Tamara Story

I am proof that kayaking and rolling is for the young at heart not just the young in years. I started kayaking around the time I was 60 and am still at it 15 years later. I have earned my Paddle Canada Level 3 Sea Kayaking skills award, my BCU three star, and am a certified Paddle Canada sea kayak and rolling instructor. Most of my paddling experience is on Lake Superior as we have a home there on the shore of Whitefish Bay. My longest trip was 10 days doing Pukaskwa (x4) and my furthest was doing the northeast shore of the Isle of Skye with Gordon Brown. Rolling did not come easy for me. I spent many hours in the cool waters of Lake Superior getting those first rolls. Then, I discovered Greenland rolling and it all became much easier, thanks to Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson’s tutelage. In the right conditions I think that I enjoy hanging upside down as much as being right side up. I will never forget my first experience in hanging upside down in warm salt water and watching the water swirling over me as a wave broke. There was a peace and calmness that I can’t quite describe. I likened it to being in the eye of a hurricane. Of course, I knew I was going to catch the top of the next wave and roll up and was only in a few feet of water. Working with people who aren’t quite sure they want to do those wet exits, or hang upside down long enough to get a good setup is one of my favorite parts of mentoring. Learning what your boat looks like from underneath, where things are and being comfortable underwater can really improve your roll. I recently came across this quote from After We Were There by Lisa Wingate: “We must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” At this moment, I am still dancing to the music of my kayak. I am looking forward to assisting others with hearing how their music wants them to dance in their kayak, be it right side up or upside down.