A handful of ONE’ers met at Charles River Canoe and Kayak in Newton for an afternoon of grueling paddling — just for fun. Taiko players are like that.
I was nominated to write our blog post because I took the pictures. This puts me in an awkward position — it seems indelicate to boast about one’s own reverse paddling skills in one’s blog post. (But I am a really awesome backwards paddler!)
It took us a while to get organized and into the water, but when we finally did, we decided to paddle downstream, toward Boston. Our goal was to reach Cronin’s Landing in Waltham, where we gigged in June as part of Waltham’s Riverfest. It’s three miles away and we’re paddling into a strong headwind. The water is so choppy our kayaks actually slap the water!
Why is this a taiko blog post? Well, group kayaking certainly enhances the kumi of kumi-daiko, and the paddles put blisters in places your bachi might have missed. Most significantly, kayaking is a good prep for Yatai Bayashi, which we’re currently working on in our Taiko Styles class. Each pull of the paddle engaged my entire core. I’m happy to have two full days of recovery before playing Yatai again.
We soldiered on. Though I love that dirty water, I was really pushing it. Perhaps my companions also would have enjoyed a break now and then, but, like me, didn’t want to be the wimp to suggest it. Instead, we took pride in how strong we were. Taiko did this for us.
We made it to Cronin’s landing and rafted together for a snack break. That was when Kate endured the harrowing near-loss of her Odaiko New England water bottle. Stainless steel sinks fast! Luckily, Kate is faster.
Well rested, we enjoyed the tail wind for the ride back, with Ranger Kate pointing out a cormorant and a heron along the way. We also passed many ducks, gulls and, at one point, ten swans in a cove. Afterwards, Beth hosted dinner. We might make this an official annual ONE event.