Nick Bladen – Part 3 – Kayaking Across the Bass Strait

Nick’s story continues as he provides a summary below of his crossing of the Bass Strait, and his reasoning behind that decision. Courage is different things to different people, but the courage Nick showed with his journey can be utilised in any situation for any person. This was Nick’s way of confronting his fears, and he used this to parallel his journey in life.

I was asked to do this trip with a friend of mine in the early, cold and disillusioned hours of a morning during an adventure race, and without much thought decided to commit to it. My first thought was;

“Whoa !!!! That would be scary – dark seas, cold seas, nothing but us in a kayak, open ocean……….sure count me in!

There were fears in there I wanted to confront, and it was something I didn’t really think was possible, and because of that, I thought it would be a good way to learn a lot about myself and about life in general. It had been over two years since  I cycled across Canada, and I wanted to experience that process of perturbation again. That is – going through adversity, persisting, and then learning to come out the other end a more rounded person.

Having trained little, with only the experience of our adventure races over the years, and fitness from related sports, we prepared as best we could and endeavored our first attempt. The first day very, very, very quickly showed us we were out of our depth.  8 days later, we returned to the start line, having not even left the mainland of Australia.

We had some growing to do in many respects. we prepared as best we knew how, but not surprisingly, it wasn’t enough. Now we could have just thrown our paddles to the ground and given in like most people usually do when they don’t get what they want the first time, but we were denied something that was of purpose to us, so we were even more determined to tame the beast – aka The Bass Strait. Three months later we returned, yet nine months on from when we first conceptualised the idea with five people shorter than we had at the start. There were just 2 of us, yet we knew and trusted each other and had the same vision to complete what we had begun.

7 days later, having earned our right of passage, we had achieved our goal of crossing one of the most treacherous seas in the world by kayak. Having achieved the objective of our intention was not the fulfilling part though, most certainly not an end in itself. It allowed a retrospect on the lessons learned and the journey travelled from 9 months earlier to that very point, and an opportunity to consolidate the growth we made as individuals.

Much like a rubber band exposed to heat, we continue to expand in the lessons and always draw parallels between the trip itself and the real world. Above all else, I think the power to commit, that is , continuing to persist with something you set out to do when it is no longer fun, with absolute fortitude and determination to resolve, will bring to one anything it is they really want.

We are all navigating the adventurous journey of life, none of which will be the same. We need to realise and take command as the captains of our destiny, have faith in our ability, and  take action on what is deeply important to us.

My next installment of this fascinating story of 2 courageous men will continue with  an indepth account of what took place on this journey. The step’s Nick took to prepare each day, the fears, the emotions, the lessons. I can’t help but look at the times in my life that I stopped short of reaching my goals in the past. After reading this story, I am sure I would have “picked up my oars more times than throwing them to the ground”. It certainly gives you food for thought, doesn’t it?

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2 Responses to Nick Bladen – Part 3 – Kayaking Across the Bass Strait

  1. Mark says:

    great post as usual!

  2. Georgette says:

    I really love your site, the theme is very cool. I have visited here a number of times but never left a comment before. Just wanted to thank you. Love all your articles

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