Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Capsized Canoe


This weekend I spent sometime with the in-laws at a lovely Lake House just inside the southern state line of Michigan. The house was surrounded by vineyards and backed right up to picturesque Singer Lake. The owner provided a paddle boat, row boat, and a spanking new canoe for the convenience of summer renters.

On my second day, setting thoughts of parameciums and swimming rhizopods aside (introduction to Biology kept me out of recreational lake activities for years) I gamely set out with a cousin to have a swim. The area around the dock was declared to "ooky" (ferny, lily pady, and generally slimy) for us two females to jump right in so we tied a long lead on the paddle boat, paddled out into the current and jumped in from there. Then we swam about for about an hour, as the sun gently set to the west. The lake was gorgeously situated and the current alternatingly sun-warmed and refreshingly cool. The paddle boat drifted back into the "ooky" area of the dock.

We contemplated our choices. Neither of us wanted to get all ferny retrieving the wayward paddleboat. We tread water until a young male cousin ventured down to the docks for a smoke. He gallantly agreed to bring the canoe out to us so we could climb in. Then the hijinks began. I'll never forget his face as I steadied the canoe while the other swimmer attempted to climb in. The canoe lifted and spilled him fully clothed into the water an expression of exquisite shock and horror registering across his features.

We eventually succeeded in flipping the canoe, then subsequently swamping the canoe, piloting the swamped canoe back to the docks, sucking in "ooky" water, climbing the dock, ripping at least two species of lily pads out of there homes, draining canoe, dry docking canoe and then later checking each other over for leeches.

Prevent your own lake hijinks (and possible paramecium ingestion) by reading these two articles on flipping canoes, and re-entering canoes in still water (get horizontal and get in the middle).

Single Canoe Self-Recovery updated link here

Boat over Boat Recovery (and re-entry)

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