10 July 2003

Another disappearance

I started a blog on my Monday night catastrophe, but it seems to have disappeared. Sadness.

Here's the lowdown. My sunglasses are gone. For good. None of this "Here's a lesson on how to not misplace your things" crap. They either sank or floated away. Here's my tale of woe (abridged):

Monday night I went rowing by myself. Nayana worked late, and my mother's wisdom convinced me that I could be waiting a long time if I would only go if someone else was going. So off I went, confident in My Ability to Row. There were five of us that day, so I (being both the oldest and the most "experienced") proudly proclaimed that I would be happy to row a single, i.e. me, alone in a boat.

It started off fine. I was working up to a full slide (as opposed to some of the smaller movements you make to get the boat going), when along came my coaches. I handed my car keys to one of them because I was thinking, "Gee, it's probably not a good idea to have a series of small metal objects on the water in a very tippy boat." Mission accomplished, I started to row again. And then I fell.

I lost balance. And this isn't hard to do. You have a very small boat, not very deep (if you've ever seen the boats, you'll know how low they are), where you're essentially sitting at water level. Depending on where your hands are, the boat rocks from side to side. The heighth of your hand determines the heighth of the oars on the water, and that's what's keeping you up. So, if one hand is lower than the other, then that oar is higher (think see-saw) and over you go. And the big problem is that it's counter-instinctive. If you're going to fall, you put your hand down to cushion the blow. But because of the see-saw effect, putting your hand lower, puts the oar higher, and... SPLASH!!! And, in my case, FLIP!!

In I went. The boat capsized. And I was tied into stupid boat shoes (which give you leverage for the sliding seat). I wriggled my way out (underwater) and surfaced. I dove back in to find my sneakers and Brita bottle which I'd left in the boat.

Sometime later, with much struggling and sputtering, I managed to right the boat and get back in (with the aid of the two coaches -- who I'll call Laura and Nick -- and their putt-putt). I was just getting back into the swing of things when I thought, "Gee it's awfully bright out. And that glare off the water is blinding." So, I reached up to pull my sunglasses down from the top of my head and...

They were GONE!!!! It appears that capsizing, and then submerging repeatedly will pull sunglasses right off the top of your head. Laura and Nick offered to putter about in the putt-putt and see if they could spot them, but I knew better. They were gone. Or, at the very least, unspottable, being black. I figured that's they'd either sunk to the bottom of the lake (of which, while not oceanically deep, is still difficult to dive to the bottom), or, it being quite breezy, floated away into "Second Lake", or crashed on the rocks. In any case, their mini-search proved fruitless, and I resigned to a slow, circular row around the cove to practice my balance.

Is this the end? By no means.

I eventually decided to head back to the dock, as it was getting close to the end of the session. I just passed my tipping point, when, in I went again. The boat mercifully tipped just enough to deposit me in the water, and then righted itself. That was partly by choice. I knew that a struggle would result in another capsize, and Laura and Nick had gone off in pursuit of the quad, which had rowed right into Second Lake. Another rower (who was gracefully propelling her single through the water) told me she'd find a coach to help me, and the competitive coach came to my rescue. He offered to help me reboard my sculler, but I'd had enough for the evening. I crawled into his putt-putt (no romantic notions, girls, he's married), and we tugged the sculler back to the dock. Thankfully, I'd left my water-logged sneakers, wet socks and water bottle with the other coaches, so I didn't need to do any other retrieval work.

I went home disheartened and disconsolate.

Tuesday I went out and bought another pair of $135 sunglasses.

I bought a nerdy head-lasso to keep them firmly attached to my head (which, after rowing last night, works quite well, thank you -- although I didn't test it underwater).

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