Going “Too Far” – a Facebook post.

May 7, 2012


Diana – I saw this quote, and thought of you:


We can do so much more than we think we can, but it’s scary outside “the zone.” ~ Moon

Daniel Lintz likes this.

    • Don McCumberand this:

      True story. ~the mess

      abeautifulmessinside dot com

      17 hours ago · Like · 1 ·
    • Diana Nyad (to) ‎Don: These are both fantastic! How have you put these ideas to work in your own life?

      34 minutes ago · Unlike · 1
    • Don McCumber     Great question! They both immediately made me think of you, but I can recall instances where the T.S. Eliot quote has applied, for me. There have been a few times when I have “pushed the limit” in my kayaking experiences. I did a night paddle out of Everglades City a few years ago, getting an early start for a camping trip on an island, facing the Gulf of Mexico.

      I had done a few night paddles before, but this particular night was as dark as it could possibly get. No stars or moonlight, because of the overcast sky. I had a light on my rear deck, like we did during your Cuba swim. I also had a headlamp. The problem was, with the mist rising up off of the water, the light reflected back at me… very disorienting. Every time I turned on the headlamp, I got dizzy – not a good thing, when you’re in a 22″ wide sea kayak.

      Still, I was determined to go, so I headed out, with both lights shut off. It’s an eerie feeling, paddling off into the wilderness of the 10,000 Islands, when you can’t even see the bow of your kayak.It was a still night, so I figured I could hear a power boat approaching, and I could turn my lights on quickly, to be seen. I only turned the lights on to spot channel markers, and to check my chart.

      One problem that I encountered, was the manatees. There was no way I could see them, and apparently I was too quiet for them to hear me. I was drenched three different times, when I either ran over their backs, or spooked them as they rose beside me, to get a breath of air. Everyone thinks of them as “gentle giants”, but I’ll tell you this – when a half-ton manatee panics, there is NOTHING gentle about it! That huge tail POUNDS the water like a giant enraged beaver.  If that tail happens to catch your kayak just right, your trip is OVER.

      To shorten this long story a bit, I made my way through the pitch-black night, for most of the 11 miles that I needed to paddle to get to my campsite. I reached Indian Key, and could hear the waves crashing in on the beach, but I couldn’t SEE the waves… only FEEL them. I guess that’s when I decided “That’s as far as I’m going.” It was still a few hours before dawn, so I paddled my kayak up into the mangrove shoreline. Once there, I wedged my kayak into the mangrove roots securely. Then I lowered myself down into the cockpit of my kayak, covered my face & arms with my sprayskirt, to keep the mosquitoes off of me, and dozed off until the sun came up.Just a “little adventure”, but, it adds to life’s experiences. One more thing that I know that I can do – one less thing to avoid, for fear of the unknown, unsure if I can handle it, or not. I can.

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