Read Thread: Underwater Letterbox
I got together with the family last weekend, and among other things I learned that this first camera was lost due to a BB. My brother Paul had been playing with a BB gun in the canoe and had spilled some BB's. They were rolling around in the bottom of the canoe and he had been trying to collect them for some time. He thought he had found them all, but the canoe went over a drop in the river that caused the front end of the canoe to drop a little, and a renegade BB came out from under something and rolled toward the front of the canoe. He leaped after it and ended up dunking the nose end of the canoe, flipping it, and losing the camera.
Just because I was fuzzy on exactly what happened to that third camera, I asked for the story. Yeah, you all will enjoy it.
The folks involved are Mom, Dad, brothers John, Bill, and Paul, and Bill's girlfriend Staci. One canoe had Dad, John, and Paul in it, while the other had Mom, Bill, and Staci. They were canoeing down the Hillsborough River, which actually has some whitewater. It's lame as whitewater goes, we're in Florida.
As they approached the whitewater, Dad, John, and Paul went through first, no problem. When they got past it, they just pulled over to the side to wait for the other canoe.
The second canoe got crossways right off and promptly jammed against a rock and flipped. Mom and Bill were tossed into the water the way you'd expect, but Staci managed to get tossed the opposite way. Staci actually got hurt, landed on some rocks and got dinged up.
Meanwhile, Mom is screaming bloody murder: "Help! Haaalp! I can't swim!" and splashing in panic. Bill, right next to her, says, "So stand up!" They're in only about three feet of water. She doesn't hear due to panic, though, so Bill just gives her a big hug and stands her up.
Meanwhile, Staci is in a panic of her own, because she believes she's a bite-sized morsel for an alligator and is convinced there are dozens convening on her location right now. Bill sees she's terrified but can't understand why; he's from Florida and knows that alligators are not a concern but she's a transplanted northerner and thinks they're vicious killers. Between her cuts and her fright, she doesn't seem to be getting enough sympathy. In fact, I still don't think she was getting enough sympathy when this story was being told this past weekend!
The three guys in the other canoe dunno what's going on; they just see a lot of splashing and hear a lot of racket. Bill, now standing knee-deep in water, watches the camera in its baggie floating downstream. He yells to the other canoe: "The camera! Get the camera!" and points to it floating past them.
Paul leaps into action -- literally. He stand up in the canoe and dives into the water. Unfortunately, he lands on a rock that's only an inch under the surface. He lands on his stomach, which in hindsight was fortunate; if he had landed on his chest or his head or pretty much anything else he would have been hurt worse. As it was, John, sitting in the canoe and watching in amazement, said that for just an instant, Paul looked like Superman suspended horizontally above the water. Then he just slowly rolled off the rock and into the water.
But he got the camera! Despite the pain, he managed to pull himself together fast enough to snag the camera floating past! So in fact, they did not lose a third camera. The baggie with air in it actually worked.
Thank you Kirbert for sharing that tale. It is very similar to one I lived. So, not only was I laughing at your story, but also at my memories! :D
Yes, thanks for sharing this. I can't help but wonder if we rowed over the very spot (where the cameras are probably now buried under 3 feet of sand and soil) this last spring when we went canoeing on the Hillsborough! Luckily we did not lose our camera OR fall out of the canoe: )