The Day I Fell In At Canyon Lake, AZ 12/10/17
I guess we didn’t learn anything from our last windy day on the lake because, like fools, we went back out to Canyon Lake on a windy day, only this day the winds were stronger. We could see the white caps on the water as we were driving in, but figured we’d driven all the way there why not paddle for a bit? We launched at our usual place, Boulder Creek, and started paddling towards an area we thought might be protected from the wind because of the high canyon walls. It was a struggle in the open water, but once we got there it was a little bit better. We paddled until the end of the canyon and then headed back out, it was a short paddle so the husband decided we should do it again, “for exercise” he said. Well as we went in the second time, a gust of wind came up behind me, pushing me a bit, which would have been nice only I was already coming in a little fast and had to make a tight turn to the left, didn't have enough room for the turn and BOOM! I hit the canyon wall and went right in. I have never felt so cold in my life. I felt like my insides seized up and I couldn’t breathe. Somehow I managed to keep my head above water so my head was dry. As I was trying to climb back on my board, my cell phone waterproof holder (a handy-dandy thing that hangs from your neck to about your waist) was preventing my from getting up on the board, it was catching on the board as I was trying to climb up. I thought I was going to die, but then realized I was fine and just needed to get on my board. I think those were the longest 3 minutes of my life. After I finally got back on my board (it wasn’t a pretty site to see my struggle, funny, but not pretty). Thank goodness I had a set of dry clothes in the dry bag, it was COLD paddling back, it could have been worse.
I learned several things that day - 1) Don’t have anything on that can catch on your board as you are trying to get onto it 2) Always have an extra set of clothes in the dry bag 3)Always have your leash on, I was glad I had mine that day because my board could have easily gotten away from me 4) Don’t listen to the husband when he wants to continue paddling on a very windy day and you are still a newbie.