Falling Over In A Boat

Monday being Labor Day, I took the opportunity to go fishing with my good friend Chris Gnagi. The plan was to hit the pond early with a little 2 man rowboat. Rowboats are better than no boat but there is an art to getting in them – much like a canoe. We did not have the benefit of a dock but rather a very muddy shore. As in the black stinky mud that sinks you up to your knees kind of mud. But I’ve gotten fairly adept at navigating this stuff. Just be quick and don’t get in a hurry.

Generally speaking, you really only need to remember two things in these kinds of boats.

1. Put your weight in the center of the boat.
2. Only one person moves at a time.

Pretty simple guidelines. Normally all it takes is a “You set? I’m moving,” kind of communication.

We get Chris in the boat first, get all the gear, oars, and an anchor. Chris is in the front, I’m pushing off the back. I feel pretty comfortable doing this job. I know the risks. If you don’t push hard enough – you’re going to get wet because you have to get out to get the boat out of the shallows. If you push too hard, you run the risk of tipping the whole boat. If you push but hurry to get in the boat – you can tip the boat. If you push and don’t commit to the pushing, you’re doing the splits, tearing something, and getting wet AND possibly tipping the boat as well.

So there are like 6 things that can go wrong but normally none of those things happen.

Oh…make it 7 things that can go wrong.

Of course, you can push off, get in the boat and the other person be moving at the same time…which will tip the boat as well. And that’s what happened.

I pushed off, was transferring my weight to get in the boat with one foot in the boat, the other out of the boat and the boat shifted on me. I didn’t have enough of me in the boat yet to compensate, so in I went.

By the way – those Lifeproof cases work.

In Chris’ defense, most of this was my fault. I should have been clear as to what I was doing. Chris was getting the oars set and getting situated, I never even looked up to see if he was ready to go. I was like – “Ready?” and just pushed off and in I went. Fortunately, I didn’t take the whole boat. Just me.

We had a great morning fishing – after I got situated and cleaned off a bit. Chris tolerated my smell. I tolerated his snickering.


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