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Having A Ball
Having A Ball

The crowd that splashes around in kayaks insists there are only two kinds of people: those who kayak and those who would like to, but won't admit it. I'm not sure this is true for everyone but I won't fight 'em , I'd like to join 'em.

Always a great fan of the paddle, I grew up in a canoe and can boast of a couple of generations of canoeists in my background. Naturally I believed my old friend, the canoe, that had served me for so many years, was the perfect vessel; that is, until I sat in a kayak. Now, I'm not here to put down an old friend, but let me explain.

Truly, it takes a bit of getting used to, but once you've managed to fit yourself into that small space and straightened out your legs, the flexibility of this craft is quite impressive. Looking at kayaks from afar, I've always assumed that they were prone to tipping if you so much as breathed the wrong way. Not so! It is actually quite difficult to deliberately upset it, the center of gravity being so low that you are actually seated below the surface of the water.

So it is that my wife and I, canoeing enthusiasts that we are, have, with mixed emotions, both decided that we would like to own one. When I say both, I mean it literally because each of us, being the free spirits that we are, would find it difficult to ride double. We simply think differently! The two-hole jobs are not for us.

However, they don't exactly give these things away, so we will paddle our trusty canoe ( now an old friend of some fifty years) until we can afford two kayaks. It may be awhile!

The print shown here is a favourite among kayakers. The perspective is from a kayak level. You can almost hear the water splashing the sides as you glide along. Innumerable times I have been asked to explain why I named this painting "Having a Ball". It has a lot to do with the gulls on the left flocked around a herring ball. The Orcas in the distant right have spotted the excitement and are moving in for their share.

The view is from Weynton Passage and takes in some familiar landmarks. Stubbs island appears at the upper right, while jutting in from the left is Donegal Head, the eastern tip of Malcolm Island. In the top middle left, as part of the Coast Range, is Mt. Stephens, the three-peaked beauty that can be viewed from anywhere between Beaver Cove and Port Hardy.

It is surprising how many people think that Mt. Stephens is Mt. Waddington, the highest peak in B.C., because from where we are it is so imposing. We must remember that it is very close to us, a mere thirty nautical miles from Port McNeill, as the helicopter flies and rises directly from the ocean at Nimmo Bay in Mackenzie Sound. My pilot friends tell me that you have to be thirty-five hundred feet above McNeill to see Mt. Waddington and when you do Mt. Stephens seems to shrink a little.

Most of us have always been inspired in some way seeing Mt. Stephens and the Coast Range from this shore. I have sometimes heard it called Silverthrone, which name would be more fitting for this chair-shaped giant.

By the way, the first pod, this year, of resident Orcas, six of the A30 group, was sighted in Johnstone Strait and Robson Bight on Sunday, July 2; earlier than usual. I talked to a couple from Denmark who had been among the lucky ones to see them that day. They were on cloud nine! I guess you could say they, "Had a Ball".

Henschel Fine Arts
Henschel Fine Arts


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