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Monday, August 24, 2009

I didn't mind...

* The work. We paddled eight miles to the island. Holy-screaming-triceps. It was hardcore.

* The heat. The temperature was pushing 100, and it felt like the seventh circle of hell. Don't let the pictures fool you. They make the pictures look good to suck the first-timers into the vortex. It is hot, I tell you. HOT.

* The rain. I was okay with the flash-flooding. And digging drainage canals when we discovered some of the tents were literally in 4 inches of standing water. And hey, the rain took care of the heat and washed a little of the stench off of me... so it wasn't all bad.



If you look closely at the bottom of the tent where it says "Kelty" you can see a water shoe floating away. And this was taken at the beginning of the "flood." It got worse. Much. much. worse.

Actually, there were a lot of things I didn't mind: the half mile hike to the compost toilet, the camping food, the sleep deprivation, the BUGS.... I could handle all that stuff. In fact, I was enjoying myself. Loving it even.


But there was this one part...


We were getting into our kayaks for the return trip. Everyone was hot and tired and focused. There was a storm heading our way and if we didn't get out ahead of the lightning, we were going to have to paddle back to the island to wait out the storm without any shelter and then try to make the trip again. Did I mention it was an 8 mile paddle? To say we were motivated would be the understatement of the century.

So I'm out on the water in my kayak along with roughly half the girls. I'm snapping a few last photos knowing that once everyone was geared up and ready to paddle we'd be moving too fast for more. I was just stowing my camera in it's Ziploc bag when one of the girls started screaming in her kayak. I froze for a moment as I tried to process the situation. And then she screamed, "Oh, God... help me... IT'S ON ME!" In that brief moment my brain spun through a thousand different scenarios before coming to rest on the only rational conclusion:

SNAKE.

(And I don't want any snappy remarks in the comment section about how snakes don't live in the ocean. Yeah, yeah, yeah.... blah, blah, blah. And don't you DARE suggest that my irrational reaction had anything to do with sitting in the tent after all the girls were (finally) asleep telling stories about crazy animal encounters. The blog is called the world according to me for a reason. So cork it.)

Everyone was scrambling to get to her. I paddled for all I was worth and I was just closing in on her, when she flipped her boat. I was closest, so I threw common sense out the window, and jumped in, too. She was still screaming when I reached her so I grabbed her by the life jacket and tugged her to shore. At this point she'd stopped screaming and was struggling against me a little, but I was going to get her out of that water and away from that 60 foot, man-eating snake if it was the last thing I did.

By now everyone had gathered and was peppering her with questions.

Turns out there was a spider in her helmet. When she put the helmet on her head, the spider crawled out onto her face. It was a BIG spider. She was screaming and flailing trying to kill the spider when her kayak went over.

There was no snake.

I was waffling between relief that nothing was lurking in the water waiting to get me, and irritation that I was all wet and salty... when I noticed my own kayak had gone over in the pandemonium. And my fanny pack was bobbing in the briny water. I quickly scooped it up, but it had been floating for a couple minutes. As I frantically assessed the state of the camera one fact became crystal clear: I had gotten the camera back into it's Ziploc, but I didn't zip it closed. The camera was soaked.

There were a lot of things I didn't mind on that trip.

Ruining my camera wasn't one of them.

61 comments:

passions and soapboxes said...

First: there are snakes in the ocean and they are deadly. Second:Open up your camera as much as you can but leave it turned off. Wipe off any moisture or salt. Let it sit for about 2 to 3 weeks. Then turn it on and try it. Sometimes this works. Glad to see you back home safe and sound.

Kristina P. said...

This is going to give me nightmares!

And there are water snakes.

Helene said...

Whoa, that was intense!!!! I know I've already said it, but you are one brave woman!! Your daughters better be thankful that you are such an awesome Mama willing to try new things. My kids won't be so lucky, unfortunately.

Oh and there are water snakes....I remember encountering a water moccassin in a lake in GA once. So not cool.

blueviolet said...

That scream! I would have done exactly what you did too. I'm glad it wasn't a true emergency situation but I'm sorry you lost your camera.

All 3 comments above me have stated one fact that apparently needs to be reiterated so I'll do it too.

There ARE water snakes.

Kathy B! said...

But do those nasty water snakes live in the OCEAN?! On the East Coast?! I'm not even going to google it, because I don't want to know.

They told me we were safe, but I wonder if they were trying to console me....

Kristen said...

okay seriously I would have been screaming whatever I could think of if a spider was on my face. I do not think your reaction is anything out of the ordinary :)

Hit 40 said...

I am so sorry about your camera. You didn't have this bad karma coming to you!!! Just ridiculous.

What a long trip with the rain and flooded camp site!! Your a better mom than I.

countryfriedmama said...

This was a Scouts trip, right? And here I was looking forward to Girl Scouting with my kids. I don't see myself handling this situation well.

Good luck with the camera! :-(

for a different kind of girl said...

I honestly wouldn't have made it out of my driveway for this kind of adventure. Cripes, I'm pretty sure I'd not even been able to sign all the appropriate releases for this kind of thing, so honestly, I've got nothing but kudos for you. I like my water in either a glass or in a shower!

Nocturnal Queen said...

OMG! I think I would seriously die of a heart attack if a spider (especially a big one) was on my face. I about died reading about it. *shudder*

Sorry about your camera. That stinks. Hopefully it can be saved.

bernthis said...

I was so scared and then I have to admit, I laughed out loud. I totally see her point with the spider however. Yuck and yuck and yuck.

jinksy said...

How unfair! But good for you, getting your priorities right!

ScoMan said...

You were very brave to rush over there when you thought there could be a snake. I would have heard the girls screams and dashed in the other direction.. but that's just me. I'm a coward.

It's a shame your camera was a casualty of your bravery.

ymK said...

Wow you one brave woman Kathy B! Rushing over TOWARDS the possibility of a snake - I admire you.
And I am like that about my camera. I feel for you.
So glad you came back safe.

Yaya said...

Oh no.

You must be so sore!

parentingBYdummies said...

You are a machine! How do you have the energy for paddling, climbing, hiking, running, jumping, snake hunting, kid wrangling, hours long road trips, etc, etc, etc?! You have done more things in your last 6 months of life (according to the blog posts anyway) than I have done in the last 6 years! I suck, man! Thanks for reminding me. So you can feel free to ignore all that "I'm kinda awesome" talk I'm doing on my blog today. It was written before I remembered how awesome you are!

MadMad said...

Oh, dear LORD, honey! I have GOT to teach you to knit. It's a sooooo much easier hobby.

TheKitchenWitch said...

Thank You! I now have yet another excuse to NEVER go camping again in my lifetime.

That sounds hideous!

Wifey said...

That sucks about your camera. You're so brave to get in the water when you thought it was a snake. Glad she was alright. Oh, and snakes are a deal breaker. For Real!

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Tammy Howard said...

Oh man. A spider is only a LITTLE less scary than a snake. Nonononononono. Of course that would have also been my response to: a half mile hike to the compost toilet - whatever the hell THAT is!!!

I hope the camera is salvageable...

ck said...

Good heavens, woman! I'm still feeling a spider crawling across my forehead. Gross, gross, gross...

But seriously, you're taking luck into your own hands when you travel with a fanny pack.

The Good Cook said...

I'm sorry = but your daughter's troop sounds like The Girl Scouts from Hell troop. I still want to know who planned this trip? Who decided this was a great idea???

Now, congrats and good for you for being an award winning all around good sport of a mom... AND a water rescuer to boot.

Try this with the camera - open it up. Put it into a bowl, pour rice in the bowl to cover. Let it set in the bowl for 24 hours. This has worked with my son's cell phone at least 3 times. (once when he had been swimming with it, once when it was lost for 3 days in the rain)... the rice absorbs all the moisture ... worth a try.

Lindy said...

LOL at CK's comment - yeah, seriously? Fanny pack? Nice!

And this is PRECISELY why I walked/jogged/sprinted past the Girl Scout table at registration.

confused homemaker said...

I think fanny packs should be used more often because they are pure comic gold. And I'm impressed you did 8 miles, my arms would have given out 2 miles in & they would have had to leave me behind.

Kathy B! said...

Me again.

It was not brave to jump into the water. It was stupid. There are no poisonous water snakes in the ocean in NC. There are snakes... but the point is that I am so irrational and stupidly scared of running into them that I am over-reacting and behaving like a fool.

I need to get a grip. That was the point :)

Hillbilly Duhn said...

Yeah, but think, bravery is stupid and brainless. You put yourself at risk to save another. Okay, it was a spider, not a snake, but still I congratulate you.

Sorry about the camera though.

Grant said...

I'm just glad this is not a scratch and sniff blog. :p

The rational response would have been to squish the spider by hitting it with your oar. It's a shame you don't have my guy logic to help you through the day.

Stephanie Faris said...

Oh no. Can the camera be saved? I know with cell phones sometimes soaking them in alcohol cures them (although I don't know a single person who has made this work, and many have tried!).

ModernMom said...

As a fellow camera and picture lover I feel your pain!!

At least it sounds like the memories are going to last a lifetime:)

Thanks so so much for coming by my blog, love to discover new reads!

peewee said...

I don't...I can't...but....WHY!?????????

This is more traumatizing than the mud guy. I am DYING. Why did you torture yourself like this? This is like THE WORST TRIP FROM THE BOWELS OF HADES.

I'm gonna go crawl back under the covers and pretend I didn't read any of this.

Susie said...

You are a better woman than me!

That really sucks about your camera! I wonder if the rice trick would work to save it?

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

OMG! I would have died! The spider would have been more of a threat to me than the snake! It really, really sucks about the camera but at least you're ok. Sea Kayaking with an overnight deserves HUGE kudos! You're a way better Mom than I would ever think of being!

Grand Pooba said...

Snakes in the Ocean? Really? Great, you've totally ruined the beach for me ;o)

I'm so sorry for your loss!

(camera)

Keyona said...

Not the camera! Dear lord no!!!! So sorry. ;o)

thedomesticfringe said...

I am SO sorry about your camera, but I laughed hysterically at this story.
-FringeGirl

Zip n Tizzy said...

Yikes!
Despite, or maybe because of growing up in so many rural places, I am not a fan of spiders! Especially big spiders. I'd actually be better about a snake. Except now, as I recently was trying to identify the one we saw in the mountains and learned that indeed, the OCEAN snakes we have in CA, are poisonous. I can't tell you about the east coast, but it sounds from the comments like a resounding yes.

The trip sounds like something you AND the girls will never forget.

(You actually did get the funny in here ;)

LazyCrazyMama said...

HaHa! Sounds like one hell of a trip. My husband probably would have done the same thing if he had a spider in his helmet :)

Jane! said...

I've been known to lounge in the pool with my cell phone, my ipod and my camera in my pocket - at different times. Darn the board short concept!
I keep getting older but not any wiser.
The good news is that after taking them apart (except for the ipod) and letting them dry out with the battery removed they are all functioning just fine.
I hope the same was true for you.... AND your camera. ;oP

the ungourmet said...

You really are such a great sport! I would not be a happy camper! And a spider on my face?! ACK! I would have to be admitted to the Psyche ward. Did you see the spider? Spider and Snakes are equally as scary! That poor girl!

Sorry about your camera! ;0(

Jen said...

Yeah that totally sucks. But I am so glad it was not a snake.

The Blonde Duck said...

I would have died.

Tsquared417 said...

Oh, Kathy. I'm so very sorry. You are such a wonderful Mom to do this for your girl.

JennyMac said...

UGH!!!! So glad it was not a snake but that doesnt help now, I know.

You are a bad ass though.

Sorry about your cam.

jane said...

I was so looking forward to your next post and I just wanted to say, it delivered! Thanks for the entertaining diversion from my day!

~Laura said...

We just returned from a trip to Bald Head Island, NC. I will attest that there are some spiders there that would call for this type of reaction! Crazy, scary spiders! You are one brave mommy, Kathy B!

M-Cat said...

Okay, I must be sick in the head, but this sounded COOL!

I could even handle the spider.

I haven't read all the comments but I'm sure someone has already told you about letting the camera sit in rice. Or I have even heard of microwaving it. (slightly)

faemom said...

NO! Not the camera! Because God knows that would have been me and a precious book.
I don't care what you say, KathyB!, you're a brave woman who went towards the "snake" and jumped in to help out a girl. So there.

A Mom on Spin said...

I don't even imagine how you got through the first laundry list of horrors. . . you know. . . before the camera incident. . .

CynthiaK said...

Wow. I mean...wow. You are *the* trooper of trooper moms. And, when all is said and done, I hope the camera comes back to life and that your amazing biceps retain their intensity after that freaking crazy workout!!

So glad you made it back without being eaten by those giant man-eating water snakes. *giggle*

Staci Z said...

You Rock!

Sorry to hear about your camera...I hope it wasen't the Cannon.

Christie-The ChatterBox said...

Okay totally laughing my butt off (but in a totally feeling sorry for you way and really REALLY not laughing at your camera) :)

Gibby said...

I do not blame that girl one bit! EEEEWWWWWW!!!!! Considering Poonch screams when she sees a freaking daddy long legs, I'm screwed on our upcoming camping trip...

Love, love this post.

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh no, I'm sorry about your poor camera.

I'd have freaked out about a spider too. Yikes.

forever folding laundry said...

Oh no!!! It would've had to have been a 20 foot anaconda to warrant that.

But, on a positive note...can you upgrade to some super duper amazing (water proof) camera now? :)

~Keri

naptimewriting said...

lmao at your "how dare you" aside. Hilarious. Seriously, that was the best laugh of the day.

Oh, yeah, and thank goodness your kid wasn't eaten by an ocean snake and all that.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Just reading the first line made me want to put my head down and nap!

Justin Narin said...

Looks like you had one hell of a time, glad you are safe.


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LadyFi said...

OH NO!! That darn spider had better be insured so that it can buy you a new camera...

BTW, of course there are snakes in the sea. Take, coral snakes, for example...

Meg said...

Did you say...compost toilet?

That spider would have done me in. I hate spiders.

In your defense, NC is lousy with water moccasins and cottonmouths, both of which are swimmers. I would have thought the same thing.

Kathy B! said...

Well, I just looked it up and apparently cottonmouths/water moccasins DO live in/near salt water.

I'm going to have to re-think the whole sea kayaking thing after all.

Jennifer said...

OMG, this trip sounds like hell to me. You are a tough cookie.