My family and I got a chance to go canoing today. What an adventure. It didn't quite turn out as we expected. In the end we all had fun though.
My wife suggested we try canoing at the local park. It looked fun and we actually had a day when all of my family was together. To start the day we got some much needed rain. We were kinda worried that we would not be able to go because of the rain. The rain cleared up just after church and I checked the NWS and told my wife that we would not get wet. Big mistake.
We arrived at the livery and rented two canoes. My wife, 14yr old and 4yr old daughters took one canoe and I took the other with my 6yr old and 3yr old sons. Things started out pretty hectic right away. The girls nosed their canoe right into the bank of the creek right away just a few feet downstream. My wife and 14yr old were not communicating very well and they were already getting frustrated. My 3yr old was pretty scared too. He is a special needs child and was really not cool with the boat rolling side to side. He kept close to me the whole trip. My 6yr old was great the whole trip. We had to wait quite a few times in the first 10 min of the trip for the girls so as not to run over them.
We eventually got a little sideways and the girls were getting a little distance ahead of us. We lost sight of their canoe as it rounded on of the curves. I still do not know exactly what happened, but just minutes later we turned around a corner of the creek and all of the girls were standing in the creek crying and screaming. Their canoe had capsized! They were all OK, but it looked like they went in head first. They were drenched from head to toe. I caught up with them and tried to get out and help get the water out of the canoe. I though I had gotten most of the water out of the other canoe so that my wife could get it to the landing by herself. I loaded up all of the kids into my canoe and we headed out. My wife said she would be OK.
The kids and I soon lost sight of the other boat and continued downstream. There were quite a few technical parts of the creek left ahead and was quietly glad I had the kids instead of my wife. We got stuck a couple of times because the river was very low from the lack of rain this year. My 14yr old was quite helpful though. The kids wanted to know if we should wait for mommy and see if she would catch up with us. I told them not to worry and that mommy would be OK. When we finally saw a sign showing the landing was just ahead, we got a call from my wife. She said she could not even use the canoe because it was too full of water. She just dragged it to shore and had a park ranger take her to the other end of the creek to meet us. Every one was safe in the end and we have quite a story to remember about our first family canoe trip. My wife want to try again without the kids this time. We will see. Maybe next year.
I think we accomplished what we wanted to though. Regardless of how crazy a trip it was. We had a family day. I would not have changed a thing.
EDIT: I almost forgot about the main tragedy of the day. My daughters new Kodak Digital camera got fried. I know she should not have brought it. I should have told her not to. Even though she is 14 she still needs her dad to tell her to do or not to do things.