Three Men in a Boat

From the Article

“I sure as hell don't want to spend the night here,” Doug muttered.

“Neither do I, but it's you who has to convince him,” I said. “He thinks I'm crazy as a whitewater canoeist, so isn't going to accept my opinion about this.” Nor did I want to put more strain on a relationship I valued. This was more dangerous than river running. Doug went down to the beach for a consultation. Finally, Dennis agreed to try.

As we hit open water, it was rough. Spray broke over our windward side. It would be dangerous to turn around, something I hadn’t considered. Partway across, I noticed Dennis at the throttle. His body tense, his face strained, he was calculating our way through the complex of whitecaps. I realized he was meeting his fear, and how responsible he felt for our safety. Had I asked too much? This friend was pushing his limits for our benefit. I gripped his shoulder in a gesture of solidarity and encouragement. We reached camp with only minor bailing.

That trip helped me recognize the worthiness of my friends. I understood each better, and respected one willing to test his emotional boundaries in my presence. Our journey had brought us inner growth while we were outward bound. Gwaii Haanas had shown more reason why it was recognized as a place of beauty.

All Publications