We kayaked to a World War II fort on the coast of Seaward while in Alaska. The day began with a top layer of water proof clothing and donning the equipment necessary to stay dry and keep you from drowning. The water is a frigid 50 degrees--and turning over is not advised.
After our instructions and safety lecture by the two guides, we headed out for a five mile row to the fort. I was fortunate enough to be placed in the front of the kayak of our only male hiker-who is an experienced kayaker.
The guides were impressed with the good time we made kayaking to our destination. Obviously they did not know we all are slightly competitive and it quickly became a race. When they suggested we could stop and rest, there were no takers.
The trip to the fort was easy--smooth water, light breeze, and rested rowers.
Lunch was on the shore and then we made the five mile hike to the fort at the top of the shoreline. It was interesting to hear all the history of the WWII battles and protection of the Alaskan territory.
The thing about kayaking is you need to establish a cadence as you row. You are headed for disaster and certainly will be slowed if you are not rowing in unison with your partner. Since I was in the front of the kayak, I set the pace. I am happy to say we worked well together and had to be pulled back in a few times as we surged ahead.
We did not realize until we were almost back that we were in any danger. The winds had picked up when we started back and the tide and waves created rough going. Until I got out of the kayak at home base, I did not realize the guide had been concerned. One of the kayakers overheard him ask the other guide where the rescue paddles were located during the rough seas part. He breathed a sigh of relief and admitted his concern when we hit the calmer waters near the landing point. All this time, I am getting a little wet from the big waves, but enjoying the ride as we are surfing along with the waves.
How much easier would life be if we learned to work together? Husbands and wives; friends; co-workers; brothers and sisters; any relationship where we are working toward a common goal would be simpler if we pulled in the same direction in unison. Too often we become stuck in our own efforts and fail to look around and notice those by our sides--offering help. My favorite admonishment, "Get my eyes off my navel," and look up and around. You do not even realize you are in rough waters, unless you are looking up. Would life not be better if we worked together and stayed in sync? There are times to lead and times to follow--and most important times to accept the help being offered. What's the saying, "It takes two to tango" but someone needs to lead--lest you become tangled up and trip. OH--but the beauty of the dance when one is leading and the other is following!
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.