Friday, November 14, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

So I'm trawling through youtube looking for kayaking videos. Because I have no life. But anyway, I stumbled upon this video. A pair of paddlers are lazily paddling a quiet section of the cold Detroit River when suddenly one of them unexpectedly goes swimming. We could critique some aspects of the paddlers' preparations as it looks like the swimmer wasn't dressed particularly well for immersion, but on the other hand the rescue, such as it was, went smoothly with neither paddler panicking and the paddling partner taking charge of the situation. And apart from the clothing, both paddlers seemed well prepared.
But what struck me was how quickly a seemingly benign paddling situation could turn into a rescue situation. There's no wind, no waves, no expected surprise. Just a tree branch, and a quick moment when gravity overcomes balance. Living near The Gorge, Louise and I paddle in conditions similar to this all the time, and sometimes we take the calmness for granted. Consider this a gentle reminder to expect the unexpected.

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