Thursday, 24 April 2014


Tuesday morning I spent a few moments believing I might drown. I was rowing a single in less-than-pristine conditions, and circumstances (including my own mediocre blade work) conspired to flip me over at the far end of the lake, with no one around to help. Holding on to one rigger, I got myself and my vessel over to a nearby wooden platform where geese usually hang out and set about hauling myself up — all the while contemplating the possibility of an underwater demise. I can swim, but my experience in chilly, choppy water is pretty much nonexistent.*

Dexter Lake, Oregon (2009)

Burnaby Lake Dock (2011)

Weirdly, I didn't panic — my thinking was closer to Shit, this'll really, really suck if I can't get up here — and fortunately my blood sugar was nowhere near tanking (if anything, adrenalin had jacked it up). Using the upside-down boat for leverage, I eventually landed myself on the platform. Shortly after, Larry the Laser came along in his single, saw I needed help, and beamed back in pursuit of a safety boat.

I sat for a few more minutes, taking in the misty marshes at the edge of the lake, the noisy morning traffic of water birds, the blue-grey coast mountains. The local bald eagle circled its nest. Then coaches Ben and Cinda rode up on their motorized stallions, and, having determined that I wasn't in distress, turned my shell over and suggested that the best thing to do was to get right back in.

It wasn't the easiest 2 km back to the dock, but I'm happy I took their advice. I don't want to be afraid of water ... especially that water.**

Which brings me to the star of this post — and, arguably, of life on Earth: WATER!

Nature's Tech Fabrics: breathable & waterproof!

When you live in a rainforest, with buckets of water falling throughout the year and lushness everywhere, it can be hard to treat the stuff as a precious resource in need of protection. But it is.


Well-hydrated plants are what I think of — enviously — when my blood sugar is really high, and I am, as a consequence, really dehydrated. Drinking water is an obvious and necessary treatment for hyperglycemia, and yet it it used to puzzle me a bit that the prescribed order of operations is to drink water first, then take extra insulin. Taking a shot or pressing a couple of pump buttons takes no time at all, and insulin takes a while to have an effect in the body. Shouldn't the correction dose come first — I always wondered — then the water guzzling? But then I figured out that, in treatment terms, dehydration is a much more urgent problem than hyperglycemia. Yep. Human bodies need water ...

 ... and not just to look at and play in!

Cartographic Algae, Point Grey

The Big Swim!

This is Kits Pool, being scrubbed for the new season, which begins Victoria Day weekend (May 17). It's 137m long and open to the public. The water is mildly chlorinated, heated, and salty. It's a swimmer's paradise, and it's located three short blocks from our new digs.

Tuesday's adventures aside, I haven't done a lot of swimming over the past few years — partly because of rowing, partly because I was, until last year, using a non-waterproof insulin pump, and the idea of being disconnected (not to mention having my $6,000 device secured in a 25¢ locker) for over an hour didn't thrill me. Now that I'm back on shots (and a bit less fanatical about rowing), I'm psyched to get back in the drink!

"Out, damned spot!"

(in honour of the Bard's 450th birthday, yesterday)

Coastal Accretion

Easter Morning Baptism

I wish we'd arrived in time for the ocean immersions. Most of the people gathered above were observers. The newly baptized (older teenagers, mainly) had already dashed off, wrapped in towels, on their way to the public change rooms — which they discovered to be locked. Oh, well. They looked like robust kids, and they were having a good time. May they remain so tolerant and put their Christianity to good use!


Paul and I had the pleasure of witnessing Freddie's first joyous encounter with the ocean, when he was a little puppy and still living with his trainer, Shari. Here's a short video of the experience (filming credit to Shari), featuring Freddie, his sister Daisy, and their cousin Boomer (another service dog in training).

Water, water, all around ...

Coastal Erosion

Now that we are the proud occupants of a west-coast home with a BALCONY, it is only right that we make an attempt to grow some food — beginning, rather unambitiously, with herbs. Here is Freddie, hanging out in the basement of Kitchen Corner while I choose pots. Oh, and, of course, those plants will need water. :)

To wrap up, I have a link for you! Who woulda thought there'd be TWO Heather Burts blogging about walking/hiking with their dogs ... but there are! Heather Burt #2 (I'm only calling her that 'cause I'm older!) is in Wisconsin, where she does very groovy-sounding hikes with her groovy-looking dog, Charlie. Here's a recent post from Hiking With Heather, in which Heather and Charlie take to the water (well, Charlie does anyway!) on the Ice Age Trail.

That's it ... thanks for stopping by!

Keep your head above water and stay hydrated!

*I also have a waist belt PFD, but they're actually kind of difficult to deploy successfully once you're in the water!

**That said, it's now been two days since I flipped, and I gotta say that if hitching a ride back could have lessened the day-after impact (crashing exhaustion + intermittent nausea), it would have been worth a bit of back-in-the-saddle fear!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking! I'm enjoying your adventures too - so glad to connect!


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