Monday, 6 February 2012

An unlikely series of events ...

Did you know that it is *really* hard, OK damn near impossible, to dry books once they are soaked? 

Well I do, as I just had to bite the bullet at lunch and go and face up to the librarian at the State Library with two damp, twisted, mouldy books and confess my sins ...

You see, as I sort of skimmed over in an ealier blog I had an unfortunate accident involving two library books and water, and thinking over it on my way back from the library, I'm figuring that I was pretty unlucky for everything to happen just as it did.

It started when packing for the Piemen River trip. Thinking we had five days on the West Coast, I packed two library books (one I was almost finished and therefore a spare) to read in case we got trapped in the tents by bad weather, a quite likely event.

I was extra careful - I  wrapped them up in plastic bags, and then placed them inside their own dry bag and then I further placed them on top of other bags in my rear hatch so that if the hatch somehow got flooded (something that had never happened to me), they would be the last to get wet.

Then, as I was stuffing the last few things in my kayak beside the river, I realised I had a few loose items, so thinking I wouldn't need them until I got to camp that night I unrolled my book dry bag (which of course was on top) and placed them in there, carefully resealing the dry bag.  All good.

Then we had lunch, and of course I needed the pocket-knife which I had put in my dry bag, so I grabbed it  out, and being hounded by flies and knowing I'd be back to put everything away in 10 mintes, I left the dry bag open. Yep, this is where things started going wrong.

The flies were getting increasingly annoying, so to get away from them we all stood out in the river a bit whislt eating out lunch and that's when we decided that the water was really quite warm and a swim would be nice, so we dove into deeper waters and swam out.  About 20 metres off shore we then further decided "Hey, we've come this far, why not just swim across the river to Lovers Falls?".  So we did, except about two thrids the way across a powerboat suddenly came steaming down the river towards us. 

Pretty sure that it wouldn't be expecting three swimmers in the river, we jumped up and down to make sure he saw us, and to his credit as soon as he did, he swerved towards the other bank and slowed down to go past.

Graeme, who was still with the kayaks, later reported that as the boat swerved towards the banks the wash from his passing came up over the kayaks so, he quickly sealed our hatches shut.  I didn't register the importance of this at the time.

What I do recall is getting back to the boats, we were all keen to get going, so I threw my lunch stuff in the front hatch, quickly checked the rear hatch was closed and took off.  Completely unaware that my back hatch had about an inch of water in the bottom of it, and my dry bag with my library books was lying open at the bottom ...

This gave the water 2 or 3 hours to seep into my books and the result was as it was - the books were soaked, and despite days drying them in various different ways, I eventually gave up and went and accepted my penalty ... which was exactly $76.18.

At least the librarian was nice to me and obviously appreciative of my honesty.  Annoying thing is, I never actually got to read that second book.


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