August 18, 2002

no, really, I jumped

I didn't fall in , I jumped. Really, I swear.

It seemed like
the beter part of wisdom to practice tipping a boat over and getting back in now,
in daylight, when the water is warm. In 12 years of rowing, I have never yet
fallen in, but someday it will happen, probably at 5AM on a February morning when
the air is about 35 degrees and the water's nearly as cold. At least while I'm
worrying about hypothermia then, I won't also be worrying (as much) about the
simple mechanics of getting back in the boat.

Surprisingly they did
turn out to be simpler than I had expected (having seen other people flop around
while attempting to climb back in after a flip). I had Rudder coaching from the
sidelines, for safety. The boat itself didn't flip over; apparently that's hard to
do, what with 10' oars sticking out either side. My feet did slip out of the shoes
easily, something I had been worried about. It's all too easy to visualize broken
ankles, with me flopping about with my head in the water as the boat remains
resolltely right side up.

So: fall in, pop back up, grab an oar,
attempt to grab the other oar. Wedge near oar on top of the boat, pop under, try
to grab other oar. Tilt the boat the other way, watch formerly-wedged oar handle
rise and float free, but mercifully it stays perpendicular to the boat. Grab near
handle, reach up for far one, heave up and lay across the boat. Still hanging onto
both oars, wiggle into sitting position. Look around to see if anyone is watching.
No one is, so I don't have to yell, "Don't worry, I meant to do that!" Row in,
hand oard to Rudder, sloch back up to boatyard in uni that is not nearly as quick-
drying as youd think. Change in corner of boatyard, with creative use of towel to
preserve modesty, having cleverly remembered to bring by a towel and dry clothes.
Go to breakfast.

Posted by dichroic at August 18, 2002 11:18 AM
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