Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Karma or Coincidence? Why wire clothes hangers are required kayaking gear

Why is hindsight always the smarter part of your brain that you discover a little too late . . . ?

When packing up to head for home after a great three-day kayak camping trip to Camelot Island in the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River in Ontario, Canada last August, I had a little mishap. At the time, it felt like a BIG trauma!

The paddle buddies were all out on the water waiting for me. All my gear was secure in its proper place in my Boreal Baffin sea kayak, except for one last little important thing.

I put my Olympus Stylus Tough waterproof camera on the front deck of my Boreal Baffin and opened up the day hatch behind the seat.

When I turned to reach for it, the camera, and its bright orange camera float, suddenly slid off the front deck of my kayak and dove between the dock planks.


OK, I added a few four letter words to that sentence first. I couldn't believe it was possible. Look at the photos. The spaces between the dock planks didn't look that big. But I saw it happen.

I had never tested my waterproof Olympus. I didn’t know if it really was waterproof.

I knelt down on the dock and peered through the spaces of the dock planks. All I could see was the orange camera float on top of the murky water under the dock.

A paddle buddy paddled over to see why I was taking so long to depart. “Lost your camera, eh? You’ll never get it out of there. You can’t get under this dock and shallow muddy water. Better give it up.”

Me: “There’s no way I’m leaving without this camera! I need a hanger to pull it up!” Hangers aren’t things that paddlers usually have on hand on kayaking trips.

Paddle buddy smiling: “I bet the motor boaters would have a hanger . . .”

I looked at him in a special way I guess, and he quickly paddled off to leave me to my own devices. The timing was not very good for me to ask the motor boaters for help this morning.
I grabbed a nearby stick, poked it between the dock planks and hooked the camera float but it kept slipping off the stick when I tried to bring it up.

After a few failed attempts, I thought about yoga and calmed my breath and relaxed my focus and trembling fingers.

I finally pulled the camera up between two planks with a sigh of relief. My Olympus Stylus Tough waterproof camera was still attached, and the camera still worked. It really is waterproof as long as you properly close all the parts that open for the battery, memory card, and the mini USB port.

And that's why there are lots of pictures to go along with the series of six stories about kayak camping on Camelot Island that I've written for The Great Waterway, a cool new Ontario Tourism website, where I'm a regular blogger.

“Thank you kayak gods! I’ll never tromp down another dock again at dawn to protest a loud all-night motor boat party the night before, I promise . . . or leave my camera on top of my kayak when I’m on a dock with enough space between planks for a camera to fall through!”

Also, make sure to hang on to your keys if you're spending time on this dock on Camelot Island! You can't crawl or swim under it to fetch what you lose.

Karma or coincidence? 

Was it karma or coincidence that my camera fell through the planks? You're thinking stupidity, bad luck? Hmmm . . . maybe all of the above. We sometimes suspect karma when the timing for a lesson learned is very coincidental, right!? We rarely admit stupidity.

But now, I carry a wire clothes hanger in the back hatch of my kayak that I can bend into shape to hook and fetch things that fall through cracks on all trips and consider it, “required gear!” It comes in handy for other things too, like hanging gear up in trees and bushes to quickly dry in the sun and wind.

To find out why this incident may be karma or coincidence, you can read the full story on The Great Waterway. 
My next and last story in the Camelot series is now available: 

See: Breaking Camp at Camelot and Heading Home: My first kayak camping trip in the 1000 Islands with the Boreal Baffin. Awesome!

I'm a regular blogger for The Great Waterway, a cool new Ontario Tourism website, so you can look for a new story from me there each month, and you'll find lots of other stories, news, articles, reviews, and interviews right here on BaffinPaddler.

Thanks for visiting!

Happy trip planning!
(c)The BaffinPaddler

The 14th Dalai Lama will be live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 28, 2012, at the Ottawa Civic Centre. I plan to attend. I mean listen . . .

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