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A "Fish Tale"

I had just spent 7 days exploring the Broken Group Islands with the 4 others in my group and was making the crossing from Gilbert to the docks a Seachart. I was sad to be leaving because it was such a great experience but glad to be getting to the dock and cleaned up for the trip home.

We were all docking and unpacking, ready to get out of our paddling gear, shower, put on some clean clothes and enjoy a cold beer while waiting for the Lady Rose to pick us up for the return trip home. Bob Cox was kneeling and unloading his canoe on one side of me and John Alexander was on the other side squaring away his gear. I stood between them on the edge of the dock taking in the scenery while taking off my paddling gloves. You know, it's a simple thing taking off a glove, done almost without any thought behind it what so ever. Just a simple pull and off it comes. Well for you maybe, but this time not for me. As I slipped off my paddling glove not only did the glove come off but along with it, off shot my wedding ring. I was slipping the glove off my left hand and somehow it forced off my gold ring and launched it into the air and "ker-plop" into the bay. I shouted what was to be the first of many expletives as I watched the ring, in the cold clear Canadian water, sink 8 to 10 feet to the bottom and luckily remained visible.

Bob looked as I pointed to the bottom and caught sight of it while I was starting to explain what just happened. Then out of nowhere a large piling perch or some such fish thinking this shiny object was a tasty morsel swam out from under the shadows of the dock, scooped up my ring in its mouth and started to swim away as Bob and I watched and I yelled out another long set of expletives. Seconds seemed like minutes as the fish lazily swam a few feet away and then to my extreme joy, spit it out. More expletives this time, but happy ones as the ring was still visible and I was somewhat relieved.

With all the shooting John Alexander followed what was happening as it unfolded. He still had on his Polartec paddling / diving suit and offered to free dive for it. I laid down and held my paddle by the end of the blade and stretching out as far as I could and pointed to the ring with it so John could follow it down, locate it and snatch it up. Without the aid of mask or fins John made a dive but came up empty handed. The attempt had stirred up some silt and we had to let it settle and the ring slowly came back into view. On his second attempt up he came all smiles with the ring in his had. Was I ever relieved for now comes the "Life Saving" part.

Any of you who are married or have a significant other and wear a ring signifying the bond will understand that this was a near death experience as in...... Honey...Honest I was off kayaking with 4 guys in the wilderness and really a fish ate my wedding ring, Honest! Compound that with the fact I married to a red-head and well, Thanks John for saving my life and to Bob for witnessing it all so it wasn't just another fish story.

Submitted by Terry Gowler, Mount Vernon, WA

For more great stories: See the Archive!


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