The most memorable moment of the Banff Film Festival this weekend was the recollection by James and Justin about their journey in a two man kayak Crossing the Ditch, which is another name for one of the most robust sea crossings; the Tasman sea, a 2000 plus kilometer channel between Australia and New Zealand. They tape their adventure, their fears, their friendship, the valiant efforts to overcome their own weakness in this 60 day video journal.
They are traveling in a specially designed kayak with a small coffin-shaped cabin on the back. Caught in storms and sea currents that send them in circles, they question their intentions and their ideas of fun, arriving finally on the fact that even with all the troubles, they were still having fun. The night that the sharks circled their boat and they could hear the vibrations of their body sliding just an inch from their ear on the other side of the fiberboard that made their sleeping hull.
The real adventure is not climbing a mountain faster or being the first to cross a channel, the real adventure, these boys realize, is the place inside that the adventure takes you. Witnessing your own growth, the fearlessness that emerges inside of you, often when you have no choice is the journey.
The boys’ faith in each other gives new meaning to the word friendship. Even at the worst moments, when one of them makes a mistake or is too weary, they never fail each other. It is funny and tender how the one teases the other about his meditation CDs that keep his sea sickness at bay. They talk about how impossible a journey like this would be alone, but together they are each stronger. They bring out the best in each other.
This is what real adventure does- it makes you a better version of yourself and teaches you how to be a better friend – to yourself and the ones you care about most. Adventure, daring ourselves to our outer limits is what life is for and where it is most fun. Although during some of it, you have to remind yourself that it is fun.