I went kayaking recently and had my first capsize ever. It involved passing under a tree trunk that straddled the river. The current was swift and the passage between water and tree was tight. I was maneuvering to pass under the tree when a flurry of talk from behind distracted me. As I looked around to see what was going on, the current caught my boat and pushed it against the tree with a tremendous amount of force. I was toast.
For a moment the boat became just another bit of debris clogged up against the tree trunk. It was trying to go under the tree but there was no where to go because of the submerged tree limbs and so it tipped, rapidly filling with water, throwing me and assorted accoutrement out of the boat and under the water. It was surprisingly deep and for an instant the boat was on top of me. It was mildly frightening, I can tell you that. But the current moved us quickly through the opening and thankfully I popped up on the other side of the fallen tree with a kayak two-thirds full of water and a general feeling of relief. Had we not passed through I am fairly certain I would have lost the boat, crushed against the tree and sunken amidst the detritus of the river.
Friends quickly gathered around and assistance was lent. Also, thankfully, Jeff was there to lend his strength in de-flooding my boat.
My mistake was in hesitating and this ancient axiom – he who hesitates is lost — rattled through my brain for the remainder of the trip. When I finally reached solid ground another old axiom replaced it…all’s well that ends well. ❧