Wordy Weekend Warriors

Friday always has so much potential. As the day at work winds down, I often fill with excitement and anticipation of the beloved weekend ahead… socializing, cooking and baking, wine-ing, working on house projects and spending some time enjoying life with my guy.

Last weekend was no different- actually, unusually social, for us. We were dinner hosts for some new friends on Friday night, a “day date” canoeing at Greenfield Lake here in town followed by a surprise birthday party held outside in this gorgeous weather. Such good times to look forward to!

Until..the day date went awry. We set off in our canoe, pup on board, picnic on hand and romance in the air readied for our adventure. We paddled around, enjoyed our amazing Whole Foods picnic lunch and continued our exploration for a couple of hours. Not wanting to be late for the surprise birthday fun, we began to retrace our course back to the boat launch.

I was full of nature love, snapping away with my favorite camera (that I’ve ever owned), a metallic red Olympus Tough- which is waterproof and shockproof (in other words Andreaproof)…when it went overboard. Of course I dashed for it but it went straight down, like a glass of wine on a Tuesday Friday night. Gone. Though we were in about 5 feet of water, the alligators and snapping turtles pursuaded us to sit tight in our canoe…

Day 1

Feeling pretty devastated, the energy was taken out of our trip pretty quickly. The loss of the camera was preventable (if only a float had been attached) and clumsy. Grrr. The photos that were on it….priceless. Not only had there been an amazing photodocumentation of our first day date at the lake but I also had some gorgeous maternity pics of my friend Shandi, who just gave birth to her son a few days ago, stored on the camera.

We did feel for the camera in the foot+ deep silt that covers the olive green, mucky, branch covered bottom of the lake, using the oars. Alas, were ill-equiped, with just our paddles, pup, pfds and lunch aboard. We breathed a sigh of defeat and headed back to the boat launch, in hopes there might be good news on the Olympus website. Upon returning home, I read the details about how long the camera could stay down under…

According to the warranty, it could stay submerged for 1 hour at 16 feet, before its void. Well, I’d be leaving my little red treasure down there for at least 12 hours since we had evening plans and no real tools to help us retrieve it. Since the information on the website seemed to stress the warranty protection and not the overall failure of the seal, we did decided to keep hope alive and attempt the retrieval in the morning.

Day 2

…Held more promise than Day 1, what with our scuba diver friend Andre (who certified me to dive) and his bag net of tricks. Norm and I orginally planned to borrow his long handled net in hopes of essentially dredging the bottom of the lake. Once at his house, Andre not-so-delicately informed us it would be virtually impossible, using this method. He should know- he has retrieved countless lost items for paying customers as a side job from his regular diving instruction. However, choosing to look on the very bright and pathologically optimistic side…I for one, was determined to at least try. We knew whereabouts I dropped the thing- we had been slowly cruising right toward a foot bridge (that I was taking pictures of) when I tried to rescue the oar from hitting the piling and having too many things in one little hand, slow-motion watched the pretty red camera whirl into the depths of the olive green muck in a horrifically sad ballet of clumsiness.

After reluctantly contemplating the retrieval, Andre announced that not only would he help- but he was goin’ in. What?! This was far more than I hoped for and while I really wanted to say “nah…you don’t have to do that”, I knew he would also likely be the key to actually finding it. So Andre (and presumably Norm) were going to wade into the alligator and snapping turtle waters for lil old me. Awww! With a change of clothes, pfd, net and determination in hand, Andre snapped some photos of us before takeoff and he, Norm and I were on our way. His always-a-good-sport girlfriend, Michele and their pup Ja-Bass joined in on some let’s-make-the-best-of-this fun:

Michele and I feigned enthusiam and were practically still alseep. Oh, and let it be known that this is how Norm takes nearly all of his pictures.

Onward we traveled.  After parking near the scene of the crime the fellas proceeded to grab their gear and head for the lake. I waited with the vehicles that may not have been parked legally enough. Feeling very unhelpful, I ate an apple and waited with anticipation. In the time it took me to do this, I saw Andre and Norm strolling back to the car. This was going to be great news or very sad news.

As it turned out (and probably much to their relief) the manager of the lake was on a canoe, picking up trash when a bystander informed the guys that they would want to avoid entering the lake with all of the bitey creatures that reside there. Being the fearless men they are, this was absolutely not the issue! The bystander continued and explained that the man in the canoe would certainly issue a ticket for such a heroic feat. And with that, a dealbreaker had surfaced. No one needed to get in trouble with the law on my account. Nor get frisky with an alligator for that matter but being divers, the guys have had their rendevous with sharks and such and believe they are simply not on these creatures food chains.

Sigh. I was nearly ready to call it quits- afterall, we had tried. Then, Andre spoke up and we found ourselves paddling out to the location to see if we could dredge. Just look at our enthusiasm (my frown is more of a result of sitting in the center of a very rocky and wet canoe):

Norm was, well, being Norm in photos….

and finally….

Andre. The guy who dredeged the lake for almost two hours while Norm kept the canoe steady, since bringing a rope wasn’t on our minds:

For some reason, I was entrusted with handling Andre and Michele’s camera. Didn’t they get the memo?! So, I snapped a few shots while feeling very uneasy about all the weight of the canoe shifting around while Andre painstakingly dredged and kept my fingers crossed that an even nicer digital camera didn’t go ker-plunk, too. Their’s didn’t have the waterproof thing going for them…

As for the outcome of the amazing effort put forth by my two heros….well, this photo pretty much sums it up:

We obviously hate dramatic photo ops…

Thanks for lending your camera Andre and Michele, so we could document the reason why our photodocumentation will be on hiatus..

Greenfield Lake- 1, NormAndrea- 0. Wah-wah.


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