Jan 22 2007, 03:26 PM
when canoing goes wrong...
what the neighbours think...
and what kind of world is this we find ourselves in?
first of all, let me just say, what a superb weekend it just was. Beautiful weather, blue sky and all round shits n giggles despite my grief for losing my grandad just a few days ago. Im not one for moping around depressed no matter how bad a situation may seem so this weekend we decided we had had enough fannying around fiddling with the boat, it was time to go and play out on the canoes/kayaks instead.
So I slid my wee doggy into his lifejacket ready for a canoe trip but then he makes a complete fool out of me by somehow reversing out of his lifejacket and legging it down the pontoon. The neighbour hearing my cursing and maybe a bit of swearing told me not to be so cruel and not force the dog to go canoing.
Despite my reassurances that he actually likes going canoing but doesnt like the getting on or getting off part, the neighbour was still not happy at my autocratic way of dealing with the wayward mutt.
After a small dog chase ( geddit, hes a chihhuahua, hes a small dog) I finally get the rat back in his jacket. this time he was put in the canoe first where there was no escape.
Lesson one learnt, get the dog in the canoe first and strap the bugger down before attempting to go anywhere.
next I decided after a leisurely paddle around a local lake I would go and have a paddle down to the river to see how fast it was running.
It was all going so well, the wind blew me effortlessley down towards the lock and weir, at which point I remarked ( to my self as the dog never listens to me) blimey charlie thats running a bit fast, the levels are so high everyones gardens are udnerwater...I might have to turn around before its too.....
suck me sideways it was running like a train and basically swept me into the flow faster than I could say "there's no place like home". Having got myself and a happily naive dog (who was pawing at the bow wave) into a pretty tight spot I decided to do something pronto before I found myself up shit creek without a paddle.
Paddling into the flow was a no go, I could just hold the boat in the same position, no matter how hard I pulled on the paddle I was going nay where.
Sitting treading water in the relative shelter behind a moored boat I took stock of the situation, several options sprang to mind, OPTION one: try to paddle against the flow, get knackered fast and die a miserable death as me and the woofer are swept away into the front of a moored boat or submerged garden bench... No thanks,
OPTION two: try and beach myself onto someones garden and call for help and a car to collect me... NO ( the shame would be unbearable)...
OPTION three: there's some river level steps on the other side of the river, maybe I can haul my fat lardy arse over there get out and walk back to the marina... yes, thats the PLAN.
So after a few minutes of serious hard work, paddling into the flow working my way diagonally across, I managed to find myself in the relative safety of a two foot band of still water. Hurray, we're alive Mr B. ( thats my dog)
There followed the walk of shame with canoe on my shoulder to the other side of penton island where I relaunched and sheepishly went back to to the boat to tell the tale. As I walked over the lock area with the canoe an official chappie came over to me checking up on me, saying he saw me on the river and thought I was brave, I told him to replace brave with stupid and that would be more truthful.
Lesson learnt, going to look at how fast the river is running in a canoe is like looking for a gas leak with a match.
Im keeping this image in my head for what the river "should" look like