Chris Callahan is a man who likes water for its own sake – and what it does for his mind.
Over the years his work has taken him to the Midwest many times, and he said, “Out on the plains, you feel small and insignificant. Here at the boundary of land and deep water, you can feel the world, and you feel connected to the world.”
Chris wastes no time connecting when he inflates his SE330: “I paddle straight out to deep water.”
So now he enjoys two lives on the water; long solo excursions in his 330, and shorter trips with his wife and son in his 33-year-old SE8 Motormount Boat, still seaworthy after 33 years.
Chris first found independence on the waters of Long Island Sound at age 12, in that Sea Eagle SE8 inflatable he bought with paper route and lawn-mowing money. With those twin incomes, a Sea Eagle was affordable, and Chris said “I had some of the best times of my life in that boat with my family and friends.”
It was an SE8 Motormount Boat, which he initially bought with just a pump and storage bags. He used it for rowing the sound, and fishing with his father. The next year he ordered floorboards, which allowed him to cast standing up, and later a motor mount and a 3hp motor.
Chris finds different pleasures in the two boats. He usually uses the SE8 to take his wife and two children out for two-hour cruises; in his SE330 he is likely to be out kayaking all day by himself, sunshine or rain. With two different Sea Eagles, he can take his family for outings, and also take himself alone for time to himself.
“I’m self-employed, and those long days in the SE330 give me time to think, and even more time to not think. I need them both.” He chuckled when I asked if he was quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I just sets.”
Chris is a practical man: “I go for the paddling, but I always carry a fishing rod – you never know when fish will be running – and that’s dinner.” So sometimes he comes back from a long paddle with his mind at rest, and other times with a treat for dinner as well.
There are also the small pleasures. “I like the art of keeping a straight track, and the feel of a perfect stroke.” Out on the water, Chris Callahan finds both the simple pleasures of life and a connection to the greater world.
Chris is an independent executive recruiter living with his family on Long Island, and is currently finishing his Master’s in Social Work to move on to a new career.