Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thing 137 Shipwreck

I've a list for Things to do for The Project. For the first time since I started, fate or whatever you want to call it kicked in, and gave me my Thing for the day without asking. If The Project is about new experiences, then this one has to be high up there on the list of Things I'm not likely to forget any time soon...

Blond Boss's house in Kerry is in a sheltered inlet. Sea water as smooth as glass. I took a kayak out on it for a spin on Friday evening, and it was spectacular. Because it's shoreline, but hidden there's no waves. Blond Boss, Monkey, Mermaid and myself decided we'd head for the beach on the boat. That's straightforward enough - we were going to do the Bury Me In Sand Thing. We packed the necessary provisions - my camera, Monkey's ipod, Blond Boss's camera, and some beer, obviously.

We should have guessed that things might go wrong when we snagged a nice man's fishing line as we passed by the shore. He seemed unimpressed. I spent a time laughing at Dr Zombie kayaking behind us - we're going faster I giggled as our motor powered boat headed out of the protection of the cove.

The swell was ridiculous. I'm not talking about small little choppy waves, I'm talking big swells, larger than us, picking up the boat and shaking it like a kids toy. Crucial to the execution of a successful beaching, is not presenting the broadside of the boat to the waves, so when exiting the cove, into open water, it means a quick sharp turn to the right so that the boat doesn't get whacked. Too quick a turn and you're headed for a cliff face - so don't do that. Make it a right turn, but not too right, if that makes any sense, which of course, it doesn't.

Two things to note: Monkey had never driven a boat before and Mermaid can't swim. That's why I picked that as the blog name. Mermaid - it's ironic. Get it? I'm a hoot.

So... we turned too right. Heading straight for rocks, cliff face about thirty feet in front. Turn left to get out of the way, but left presents the broadside of the boat. So turn a little left, but not too left. We were being whacked by waves as Blond Boss barked orders at Monkey, who did his best to keep us afloat, but they just kept coming. Ten feet from the rocks and a massive wave rocked us, Monkey couldn't get anymore control from the boat, which was still rocking when the next big wave slammed into the side of us, flipping the boat and throwing us all into the water.

Thank God Mermaid had a life-jacket on. She got a whack from the boat for her troubles, right into her shoulder. I got a bump on my head. Out of our depth and trying t o swim away from rocks while waves kept bashing us.

Monkey grabbed the anchor line of the boat, and swam for it, I did my best to help him out. The people on the beach... They watched. And did nothing else. It took us about half an hour to successfully swim to shore (only out of our depth - mine being shallower than the others, wee man that I am - for a few minutes), and drag the boat with us.

Scary stuff, there's no doubt about it. Proper fright.

Once we hit the safety of shore though, it was hilarious. Camera gone, so don't expect a lot of pictures, not for a little while anyway. Monkey's ipod, Blond Boss's camera and the beer all gone too.

For some reason I couldn't resist shouting "Wilson.... WILSON!!!" at everyone for a while. I think some people might be right when they say I'm a little dramatic. So it was never on the list, but shipwrecked is a pretty awesome Thing to have done. By the time we hit next weekend the story will be fifty times bigger, and there'll be dragons in it... I do tend to get carried away.


  1. I highly doubt any of this actually happened, that you were in fact too drunk to do any of these 'Things' and so you've made it up.

    I feel cheated.