“You’re watching your star; you’re feeling the motion of the canoe in your feet,” Low recalled, positioned in front of the fireplace in his living room, bending and straightening his knees as if transported to the open sea. “It’s unlike steering any other vessel. You are joined with the canoe with your muscles, your eyes. You hear the rushing of the wind, you hear the sibilance of it, and you want to keep that song in the right octave. It’s this incredible ballet, connected to every part of your being and your senses.” (Sam Low)
…and the girl who fell in love with a kayak; a kayak is a canoe, it is a “primitive boat” built by “primitive cultures”… like the voyaging canoe, the kayak is an intricate, sleek, elegant answer to how to thrive in the open sea, to travel, to hunt, to fish, to care for your ohana. Kayaks and canoes were built by people who did not originally have metal working technology or written language. The Polynesians excelled at exploring the vastness of the Pacific, and the builders of kayaks excelled at surviving freezing arctic seas. In both boats you are at one with the elements, you can feel the shape of wave and wind, hear the sounds, smell the smells, and feel the bottom come up under you in the shallows.
Things you don’t notice in a noisy engine driven boat bashing through the water.
Sam Low wrote Hawaiki Rising about the early voyages of the Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hokule’a. It’s a terrific true tale of the high seas, and you can find it on Amazon. I bought two of them (one for a buddy).