In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I was convinced I was born to row because I made it through a Learn to Row class without falling in the water. Let me take another moment to brag–I made it through the entire two weeks of classes without falling in.
Fortunately, one of the requirements for the class was to get back into the boat from the water. This is fortunate in that, having not fallen in, I didn’t get to learn this on my own.
Getting back into a sculling shell from the water is no easy task. You have to get your body up onto the boat while holding the oars into position so the boat doesn’t tip back over again. It took me several tries and I was badly bruised by the time I made it back into the boat.
Since then, I’ve been feeling like I was never going to fall in. I’ve been rowing twice a week and I’ve managed to catch myself every time I started to tip. Then, the other morning when it was about 54 degrees out, I did my usual route around a section of the river that is mostly still within sight of the rowing center.
When I got to the downstream end of my rowing route, as usual, I stopped rowing to drift by part of Maclellan Island and see what birds were out. Just then, four Great Blue Heron came swooping overhead. I turned to see where they were headed and the next thing I knew, my head was completely underwater. I didn’t feel the boat tip at all; I was just suddenly submerged.
Fortunately, the river was still toasty warm. But, I had a moment of panic. Once I got my mind around the fact that I was, in fact, in the water, I realized several things:
- One oar had come out of the oarlock and was floating away from me and the boat
- The boat was completely upside down
- My iPhone was strapped to the boat in a waterproof case and cute little lifejacket
- I had lights suction cupped to the boat since it was dark when I’d started rowing–they were now completely submerged.
Accepting that there was nothing to do but get the boat back together and myself back in it, I swam after the lose oar, pleased to find that it does, as advertised, float. I got the boat righted and was equally pleased to discover that my lights were not only still attached, but also still it.
I got the oar back in the oarlock and managed to get myself back into the boat in one smooth try like I’d been tipping sculling boats for years. And, the moment of pure delight came when I confirmed that my iPhone had floated and remained dry inside its case.
For once, all products performed as expected!
The only down side was riding my bike home in 54 degree weather soaking wet.