About Us

About Back in the Same Boat

Yes, it’s just like it says on the tin: We’re Back in the Same Boat. And if you’re wondering who “we” are, you’ve come to the right place. But first, you should give the “fine print” below a quick read (the subhead links will take you to the relevant paragraphs).

What Won’t You Find Here • Copyrights • Privacy Matters & Cookie Policy • Reviews • Social Media • Mail Call! • Accept No Substitutes.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read the fine print, let’s get acquainted. Way back in 1999 — that’s the year when the Dow first closed above 10,000, if you’re keeping score — Farwell Forrest and Tamia Nelson began a weekly column for what was then the newly launched canoeing and kayaking website Paddling.net. We called our column In the Same Boat, and we continued to write for Paddling.net for 18 years: some 900 columns in all. But nothing lasts forever. When Paddling.net became Paddling.com in 2016, In the Same Boat upped anchor not long afterward. Now? Why, we’re now Back in the Same Boat!

You likely wouldn’t be here if you didn’t think that there is more to life than increasing its speed. We think so, too. Which is why we take our pleasures at the measured pace dictated by the strength of our limbs, even if this makes us tortoises in a world dominated by increasingly frenetic hares. In other words, when we talk about “personal watercraft” we have canoes, kayaks, and sailing dinghies in mind, not jet-propelled scooters, and whenever we’re moved to write about “classic bikes” we’re thinking Hetchins or Herse, not Harley. But I bet you knew this already, didn’t you?

That being said, here’s more about who “we” are:

Tamia Nelson Silhouette - (c) Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions

Tamia Nelson, Executive Editor.  Tamia has been paddling on the world’s waters for nearly half a century, not to mention walking and cycling up and down on the earth for an even longer spell. A geologist by training, an artist since she could hold a pencil, and a photographer from the age of 10 (when her uncle gave her a twin-lens reflex camera), she’s been writing about her favorite things for a couple of decades now. And what are these favorite things? History (both human and natural), “the little lives of earth and form,” food, cooking, architecture, art, and — you guessed it — “no-octane” travel, in which pursuit she’s made herself equally at home trudging though the drifts on skis and snowshoes, perched on the saddle of her trusty touring bike, and pulling a paddle in canoe and kayak. She also likes to wield a hammer — ice or claw, it makes no difference — and she’s planning to build a tiny house to her own design in the very near future.

Farwell Forrest Silhouette - (c) Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions

Farwell Forrest, Editor-at-Large.  After a testing initial quarter-century, Farwell emerged —somewhat bloody yet (mostly) unbowed — to claim his rightful place in the world as an itinerant wordsmith. But fortune does not always favor the bold, and in order to keep body and soul together he found it necessary to raise blackflies, dig tens of thousands of holes in the ground (without finding anything of note), contribute several unnecessary modules to worthless economic models, and generate enough unreadable reports to delight several generations of bureaucrats.

His life hasn’t all been grinding toil, however. He’s also been privileged to spend many happy years manacled to an oar … er, paddle … in the same boat with Tamia Nelson, and he achieved a certain transient notoriety as a sometime columnist for Paddling.com (Paddling.net, as was) in the process. That should be reward enough for any man, he thinks, though in his less guarded moments he admits he’d really like to have learned Latin, as well. Unfortunately, he’s left this a bit late. Eheu fugaces labuntur anni. Or, as Mr. Krook was wont to say, at least in the movies, “I can’t read, but I can copy.”

Wavy Line Spacer - (c) and TM Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions

The Fine Print Writ Large

What Won’t You Find Here? Advertorial copy disguised as disinterested advice, for one thing. Search engine optimized click-bait, for another. Our articles are written for thoughtful, critical readers, readers whose world is larger than the display on their smartphones. It reflects our experiences on and off the water, as well as those of some the thousands of folks who’ve e-mailed us over the last two decades with hints, tips, and warnings gleaned from their own adventures (and misadventures). We couldn’t do this without them — or without you.

Privacy Matters & Cookie Policy.  We don’t sell or trade e-mail addresses or other personal information about visitors to our site. Ever. And we do what we can to minimize “cookie drops” and other unwelcome intrusions. But some of these things are beyond our control. So we’d ask you to do your part, too. Configure your browser to frustrate the Web’s all-seeing eyes. We do.

Who Pays the Ferryman? Or, Product Evaluations and Reviews.  Back in the Same Boat has never solicited or received payment for product endorsements, in cash or in kind, and we’re not about to start now. In short, we don’t accept product samples from manufacturers or their representatives. This limits what we can write about, obviously, but we know enough about human nature to know that every gift creates an obligation, and we’re only human. The upshot? You won’t find reviews of the latest high-tech, high-cost gear on these pages. We simply can’t afford it. We’re definitely in the “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” camp. But that’s not so bad. We’ve got a lot of company.

Sure, We’re Social, but Not in That Way…  While some of the folks whose work will appear on these pages have been known to tweet or scale a Facebook Wall, Back in the Same Boat, Tamia Nelson, and Farwell Forrest have yet to yield to these temptations. We do not have social network accounts. We don’t even own smartphones. Which means that, as much as we might like you — and we’ve met very few paddlers and cyclists whom we didn’t take a shine to immediately — we can’t “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Please don’t take this personally, and please don’t repost, tweet, or share images or articles from this site without asking (and receiving) permission from us.

Mail Call!  Do you have something to say? Good. We want to hear from you. Comments, corrections, criticism, suggestions… Don’t hold back. We’ll assume that we have your permission to reprint your e-mails, however, in whole or in part — unless you tell us otherwise, that is. Just put “Not for Publication” in the subject header. That’s all it takes. And rest assured: We will never publish your e-mail address unless you ask us to do so. Note that reprinted letters may also be edited for length or clarity, and that we reserve the right to add links to previously published articles or other resources wherever and whenever appropriate.

Accept No Substitutes.  It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinthine world of the Internet. The fingerposts often point the wrong way. Some are knocked awry by storms. Others are twisted round by mischief-makers. Whatever the cause, though, the Golem of Google moves with glacial slowness to put things right. The upshot? It often happens that travelers searching for a familiar port of call find themselves unwittingly embayed on foreign shores populated with pretenders.

So if you’ve been searching for “In the Same Boat,” or looking for a favorite column by Tamia Nelson (the scribbler, that is, not the singer) or Farwell Forrest, you, too, may have been misdirected. Be on your guard. We’re Back in the Same Boat. Accept no substitutes.