Every paddle begins with a walk to the water’s edge. Sometimes I just sit or walk on the sand or grass.
I look out at the water, observe boats in the distance, movement of the sea gulls or cormorants on the water, watch the clouds passing by, listening, forever listening for a message. Five, 10, up to 60 minutes may pass before I decide to paddle.
The only thing I take for granted is my last breath and the sea. Whether I am master of my boat and paddle is irrelevant. The sea does not care to know me or anything that is in it, it just waves on by. Sounds a bit poetic but even poetry can be the result of great harshness.
It is Thursday, Aug. 18, and in less than an hour, it will be time to start out. Would I be the first non-indigenous person to paddle solo across Lake Simcoe? Was I out of my mind for wanting to paddle my kayak solo across “the big lake”?
I wasn’t scared or over-confidant. If I didn’t make it on this attempt, I would not have an opportunity to try again until next summer. But I didn’t want to wait that long. As you become older, you realize there is not as much time as when you were young.
This was my 60th birthday gift to myself, and a personal celebration of the 60th anniversary of Hannes Lindemann’s solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from the West Coast of Africa to Barbados. If he can cross more than 4,800 kilometres in 72 days, I can surely paddle across 32-plus kilometres in one day....
To read the rest of the article, please see the 2017 Winter issue of Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, available on the Lake Simcoe Living website by clicking next to the cover image.
To view a video of Albert Bedward and learn more about his kayak adventures, go to: https://youtu.be/vpxYt3xaR8Y
He will be doing a documentary, to be released in Autumn 2017.
Albert Bedward will be at the Lake Simcoe Living booth (G241) at the Toronto International Boat Show on Saturday, Jan. 21. Come and talk to him at the Boat Show!