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Thread: What is your most foolish canoe story?

  1. #1
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    Default What is your most foolish canoe story?

    I am interested in reading about other peoples misadventures; First because they are entertaining, and second because I want to see if I am the only one that has a friend like Tim that gets them into trouble.

    In order for this to make any sense you have to know a bit about Tim. Thats me on the left and Tim on the right. I wear my kilt to the Highland games and Robert Burns supper he wears his canoeing... in Canada...in April, he even asked me to make him a canoe sporran???
    You see I believe that for everything in the universe an opposite must exist, so since there was a Bill Mason in our universe I think Tim is the Anti-Bill Mason. My most foolish Tim story goes like this...

    Copied from my website.

    By suppertime Sunday the 8th of May (2005) it had rained for close to thirty hours in the Moncton area. The creeks and rivers were swollen and the culvert pipe under St. George Blvd. linking Centennial park with Jones Lake was running three quarters full. This caused some big waves and the potential for whitewater practice. Knowing that this phenomenon would probably not last the night it just had to be done. Now any time I get a spur of the moment phone call from Tim, it usually involves something that would cause a normal person to hang up. I often get the image in the back of my head of the Mythbusters guys saying "Don't try this at home, we're what you call experts." Although were are whitewater enthusiasts we are by no means what you call experts. I thought this was safe enough though; water only three feet deep, life jackets, neoprene wetsuits, Moncton fire and rescue right there behind us. The most dangerous thing in the water was a bit of debris and the ever present pollution. In one of Bill Mason's books (Song of the Paddle I think.) he says "I never paddle on anything I cant drink...", well that's pretty hard to do around here, so the temptation of playing in this stuff was to great to resist pollution or not. We knew from the beginning that we were going to have a wipeout but just how complicated it would be was not something that I had given much thought to. Also you get just a little bit braver when you have resigned yourself to the fact that you are going to get wet and its only a matter of time. We paddled up against the current and successfully navigated the flow twice on both sides but on the fifth trip into the wave, by accident or (Tim's) design, we went far enough in to be broadside the current. BAD! Well a couple feet of wave, ten twelve mile an hour current, off balance on the wrong side, yeah you get the picture. Tim in the stern was tossed free fairly quick and spit out the side away from the main current. Myself in the bow seat got pinned (gotta love when that happens) and was dragged through the wash. Luckily the un-weighted end of the canoe was pulled around and the current actually helped free me. At that moment we both burst out laughing, fun like this usually costs money. I made the rescue of Tim's hat but we waited for the deep water to try to rescue the canoe (no sense trying to fight a canoe that now weighed two or three thousand pounds going ten miles an hour), well guess what there is no deep water there even when flooded. We grabbed the canoe (now headed for Fundy Bay) and quickly learned why you have to wait for the deep water. We had to let her go. An under current grabbed hold of me, knocking me off my feet and dragged me down. I thought for a second this life jacket is supposed to float right? I lost sight of Tim and when I resurfaced I had been sucked through the waves again and over the roller coaster a second time. As I finally managed to swim to calm water I saw Tim's look of dread as the canoe was now headed towards the next culvert. As we got out of the water and ran along the lakeshore, it was too late, the current was too strong to attempt a rescue this close to the culvert. We saw her slip into the culvert to who know what fate but the canoe came through unscathed into the slower section of the lake. We then jumped in the truck to get ahead of her and finally mount a deepwater rescue. This is when the City of Moncton public works supervisor stopped us. One of the local residents called and reported that two hooligans (one wearing a kilt) had stolen a canoe from Centennial park and were trashing it. Apparently they didn't know the phone number of the R.C.M.P. The City of Moncton guys immediately recognized the fact that we were obviously insane and drove away. We did manage to rescue the canoe as we each went up one side of the lake, and the canoe finally drifting over to Tim was finally secured. There are a few lessons that can be leaned from all of this most of which are obvious others are not. Wetsuits and life jackets are your friend, don't put yourself at risk to rescue your canoe, if it loves you it will come back, but most important...If you live in Moncton...and two guys steal your canoe the Codiac R.C.M.P. can be reached at 857-2400, don't call the City of Moncton as they will probably no longer respond.
    Last edited by Lloyd; 24th-May-2006 at 05:24 PM.

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