Sunday at the riverside was a near perfect day, the sun out and blazing, not a wisp in the sky, which itself was an impossible turquoise blue. Loitering girls in off-shoulders and flip-flops, their faces flushed and joyful, cuddling chihuahuas in their arms, their armpits invitingly sweaty (the girls’, not the chihuahuas).
In other words, it was a perfect day for kayaking. Now, before I tell you what transpired, here’s some tips on kayaking….. You have ta have a wetsuit on, or at least waterproof shorts, because kayaks are made from ultra-light polyethylene, with holes in the bottom to relieve the sudden momentary upward pressure from the water when your weight settles on it or if you fidget around while you are in there. Those holes let the water in and out, thus preventing the kayak from becoming unstable and capsizing. It’s plain and simple Archimedes’ Principle, really. (If you haven’t heard of Archimedes, don’t worry. You cannot be expected to be as brilliantly well-informed as me).
Capsizing…hmmmm… where have I heard that word before? Right now of course, I just said it and that’s where the next rule comes in…. always be aware of your surroundings. If a large cabin cruiser looks as if its going ta pass too close, steer clear. Otherwise the wake from the boat will toss your kayak and you around like a rag doll. And if you were oriented broadside and you weren’t paying attention – maybe you were leaning on the other side, to photograph a broad in a bikini who had just removed her top, while sunning on top of another boat or something – your kayak will surely tip over from the very first wave that hits you.
If you do capsize, forget about trying ta save your Iphone. You were holding it in your hand and taking pictures of those girls in the previous paragraph. It now rests at thirty fathoms. Meanwhile the waters are 5°C(approximately the temperature inside a refrigerator) and fookin deep. Time is of essence.
Here’s the other things you can forget about……
Forget about your Apple Watch, your Bose headphones or even your Nikon D7200 SLR that had been on sale when you had been smart enough ta purchase it for just $750. You didn’t lose them in the spill. You still have ‘em but they are all goners. You can hear water sloshing around somewhere inside the Nikon. Your headphones are only emitting a screeching noise now, a day later, even after you have dried it. And you don’t dare look at the Apple Watch. You had lost your shirt buying it.
Forget about the dangers of ingesting the river water. This is Canada. You don’t get raw sewage or dead bodies bumping into ya, like in Varanasi. A little river water may even toughen up yore immune system.
Forget about that flask of tawny 12-year old Porto Rei that you had been swigging from. It was the one single thing that had been responsible for your inattention and had led to your toss-up. By now, it must be nearing the Antichosti Island and two baby belugas are probably playing with it.
Forget about getting back onto the kayak. It is virtually impossible to right an overturned kayak and get on it by yourself, without a counterweight on the other side. If you know how ta swim, surviving a kayak spill isn’t a big deal really. Find the kayak (that has by now drifted fifty yards further from you), grab onto it and drag it to the shore. This time of the year, the water’s freezing cold – uncomfortable, but manageable and its not as if you are in the middle of the Atlantic. The shoreline is just a coupla hundred yards away.
Oh, before you go grab the kayak, don’t forget ta look for the oar, or it’ll drift away outa sight and you’ll never be able ta discern it in the swells (A new oar can be upwards of fifty of your hard-earned smackeroonies at Reno Depot).
But then again, things can turn out quite differently if you don’t know how ta swim. Imagine this is all going down near Pointe Claire, where the St Lawrence is half a mile wide and to make matters worse dusk has settled. Your tired muscles are unable to break through the strong current and you cannot even distinguish the shoreline beyond the wave crests. You should just let go and ride the waves. You’ll floated down to the Atlantic in a week – bloated, your eyeballs picked off by brown-necked gulls.
All’s not lost though. You’ll find yourself perched on the edge of a cloud, strumming on a harp, clad in a flowing milk-white chiffon toga with no underwear, while ravishing women with wings on their shoulder blades float by, with breasts that you cannot actually feel bobbing up and down as a reaction to the flapping of the wings.
I am not absolutely certain about the bobbing though. I am just assuming Newton’s Third Law works in heaven too.
PS: A day later….
My Iphone and Apple Watch still work!!! Ah, those beautiful bastards at Apple!!!
What? Did I tell you my Iphone sank to the bottom? You know I lie. All the fookin time.