MAY DAY IN MONTANA

Part IV of V

Previously: Kayaking with two friends, Sandy capsizes, and needs help.

 

Carolyn and Cheryl help me empty water from my boat. I unclip my dry bag and strip down, grateful for the sun warming my goose bumps. I towel off and put on the set of dry clothes I brought. The three of us festoon nearby bushes with everything wet and settle down for lunch.

We laugh a lot, give thanks for a good and safe outcome, and compare our stories, each telling how we experienced what has happened. Carolyn says, “Now we know how you will react in a dangerous situation.” Cheryl nods agreement. She adds, “You’ll be level-headed. Able to think and plan.”

I remember how Cheryl beached her kayak and came running with her rescue rope. And, Carolyn saved my boat. I think, “That’s what they did, too.”

I have escaped the potentially bad situation with only what will be a large bruise on my thigh.

It could have been much worse. I could have been battered on the boulders, or knocked out. Maybe even crushed between boat and rock or sucked under in a hydraulic, where the water swirls like a front-loading washing machine.

I give heartfelt thanks to Carolyn and Cheryl and The Universe as we push off and head downstream. I know we have more rocks gardens to deal with and I feel fear. “What if I capsize again?”

Sandy photographs a friend while recently kayaking in Florida.

Sandy photographs a friend while recently kayaking in Florida.

Sandy (June ‘14) adds, “The secret of being a kayaker is the ability to see up to half a mile ahead to make split second decisions and moves well before one actually arrives at the hazards that can cause a spill. It takes several seconds for a move to unfold. By then, it can already be too late and one watches in horror as one’s mistake becomes manifest.” 

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