Funny Story About Boating On The Lake at Lake Crescent
One of my favorite funny stories is the pool story - the misadventure I had diving in. Of course I could not stop there and somehow it seems that I have many more funny stories about water. There seems to be some sort of magnetic comedic draw between me and water.
Unfortunately, I have quite a few of these stories involving water in some form or another. As well, I seem to have dragged my poor unsuspecting children along with me at times in my endeavor to enjoy what I like to call 'water sports' but would most probably be better termed 'Audrey's water accidents' - and most often, they involved Patrick, our middle son!
Boating On The Lake at Lake Crescent
This particular funny story took place in the beautiful Northwest where we lived for 23 glorious years. This adventure was part of a camping trip that I will touch upon in a later hub as this was not my only adventure during our stay there - much to the delight of fellow campers around us!
But this was my best water adventure though during our camping stay.
Most often, Lake Crescent is a tranquil place, set in the magnificent Olympic National Rain Forest - a few hours drive from the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington state where we lived. It is reported that this lake at its deepest point is 1 mile deep - and it is the clearest lake by far that I have ever seen.
It is fed by mountain run-off and is therefore quite cold! (do ya think?) It is also quite HUGE and should be daunting to anyone who decides to set foot (or boat) in it. Enter Audrey and her brood.
I have to point out that this is also one of my favorite Patrick stories - who thankfully has a wonderful sense of humor and has never held my adventures against me. He in fact, has literally patterned himself after me - a virtual chip off the old clumsy block as it were. He has stumbled along in my footsteps much to my delight, and sometimes much to my horror!
We always have stories to laugh about though it seems and we always have notes to compare. It is after all tough being a quasi-Lucille Ball's child.
As in most of my adventures, I thank my lucky stars that nothing more serious came of this little 'incident' and hope you enjoy reading about my comedic adventure as much as I love telling it. It brings back memories of good times with my kids - albeit a little insane!
The line from Wizard of Oz frequently comes to mind where I'm concerned - 'If I only had a brain'.
Setting the Scene
We had gone on this little camping trip to the Olympic National Forest and I had already had a misadventure or two - but I was not letting this get me down. I was bound and determined that my children should enjoy their camping trip and have many wonderful memories to take home with them.
The second day of our trip, Bob decided since it was such a beautiful day out that we would skip hikes and Hurricane Ridge and instead go to the lake across the way from our campsite and just enjoy the sun and the swimming. As usual, our oldest son Jonathan was chomping at the bit with his ADD and wanting to do something 'physical'. Being sports-minded himself, Bob thought nothing of offering to rent a rowboat and get Jon out onto the lake as soon as possible. Of course, that left me with the 2 smaller kids, Patrick and Katie. (The kids at this time were roughly 10, 8 and 6). Katie was not of a mind to go out in the boat and happily set about swimming and building sand castles on the beach.
After about an hour though, Pat started to voice his opinion of 'always being left behind'. To back up here a bit, Patrick is on good days severely visually impaired - on bad days, legally blind pretty much. Although we did not pamper him in the slightest (he played soccer, he skied, water skied, played basketball, etc), Bob was a little worried about letting him do certain activities sometimes. He would err on the side of caution and it was probably very hard for Pat to watch Jon get to do virtually 'everything' while we tried to protect him a bit.
All that said, he is now getting really ticked - he is sitting on the blanket supposed to be playing with his 'dorky' sister as he called her at that moment while Jon got to do 'everything' - as usual - and with dad!! This went on for quite some time and I was truly beginning to see his point after a bit - mostly because I was trying to get some sun and fun and I was stuck with my indignant son who was totally NOT going to shut up until he got some validation of his complaints!
When Bob and Jon put into port so to speak, turned in the rowboat and came walking towards us down the beach, I jumped up and proudly announced that this kind of thing just wasn't fair - we could not have Patrick being left out of things while Jon got to go off and do 'manly' things with his father all the time. Bob of course protested that he was tired from rowing and he'd had enough of the lake - he just wanted to lie there for a while and maybe play with the kids, eat something and maybe go for a swim. If I was so gung ho to have him get out on the lake, why didn't I just go ahead and rent a boat and take him out?
Hmm - Well, looking at Pat's delighted face, how could I say no then? I was a little worried about it because my arms aren't the strongest part of my anatomy with all my years of typing but oh well - whatever made my son happy and made him feel that he was getting equal treatment! I asked Katie if she wanted to join us and she answered a swift 'no way' - and off Pat and I went on our new adventure.
The Boating Adventure to End All
It was about 3:00 or so by now. We ended up getting the rowboat away from the dock (already I was feeling very confident) and out into the open part of the lake. Patrick insisted that he wanted to row, and being the mom who always thought he could do anything he wanted to do, I handed over the oars without question. He was so proud of himself as he sat there rowing away! We were coming up on the breakaway portion of the lake where it leaves the little inlet and were proceeding out into the wider part of the lake. When they say it is clear, they are NOT kidding. One look down through the clear water made me shiver as it went on forever!
As I was looking into the water, I happened to notice that the wind had picked up considerably as we had gotten beyond the edge of the protected inlet. We were rocking and swaying a bit more than I was happy about but isn't that boating? About this time, I heard Pat ask me something about 'what are these for?' and looked up just in time to see him slip one of the oars out of the clamp ring that attached them to the boat - and in horror, I watched the wind and 'waves' sort of slap at the oar and then wrench it from his hand!
You have to be kidding me! The oar splatted into the water and promptly took off on a course all its own - away from the boat! Before I could utter a swear word or three, I further realized that my brave and brilliant child was bent over the side of the boat ready to dive into the water AFTER it! Oh - my - God! I literally almost had a heart attack. To say that I am not the strongest swimmer would be an understatement - to say that I would be worthless in this type of freezing cold water would also be an understatement!
Without a thought, I reached over and yanked Pat by his life preserver and due to sheer panic (that's what I'm sticking with), I slammed him back down into the rowboat and bellowed at him (always good in a panic situation) 'What in blazes are you DOING? Are you out of your mind? You can't dive into this lake out here. It's too deep and it's freezing cold!'
Of course, he starts to cry - no one likes being bellowed at - much less in a dicey situation such as this. He kept sobbing 'I'm sorry, mommy - I didn't mean to lose the oar'. Then he really got going and started wailing 'We're gonna DIE!' Nothing like a little panic to ease one's pain when you already have the 'deck' stacked against you!
I may panic but I also have great skills when it comes to seizing the moment and deciding it is NOT going to get the best of me. I literally clamped onto his life preserver and said something to the effect of 'Get hold of yourself - LOOK at me. Do I look like I'm going to let us die out here? Have a little faith in your mom, okay? We can DO this! Buck up man!!' (Thinking of course if he didn't, I was going to give him a good swat on the butt if he didn't stop that blasted blathering! - I know - mom of the year award - but I was trying to THINK!)
I tried in vain to maneuver the boat around so it would float after the other oar but it was floating away WAY too fast - and if it was possible, the wind was picking up and howling around us - or so it felt. We had nothing on but our swimming clothes and our life preservers - and one oar. But then - I suddenly remembered all my Indian lore from grade school. I conjured up Hiawatha in my mind and the light bulb went on. 'That's IT' I said out loud and Pat stopped his crying to look at me questioningly. 'I know what to do - we'll do just like Hiawatha did and row after the oar! All one need is 1 oar and I can just paddle on one side, then the other, and maybe we'll be able to catch it that way!'
It was remarkable to see the pride in my son's eyes and he smiled for the first time in many minutes! He was believing in me and it showed. How could I possibly fail if he believed I could do it? So, grabbing the remaining oar, I proceeded to paddle on one side, cross over the boat and paddle on the other side and voila - we were moving - unfortunately in a bit of a circle but we were moving. I was thinking 'Now if I can just get the bloody knack of this, we might actually have a chance' when I heard a gasp and thud as Patrick fell backwards off the seat into the bottom of the row boat. He was wailing again - only this time he was grabbing at his chest!
'What in the blue blazes are you yelling about now? Can't you see that I'm busy here, Patrick? I'm trying to get us out of this mess and I need a little quiet!' Bummer. He says between cries 'I was trying to be quiet - but did you have to slap me across the chest with the oar?'
Hiawatha never had such problems - I can tell you that! I bet she didn't have a little boy sitting in the row boat depending on her! Again - oh - my - God! Could I be any more of a possible klutz?
So there we are, in the middle of the lake - I've given up all hope of the damned oar at this point - let it float to the sea for all I give a rip! I've had it....I'm stuck in the middle of the lake with my little boy who I've been trying to show a good time and all I've done is scare the living crap out of - not to mention pummeling him with the oar! Oh I just can't WAIT to get back to shore (if that ever happens) and hear what good old dad has to say about this one! I can count the 'I told you so's' into the millions!
I finally got Pat settled back down. He is looking at me now like I have 5 heads and I am evil beyond belief (and who can blame him?). I try to reassure him that there will be no more paddling - and he asks me timidly 'but doesn't that mean we aren't going back to shore - aren't we floating further and further out, mommy?'
'No kidding, Sherlock! I had to take that few moments out though to make sure I had not cracked your chest open - but hey - I'm back on track now.' I told him to just sit quietly and let mommy think - oh GREAT plan!
Ah - I've got it! I tell him not to move while I stand up in the rowboat - no easy feat because I am NOT comfortable on boats - especially ROCKING boats. I look to the shore where I can clearly see my husband and my other 2 children sitting on the blanket - no doubt eating! I begin to wave my arms in a distress signal - waving back and forth, back and forth! I'm mentally transmitting the message 'HEEEEEELLPPPPP' and screaming it to boot. Of all the unmitigated gall - the guy waves back!! Then Jon waves back - now Katie is waving back! Are they brain dead or something? Who in their right mind is standing up IN A BOAT and waving -
panic waving? (I truly get no respect)
I tell myself to calm down - Rome wasn't built in a day. Obviously transmitting messages with one's arms (and by mental telepathy) is harder than I thought. So now I start to JUMP up and down in the boat and wave frantically - followed predictably by my son starting to scream!
And Our Funny Story Continues
Oh - My - GOD!!! I have fallen into a nightmare and I can't wake up!! Here I am on the lake rocking the crap out of the boat (literally) with my poor minimally sighted son - he is never going to be the same and it is ALL my fault! The fact that we are probably going to capsize any moment doesn't add a lot to this situation that is positive.
And as if it couldn't get any worse - my husband stands up and I think 'whew - he's seen us and he knows that there's a problem....go get the sheriff Lassie, we have work to do!'
But oh no - it couldn't go that way of course - because it's me! He stands up - Jon stands up - even Katie stands up - and they are all waving! I'm surprised that the whole damn beach wasn't waving!
'HELL----OOOOO - are you guys insane? I know I'm a half rack short out here, but come on!!' I finally sink down into the boat and just cover my face with my hands and start to cry. I finally hear silence - blessed silence. Pat has stopped crying. He comes up and puts his arms around me and pats me on the back and says bravely 'It'll be okay mom - we'll probably float into the shore someday and someone will find us'. Great!
About this time, I hear frantic screaming - female voices. I look up to see a woman and her teenage daughter in a paddleboat coming straight at us! They are both yelling 'Are you okay? Do you need help?' Imagine that! Someone actually got that I wasn't performing 'the wave' or being overly friendly towards the people on the shore while in the middle of the blasted lake! Somehow I transmitted my panic and fear of death to someone - wouldn't you know it would be women?
As I watch in total amazement, another 2 women on paddle boats come out from behind the first 2 - by George, this is an organized rescue! They yell encouragement to us and branch off. They take off at a mad pace after the oar that has now drifted quite a ways down lake but thankfully is going over towards the shore! They sprint after it in their paddle boat and come back with it happily while the first paddle boat grabs hold of our boat to keep us from drifting farther out. I'm of course caught between laughing and crying and Patrick is asking over and over 'Can we go back to shore now, please?'
About this time, I look up to see the Lone Ranger and his sidekicks - my dear husband and my other 2 children - arriving on a THIRD paddle boat. A little late to be the rescue ship, don't ya think? He no sooner appears than I let loose with 'Hello - what is wrong with you - do you not know that a woman generally doesn't jump and down in a row boat and wave?'
And true to form, Bob (and Jon and Katie for that matter) are just laughing away! The first lady is telling him how they have come out to rescue me because they saw that I was in trouble and 'distressed' - and how the second paddle boat has rescued the oar and are heading back towards us - no worries!
Of course Bob can't resist. As he pulls up next to me, hugs me and hugs Pat a bit and tells us we CAN and WILL paddle back the rest of the way to the dock with the oars - he announces to everyone gathered around.....'Well, this doesn't surprise me in the slightest because you see, my wife has NEVER had both oars in the water'......And away they all paddle in their paddle boats laughing hysterically!
Truer words were probably never
spoken - we did have a good laugh about it - much later. Patrick did
eventually forgive me my faux pas on the water as you will see in a
later escapade involving water and him! He is one resilient fellow, I
have to give him
that and more!
Epilogue to Funny Story About Boating on the Lake
So what did I learn from this little adventure? Not a lot I'm afraid because I had several more boating/water adventures or disasters after that!
What did Patrick learn from all this? Obviously not very much either because he later trusted me yet again and we had another episode or two between us involving water.
One thing I did learn - I am DYNAMITE in clutch situations! I am the one you want on your team when something doesn't go right! I am totally dependable, and totally unshakable when it comes to quick thinking and am the epitome of grace under fire. You betcha!
I told Pat later it was all a training exercise - just to see if we could brainstorm between us and come out of okay. I don't think he bought it then and I know he doesn't buy it now!
Thought for the day: "The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter. " Mark Twain
Photo Credits 4 Pictures Above
We Were Here
I Think I Could Qualify For This Team!
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Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 14, 2010:
Thanks for the read, TimPatrick - fortunately I did not scar my poor boy Pat for life! I'm not sure why water and me end up in a Lucille Ball type scenario but I still love the water - not sure it loves me back though!
TimPatrick from San Francisco on September 13, 2010:
Great story. Very tense and intense! It reminded me of frequent episodes I had on Lake Ontario growing up - getting into some dangerous situations. I look forward to perusing more of your hubs. TimPatrick
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 31, 2010:
Micky - this thought has been mentioned by many other people in my life so it is not a surprise! You would not believe how many more ridiculous situations I have gotten myself into and I'm beginning to think, the older I get, the helmet is not such a bad accessory. However, I do think I'll look very awful at the pool with it on with my bathing ensemble!
Micky Dee on July 31, 2010:
I'm beginning to think you need a helmet when you vacation and a few other items! It's really scary when the kids are with you too.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 28, 2010:
Crewman6 - I know - how crazy! He was SO tickled with himself as well when he finally GOT what was happening. Talk about a slow top! The sad part of this entire mess is that there is another part of this camping story and will write that one up soon. I seem to be a bit 'comedy' prone! Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm so glad I can make you laugh.
Spanky - Are you kinda getting that picture, too? The unfortunate thing is that I have many more water stories to write - when I started looking at my list of them I did start thinking 'hey - what's up with me and water?' Except as you will see down the road, it's not just the water! It is ME! Everywhere I go and whatever I do, something seems to go haywire....must be my wiring! Thanks for reading!!!
Holle Abee from Georgia on July 28, 2010:
Buckie, perhaps you should avoid water entirely - unless it's in a glass or bottle!
Crewman6 on July 27, 2010:
Tears in my eyes, and appreciating Bob's viewpoint while laughing... Never had both oars in the water!! Some men wait their whole life and never get a line that good. You remind me of the unsinkable Molly Brown- never give up!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 25, 2010:
HH - Aw yes, to add to my many other gold metals for athletic accomplishments! They just keep pouring in and the trophy case is all but full! Thanks for reading!!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 25, 2010:
Thank you for sharing one of your Olympic rowing and winning the Gold Metal.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 24, 2010:
Thank you Kamran - I aim to please in the chuckles department! Thanks so much for visiting.
Kamran100 on July 24, 2010:
Beautiful and really nice hub. its really touch my heart. i like beautiful places and its also my hobby. you post very nice video.i was bored and tired but after watching your hub. now i 'm fresh.hahah..i also like boating.i rally appreciate your hub. good one