Boulters weir canoe flume, Sunday 10th August 2008
I had been in there for a while – considerably longer than I wanted to be. I was going round and round. Sometimes I was able to catch a breath before going over again, others not. After being “washing machined” for a while, I decided to attempt an escape whilst upside down. I tried to make myself big – it didn’t work… I tried to pull against the water until I was free – that didn’t work either. As time wore on, my roll attempts were becoming less successful – most of the time I wasn’t coming up, and only occasionally I was able to catch a breath. I was sat in my boat, which was the wrong way up, and I was quickly running out of breath. It was about then I realised it had to happen. I had tried my best, but had failed. I reached forward to locate the grab loop, pulled it, and rolled free from the cockpit towards the surface and that much needed breath. That was it. My first swim in over 5 years.
I had lasted five and a half years without one. The further I got from my last swim, the more and more concerned I became that my next one was not going to be nice. I had managed to stay in my boat in many situations which I half expected to swim from. In many of those situations the consequences of a swim would not have been pleasant – in actual fact, it would probably have hurt quite a lot! Having had this one today, I am still concerned that this was only a ‘playboating’ swim – my next river swim may be just around the corner….