I remember eating something new a few years ago. Maybe a Russian dish, but probably not. My step mum cooked it, scratch that- created it for Christmas. New flavours rolled around in my head as a truly new experience. Overwhelming really. As if, when you finally wee after torturing yourself for some ungodly reason, you’re engulfed with a feeling of ‘oh my golly- this is LIFE! It’s the only thing in the world you think of- the simple complexity of one thing.
As a not-so-boring adult, but adult in that I no longer bump into brazenly new things every other minute, this momentary bliss (and recognising it) was a chance encounter. We adults, you could say, have eaten lots of weird and wonderful things by now, and in terms of experience, we’ve been around the block a few times.
A dam busting leak and a well-cooked fish are my comparable touchstones to paddling a Mirage sea kayak for the first time. Having been a plastic man for most of my sea kayaking life (almost exclusively actually), the sheer difference in feeling water slide beneath me was remarkable. Yet here’s the thing; we leak all the time, I paddle a bunch, and the Russian (probably not) delicacy was just fish. But, my friends, cooking with care and finesse, being toilet trained and paddling can also be very ‘everyday’. My point is I was experiencing a new kind of everyday.
The Mirage 532, then 30 minutes later the 582, were both ‘AhhHaa’ moments. This says something of my time in plastic. My daily Australis ride is perhaps my favourite place to sit. It has me thinking about food and my girlfriend and my unfinished building projects. Normality within it is a measure of taking land-life with me. Ballast, you might say, comes along in the form of my email inbox, last conversation with Helen, writing projects, how I never seem able to find ripe bananas at the grocery store. I don’t really head to sea. I float on it in a small piece of land.
The Mirage experiences is incredibly immersive, and yes, new. It had me thinking about the sea, waves, water-energy, and my cadence. The bloody horizon beckoned me again. I was in the water, at sea, in the moment.
You can imagine how wrapped I was to see an awfully long sea kayak arrive on the back of a truck. Special envoy. Two blokes in high viz escort it from the mechanical tailgate. One of them tells me I’m crackers for doing the Strait. ‘I did it a while back…on the Ferry!’ he tells me. We shake hands to make things official. I scribble on the oversize phones they lug about, and take to the heavily clad package with my knife. I’ll take her out in a few days time and let you know what I thought about…