Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It Was My Turn To Fall in the Water

This is a picture of our dinghy ride into the small town at Two Harbors, Catalina Island on the morning of July 4, 2012. Christy was already on shore taking pictures so I was happy to wave as we motored in. Little did I know that within minutes, I would be bobbing in the water, along with the dinghy and the dock.

The Dinghy dock at Two Harbors, Catalina Island
Since I have sailed a number of times before with our friends, I had already successfully made many trips in and out of the dinghy onto the dock. I admit one time I had to "roll" as the dock was higher than I could step but that had nothing to do with my goof up this time (and my not-so-graceful rolling onto the dock only was an occasion of hysterical laughter for Christy and I, as no water was involved on that transfer).  Do you see in the picture above the two handrails at the end of the dock in the middle? That's where I went wrong. I was still a bit sleepy eyed so instead of being content with holding on to one rail, I decided to reach across and grab the second handrail for extra support. As I was stepping on the bobbing step and reaching for the second handrail, I felt the dinghy slipping out from under me. Plop I went into the water. The water didn't feel very cold as I had expected it to, for which I was grateful. However, I was keenly aware of how my shoes were 
instantly soggy and my feet were floating around in the water with no foot holds to be found. 

David in the Dinghy!
Before the four of us had even gathered on the sailboat to sail to Catalina Island, we had a number of discussions about how it was my turn to fall into the water. On other trips, David had been in the dinghy working on the engine and unexpectedly fell in as he was getting back into the boat. Christy had fallen off a paddle board and Rex had fallen off a plastic, green, blow up chair he had planned to float on behind the boat.The irony was that each mishap had occurred at Two Harbors where we were staying for three nights this time. I kept saying "no way" did I plan to hit the water. It was even my turn on our last sailing trip and I had avoided the dip even then. What I did find out is that when it happens, it's a huge unexpected surprise.

See Rex in the water below! Yikes!
The Dinghy David fell out of and the blow up chair Rex fell out of!
As I held onto the railing with my elbow bent around it, I started to laugh at my situation. I wasn't afraid or worried or cold but hit with that horrible hysterical laughter that I knew I didn't dare give in to. It was MY turn and I had fallen in, finally. That struck me as so funny.  However, if I started laughing and then Christy started laughing, I wasn't sure I'd have the strength to keep holding on. So I fought off the laughter and tried to reassure the others that I was really okay.

I was wearing a white sweater, a red T-shirt and black exercise capris that were getting more waterlogged by the minute. Rex tried to pull me up but it wasn't going to work. David, still in the dinghy behind me was trying to push me up and Christy didn't know what to do. I figured I was going to have to help myself someway. How it exactly came about I don't remember but I do know that I got my right leg up on the bouncing step. But that still left me hanging by my bent arm which wasn't any help at all. I kind of realized at this point that I was helpless and had no idea how to get myself out of this watery mess.

I hadn't drawn much attention at this point but suddenly another dinghy had pulled up nearby. A young man, along with his parents, came over and the young man put out his hand and easily pulled me up on the dock. As easy as he pulled me up I almost wondered if he was a true heavenly angel sent to rescue me. (I saw him later with his family, so guess not).

I squished, squished leaving a watery trail down the dock as I made my way to solid land. Christy comforted me by saying "you don't really look very wet"...which as I write this puts me in that hysterical laughter I have mentioned before. How could I not look wet? The sleeves on my sweater ended up hanging down to my ankles and my clothes were not easy to peel off once I returned to the boat. 

I have taken my turn now. I wonder if the cycle starts over? Christy says "NO" as that means she'd be next! We'll see! 
Rex (in yellow) and Christy (in pink) prepare to help David dock the dinghy

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