacquelyn my wife, expressed how grateful she was that I agreed to do it, she can see the inner value it creates. When I was first asked if I would build the kayak my head could not cope with the idea of adding another burden on the family by taking on the build. However, building this kayak has yet again demonstrated kayak building’s value as a personal solace, my therapy. 15 minutes in the workshop sheds the tensions and mind clutter of confused emotions and questions. Jacquelyn’s empathetic sharing in the revelation of the beauty of the wooden kayak is aiding my cognitive recovery.

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The immense, intense, satisfaction I derive from fashioning a kayak from wood is hard to explain to people who’s only point of reference is signing away several thousand dollars for a fancy factory produced plastic vessel at a high end outdoor goods store. The imperfect result of the interplay between science, engineering and art brings such pleasure to me the constructor, and I hope it will too for Virginia, the paddler.

Jacquelyn laughs at my protestations of failures, she sees beyond them viewing the beauty of the whole, without the myopic magnifying glass I hold to the dings, scrapes and joints of each imperfection.

I want to get better, better at building kayaks, better at being a husband, better at being a father. I think that if I focus on improving my cognition the rest will follow. If my path to a healthier mind is through building kayaks, then I guess the process will improve my craft, so all goals will be achieved. I know kayak building isn’t really the whole answer, but it may be just the medicine I need to make progress towards a fix for this ailment.

You can follow along with the build either on my Facebook page or through the photographs in this gallery.

Your most intimate paddling relationship?
A paddling journey

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