Thursday, February 1, 2007

What was that splash?

I mentioned earlier that the love of my life is a little, how should I say this, more determined than most. She will do "it" her way in spite of everything. In some cases she would open the gates of Hell and march right in, grab what she went after, turn up her nose at all and sundry, and slam the gates on the way out. Other times you get that look that says "You can't make me, and I dare you to try!"

Not me people, I like my head where it is.

I have made a wholesale lot of painful mistakes in my life, and learned from everyone of them. I have been trained why you shouldn't do a lot of other things. The end result is sometimes I will stop for a second before I do something stupid. I may do it anyway, but at least I have my excuses in place before picking up scars, rather than making them up after. I have been an operator for about twenty four years and know, there are always options.

The other day we were at the boat ramp. I made sure the plug was in, removed the tie down strap, released the winch, and got ready to float the boat off the trailer. The ramps in this area are fairly steep, the tidal changes of four feet, and some pretty large craft, require considerable depth at the end of the dock. The way the crew is supposed to assist, is just hold the bow line. I will take care of the rest. The love of my life was supposed to guide the boat to the dock. The boat weighs in at about two thousand pounds so it isn't going to stop unless its tied off or you apply a steady pull and slow it down. The fly in this soup is the piling about half the way down the floating dock. Bless her little heart and short little arms. The bride dropped the rope as she was working it around the piling, the boat is now free. She can't reach the rope, it's starting to sink, so she plops down on the dock and reaches with her foot. Short legs don't reach either. I have just, sort of, stopped. I tell her to stay out of the water.

Oh! That'll work,,,,,,,, not.

As I stated earlier the love of my life is very particular about her appearance, she would rather not be a spectacle. The morning we were heading out was fairly cool, but promised to warm up nicely later. She was wearing a sweat shirt and shorts over her bathing suit. The leather running shoes are already wet. I watched this unfold as if in slow motion, I am heading to the floating dock when, you guessed it, in she goes. Think wet cat.

She might read this so I wont say what went through my mind. I have been certified in water rescue for a long time, and I know the thing that kills is panic more than anything else. I'm making a plan as I run down the dock. So far this isn't a big deal, she can swim, or might if she were in a pool, but she has too many clothes on and she didn't hit bottom.Probably eight to ten feet of water at the end of the dock. She isn't panicking yet but it wont be long.She is doing a lot of disorganised things with her appendages, nothing to cause movement, just keep her nose out of the water. The first thing we were taught in water rescue is, don't get in the water with them. I sit on the dock and stick a foot her way, she grabbed it and pulled herself to the float, which is covered with barnacles. Razor lipped little mollusks, blood flows. She still has that, "I'm not thinking", look on her face. She was trying to climb straight onto the dock, not going to work, no claws. I told her to catch her breath, hold my hand, and relax, I've got you. I pulled her to the ramp so she could walk out. You could see the IQ points return when her feet touched bottom. She started to apologize for losing the boat, I told her it's alright, someone will be along, and they were.

Now when you are standing on the dock, dripping in a puddle, makeup running, it's not a mystery what has happened. The fact that the water was starting to boil away from her clothes would give pause to most folks. While we are waiting for someone to give a hand with the boat, another couple backs their boat in, the gentleman, elderly and wise, without a look in her direction, asks "fell in?"

Her reply, "Nope, jumped, actually."

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