I paid for my laziness today! I was setting out to survey some secluded coves in my kayak, and thought I could cut out a huge chunk of kayaking by 'putting in' at the opposite side of the 'groomed' launch area (I was on a narrow peninsula). This brainwave would save me having to paddle all the way up one side of an island I'd already surveyed to get into the enclosed collection of still water coves. I wanted to cover as many inlets as I could in one afternoon. As you can see from my photo below, there was a very slight breeze disturbing the water's surface.
Since my intended launch spot had an abrupt drop-off at the water's edge into the lake, I checked first to see if I'd be able to get a solid footing on the lake bottom in order to step into my kayak. I held on to one of the trees in the foreground and tested it. I was wearing my trusty wellingtons so I didn't have to get my feet wet in the cold water. The substrate was firm, and held my weight. I could see that the shallow part was narrow and the slope dropped off quickly into deep, black water, but I only needed 2 feet's worth of space. I was pretty pleased with myself for having thought ahead to check this out, and of course, for thinking of a more efficient way of reaching my goal location.
My Mom always said pride comes before a fall, and I guess this was true that day. I had stowed all my gear into my kayak - my paddle, my phone, my wallet and my car keys - before putting in. But I didn't factor in the wind or current, and the momentum that a free-floating kayak would have once launched. As I set it down, it went floating backwards and away from me way, way faster than I could let go of the tree, find my footing and grab it.
This literally left me up the creek without a paddle (but worse, with no way to drive home, or call for help)! I would literally be stranded. I HAD to reach it, right away, no matter what - all my valuable things were separating from me! Not knowing how deep the channel was, I let go of the tree I'd been using as an anchor, and plunged forward into the water. After 3 struggling strides, I managed to grab my kayak and coax it back to shore, having got wet all the way up to my panties. I don't even recall noticing the water temperature, I was so intent on reaching my valuables as quickly as possible.
But being soaking wet from the panties down wasn't going to get in the way of my planned expedition. On no! I don't quit that easily. I climbed into the kayak whilst holding it steady against the bank, pulled off my full-of-water-wellingtons and socks, pouring out as much water as I could. I then sat with my feet up, warming them in the sun, with my wet trousers pulled up, and my socks drying up front as I paddled through cove after cove.
I'm glad it was such a warm day and I didn't feel too chilled when I returned home 4 hours later to change my underwear.
Next time, I shall loop a short piece of rope to a tree or shrub in advance of putting in from an unimproved launch! How silly of my! Hindsight ... I don't mind learning new things and having eventful little 'adventures' like this, so long as I don't keep repeating them. 😀
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