Monday, June 8, 2015
Concan/San Antonio Vacation Day 2, Floating!
Since the river is still up, there are some places where there are huge cypress trees in the river that aren't normally an issue along the banks. The water creates quite a suction around those trees. One tube when one way around the tree, and the others went around the other side, but since we were all holding together (should have just let go immediately) and the current had really picked up in that area, we ended up separating and chaos ensued. Nick and Jason both flew off their tubes to try and grab the wayward kid, meanwhile random strangers were also piling up behind us because of this added suction and a few people were trying to help, which was making it worse. As I was floating away and couldn't do anything, I saw Kate go around the tree the wrong way, and Heather had her rope and one of the other kid's ropes. There was no pulling Kate back around. Then my tube turned around and all I could see was Nick trying to walk into the current to help but his tube was floating away, so I yelled "Grab your tube!" so he went after it. At that point I decided to jump out of my tube (mistake) and physically couldn't stop, despite my best efforts to get to the shore that was only a few feet away. But the waist deep water wasn't letting up, and somehow half of my water shoe had come off, so I ended up being stopped when I got to Nick, who had managed to get a foothold and was waiting to catch me. We were about 40 yards from the initial tree issue by now. Nick's tube headed to the bank thankfully so we grabbed it, and I turned back to see Jason's tube floating towards me, I yelled for the lady floating beside it to grab it, and she got it and pushed it towards me.
At this point Nick is already on shore and running back upstream because he had seen what happened and I (thankfully) had not. I got my tube, the cooler tube, and both Jason and Nick's tubes up on shore and headed back to everyone else. At that point Heather was holding a very upset Kate, who unbeknownst to me had managed to flip her tube in the chaos and Jason grabbed her from underneath it. So Kate is upset, Logan is hysterical, and I'm a bit numb from it all. Somewhere in between grabbing Kate and giving her to Heather, Jason also managed to run along the river bank, following Kate's tube, and dove into the river on top of it. Somehow through all of that, we didn't lose a single person or single tube. I'm not really sure how we managed but praise God, it was all ok.
It's kind of amazing how quickly everything happened. We began comparing stories of what we each saw happen to kind of throw together the events. When Nick initially jumped off his tube to grab Kate, he was literally standing right beside her although he didn't realize it, so Jason turned back to see that Heather still had the other kids. When Jason turned back around, Nick was 40 yards downstream (which is the point where I saw him) and Jason sprung to Kate to grab her. It all happened so fast! I think Nick was pretty hard on himself for being right there and not being able to grab her. In the end, everything was ok, Kate was a rockstar and made it through just fine. At this point in the float, we knew we were really close to the stopping point (literally about 5 minutes upstream) and we knew that if we didn't get both Kate and Logan back in the river they would always have an unhealthy fear of it. Respect for the river is one thing, but a crazy fear is another and we didn't want that. So we convinced them, and we adopted the one adult/one child only together float rather than a big clump of us. It worked out well and we were finished for the day. WE hadn't even had a proper lunch yet.