We had a bit of a bumpy start at Fry Lodge today. Damage report: one bruised head, a downed fence, and two lost kayaks. Henry will be totally fine – His bandage makes his injury look worse than it is. We’ll repair the fence. And, the kayaks have been recovered.
It all started when Ruby woke me up at 6:30 this morning by saying, “Dad, the boat’s in the water.” That’s normally not a cause for alarm. Unless your boat isn’t supposed to be in the water, which was the case with our boat. High winds and an extra high tide had dislodged Emotional Rescue III from the beach. Knowing our boat was tied up, I wasn’t too concerned. Until I realized that our kayaks were not tied up. And, they no longer were anchored by being full of water – thanks to the work Henry and I did last weekend. No good deed goes unpunished. I shot out of bed to look out the window. The kayaks were nowhere in sight. Damnit.
I quickly pulled on my pants and boots to inspect the beach, where the wind was pushing water up onto the yard and trying to blow me over. As I looked down the beach, I saw a hint of yellow about 200 yards away; so I ran up the driveway and down the road. Luckily, the wind was pushing both of our kayaks against the shore. I scrambled down the bank and hauled up the red kayak, which was about 100 pounds heavier than normal due to all the water in it. Just then, Henry and Ruby showed up. Did I mention it was 6:30 AM? A little excitement gets anybody dressed, I suppose. As I moaned about the shape our kayak was in, Henry said, “well, Dad, at least we still have a kayak.” Always the optimist, that Henry.
The next challenge was how to retrieve the yellow kayak, which was further down the beach, stuck into a steep bank of brambles. I decided to get a paddle and crawl down to the kayak so I could then paddle it back to our beach. There’s nothing quite like sitting down into a seat of icy water first thing in the morning. It took some effort to paddle against the wind, but I eventually got the kayak back to Fry Lodge beach.
Back on our property, I noticed the wind had knocked down part of the fence.
That was the second piece of bad news of the morning. What was the third? Just then, Henry came stumbling back into the house holding his head. On the walk home, a tree branch fell and hit him on top of the head. He was OK – until he noticed the blood streaming down the side of his face. It really was a minor scrape, but head wounds tend to produce more blood than other cuts. Kristine was ready with the first aid kit.
Once Henry calmed down, the first question he asked was: “Does this mean I can stay home from school?” Fry Lodge policy stipulates that any head trauma results in a day off from school. Ruby, ever the empathetic sister, made the case she should stay home, too; but in the end, we decided she could soldier on while Kristine and I took care of Henry for the day.
All of this activity happened before 7 AM. We’re glad to have retrieved the kayaks, which we would gladly sacrifice a million times for a healthy Henry. We’re glad he’s OK. From now on, we will all be extra careful while walking during windstorms. Oh, and maybe I’ve learned enough lessons about what happens when you don’t secure a vessel.