The Canoeing Incident


Back in the summer I rediscovered my fondness for canoeing. I also found my spectacularly bad luck when it comes to canoeing adventures. I took this photo after the ‘The Canoeing Incident Part 2’ as I like to call it.

The first of the incidents took place at my friend’s cottage in later July. Together, my friend and I paddled our canoe out onto a placid lake, ready to go exploring the wee islands and sandbars dotted around. On about the third island, (about halfway out into the lake) we did as we had before, tying the canoe up to a tree, climbing out onto the rocks to go walk around. Half an hour on the island, we returned to the boat.

After I’d gotten back into the canoe, my friend had requested I untie the boat, and move it over to him, roughly 25 feet away, to save him/his shoes having to cross a spot of water. As I untied the knot, and pushed off from the tree… the previously placid lake was overcome with a large gust of wind, which began to blow me away from the rocks. In agreement that my friend jumping from the rocks into the canoe was probably a bad idea, I attempted to laterally navigate the canoe back to the rocks. The now unrelenting wind however, had other ideas.

Yelling our thoughts on how to proceed over the wind, and an increasingly large distance, I took it upon myself to steer the canoe back to the island. However, it was at this moment I discovered that I am unequivocally bad at solo canoeing. Following a long string of generally angry unkind words, I concluded my somewhat profane aside to examine my surroundings.

Taking in the scope of my predicament, I found myself paddling in circles, halfway between shore and the island. It seemed my very skilled, futile rowing had gotten me blown further and further back towards the aforementioned shore.

Several minutes later, I was stuck in the reeds near shore, wedged between rocks (I have no idea how that happened), as my friend still out on the island. Following a failed attempt to yell our plan across a lake, (we’d left our mobiles back at the cottage), I did the only thing which seemed logical. Swam back to the cottage, got in the paddle-boat tied up near the dock, took it back out on the lake to tow the canoe out to my indisputably marooned pal.

The second of the incidents, took place at the very same cottage, in August (yes, we decided canoe island adventuring a second time was a good idea). A similar experience with island exploring, just with an additional person, and a leg sliced open while swimming/cannon balling, a nearly sunken canoe, and an unintended 3.5 km portage instead of an island stranding.

I think these quests proved that we are indeed, the canoeing masters. -MC

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