The challenge and the beauty of ocen paddling is that no two days are alike. You wake up in the predawn light, unzip the tent, and the sea greets you with anything from a roar of boisterous energy to the gentlest wave recending over the colored stones of a gravel beach. The winds and waves, or the lack of them, set the pace and the mood of the day.
Days of wild winds and breaking waves leave little time for daydreaming and wandering mentally. The windsand, consequently, the waves, demand that the paddler stay alert. The day is spent anticipating the unexpected: Gauging the speed and angle of the waves as each one approaches the boat, monitoring the ever-changing subtleties of wind direcctions and speed, being aware of the energy spent controlling the boat and how much longer one can maintain the pace, and continually, though subconsciously, being aware of how narrow the edge is between the high of running with the sea and the consequenses if something were suddlently to go wrong. The high-energy days are the ones that are remembered simple because of the intensity with which the days is lived.
by Chris Duff