Oar

I’ve never understood motor boats—the noise, the permeating cloud of fuel...the intrusion. Sure, I can see the appeal (or necessity) of going from point A to point B across a body of water. But the speed...doing so at full throttle, on a peaceful river, without urgency or any real destination...it feels like a savage, blind invasion. Like someone hiking under a sky full of stars and staring at the ground, talking loudly about the office. Some moments are cathedrals and mosques and meant to be absorbed, respectfully. In total silence or careful whispers.

This is one of those times.

We’ve lived by the Richelieu River for fifteen years. For my birthday a couple of months ago, Cynthia gave me kayak lessons at the local boating club—a five minute drive away from our house. Two weeks later I’d bought my own sea kayak. Nothing fancy: a Pelican Summit 100X on sale at Canadian Tire. It fits in my car with the seats down, it’s steady and fast enough when I put my mind to it. I’ve been out on glass-like waters and white caps, on sunny evenings and rainy afternoons. I’ve watched videos on YouTube to perfect my technique and get some pointers; I ache from every bone in my body.

But man...the freedom.
On my first solo outing a fish jumped right in front of my boat: at least two-feet long with a bright orange dorsal fin, its body silver and glistening. I can still see it in my mind, every frame of it.

Tonight I’m testing a waterproof camera housing, using my X100T—just in case.
It’s all a Brave New World.


Shot with the X100T in a Dicapac WP-S3 Underwater housing


Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada