Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Milestone: CWK Celebrates its 30th Post!

When I started this blog, I must admit, I had no firm idea where it would go. I knew I had some advice that might be useful - especially for beginners. There are plenty of kayakers out there who have a great deal more experience and expertise than I do, but I still see some value in adding my voice to the conversation. On many occasions, when the topic of kayaking came up in general small talk, I found myself answering questions for folks who seemed unaware of the basic requirements for safe enjoyment of the sport, and who (let's face it) probably won't ever really get into kayaking in anything but a casual way. That's fine. I have no problem with people recognizing they don't have the time or interest level to fully commit to any particular activity. I enjoy kayaking and waveski surfing (see my post What's That Thing Called? (it's a waveski)), but I work a full time job and have limited hours to spend on each pursuit. Surfing has shifted into the forefront of my water activities in recent years - I can get to my usual break in less than an hour, surf for a couple hours, and get back before noontime after a morning surf. I do enjoy the several times a year I get the long boat (what I call my touring kayak) out for a paddle with Tim (see my post Paddle Trip: Choate Island and Crane Beach) or Mike (see my post 5 Tips for Kayak Fishing (once in a while)). The fewer times we can fit touring or fishing paddles into our schedules makes me appreciate the occasional trip all the more. So, I can understand anyone who might have only a peripheral interest in trying out a kayak. I hope the advice I have given in posts like 10 Tips for Which Kayak You Should Buy (hint: maybe none at all) help steer those folks to kayaking opportunities that don't require a huge commitment - like rentals or organized tours, for example. For those who do want to take the next step, I have aimed to provide some advice for lowering the cost of entry to the sport, and the cost of maintenance of your equipment (see my post Kayak Repairs That Last - 10 Tips for Maintaining Your Kayak). I still have some more advice on those topics for future posts, but the post links above, and other posts I have published are a good start for anyone wanting to learn more. I have also linked to other resources that can provide additional information, and I strive to make sure those resources offer the level of quality my readers deserve.

Another aspect of my blog content has been the promotion and appreciation of my local New England coastal waterways. I have been drawn to these waters since my youth (see my post Why I Love the Ocean), and my wish for my last breath would be to release it while gazing upon the shining Atlantic. My love for New England and its waters was only heightened by a brief foray to the southern California coast in the early 1990s. When I drove back across this great country (ostensibly for a temporary visit - and boy, Texas takes a long time to drive across!), I knew, when my eyes caught the glinting morning light reflected through thin ice on Connecticut hardwood trees, that I would never leave. My first gaze upon my beloved Atlantic only confirmed that knowledge. I am a New Englander. It is in my bones, and I hope that condition shines through my posts about local paddle trips and locations. I try to offer as objective a viewpoint as possible, including some criticism of local shortcomings like parking and access to the water (see my post Essex Bay - A Northeast Massachusetts Gem (but where's the parking?)). Let's face it, though, I am a booster for all things New England, and will continue to be. If a reader from another region or part of the world gets a taste for this beautiful coastline from my blog, then I've done my job as I see it.

Rockport, Massachusetts ocean view
The beautiful Atlantic Ocean off New England 

My readership has grown quite a bit since my first post, and it's been interesting to see who's viewing my blog. Of course, the lion's share of views have come from the U.S., but there are also views from many countries throughout the world, on most continents. I hope I represent New England residents, and kayakers more specifically, well. I can imagine a resident of some distant land, who may not have much knowledge of the New England area, having her perspective on the region at least partially shaped by my posts. That idea gives me a sense of responsibility that will continue to inform my writing moving forward.

With the exception of the month of June, 2017, I have been publishing weekly blog posts. Now that 30 posts have been accumulated (a goal I set for myself a few months ago), I will be posting less frequently. I haven't yet fully decided how often that will be, but my Posting Schedule page will list updates to my posting frequency. Less frequent posts may take on a different tone - maybe longer, maybe a series on a specific topic - I'm not quite sure yet. I also want to curate more useful content onto my blog, to make it more of a "one stop shop" for my readers. Whatever form this blog takes in the future, I will continue to strive with integrity to provide my honest viewpoint and perspective on kayaking New England waters.

Thank you to anyone who has visited this blog (or may be visiting now, for the first time). The concept that anyone might find what I have to say useful or interesting is humbling. In an ever busy world, time is ever more precious. Thanks for spending some of yours with me. 

Be safe, take care of your gear, plan your trips well - then get out there and paddle with a song in your heart. Here's to the next 30 posts!

- TB on the Water   



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