August 10, 2011
The Nissequogue Queen
The tide was coming in when we began our adventure. The river was rising as our vessel passed beneath two low bridges, causing us to hunch over and duck our heads. Unable to paddle, my husband moved us through the water, hand-over-hand on the crisscrossed rebar above us. Our rented canoe slid through the water at quite a clip as it headed toward the concrete platform that supported the bridge above us. “Push off with your paddle!” my husband warned me as we rapidly approached the platform. But I was crouching, and I couldn’t swing the paddle around to make contact with the concrete. And so we hit the platform, and instead of gently bouncing back and away, our steel canoe rode up the side and flipped both of us into the water. I was stunned. Certain that the river was as deep as the ocean and would carry me to a watery grave, I clung, completely traumatized, to the merciless, concrete wall. As my flip-flopped feet searched for a place to hold onto, my hands lay flat on top of the muddy platform, slipping , sliding, and trying desperately to get a grip! I was sure there were all kinds of gruesome, aquatic creatures swimming past me and attaching themselves to my clothing and skin. This was my worst nightmare—to drown in leech-infested waters. With broken nails and no more energy to hang on, I gave up. “I’m going under Rand! I can’t hang on anymore…” Perplexed, he looked at me. “Why don’t you just stand up? The water’s only waist deep.” If ever I’ve felt totally ridiculous, it was right then. The only word to escape my mouth was a simple, “Oh.”
The next time I’m asked to go canoeing, I think I’ll be too busy watching "The African Queen" and feeling oh-so-sorry for poor Mr. Allnut.
Posted by Mary at 4:25 PM