On August 6, 2017, we took off for a day trip on the river. In hindsight, we should have taken it as a sign when we drove away from the service station and Dave had the tailgate down on the truck. My dry bag bounced out onto the ground. I stopped behind it and rescued it and caught up with him and we went on our way.
We dropped one vehicle off at our disembark location, then drove down the river and set sail. The dog was relieved to finally be in the river. It was very overcast due to all the forest fires in adjoining states. The river was still very high and flowing rapidly, and there was lots of wildlife and waterfowl.
As we floated down the river, I joked that there were so many birds of prey that if something were to happen to us the birds would have our bones picked clean before anyone knew we were missing (Nick and Jamie were out of town).
Shortly after we entered the actual refuge, we hit some gnarly rapids. The dog was getting worn out by then so Dave stood up to pull her into the canoe. He grabbed hold of the bimini top to balance himself. It all happened in slow motion. I saw the canoe tipping, held my camera above my head and tried to keep it out of water (I didn’t) and went in.
After we went in, I had an asthma attack. My inhalers were tucked neatly in the dry bag floating underneath the capsized canoe. Dave held onto the canoe for a bit trying to pull it to shore. I was having trouble just getting my inflatable vest inflated and getting myself to shore. He finally gave up and let go. I had my cell phone in a dry box on my person and so did hubby, so neither of those were harmed. His wallet was in his pocket and went down the river.
We started walking down the river. Some fishermen who had seen the canoe float by saw us and told us to walk back the other direction. We walked about a mile and they drove around the river to a crossing and took us back to our truck. We went into town and got new drivers’ licenses and cancelled our credit cards.
A week later, a kayaker found our canoe on a sand bank and we were able to get it back. The drinks in the pelican ice chest were still cold, we lost an oar and the motor, which another fisherman found a couple of days later.
Unfortunately, whether it was due to a bad seal or a leak in the bag due to it being dropped out of the truck at the start of the trip or just the fact that it had been submerged for 3 days, the backup camera in the dry bag was also damaged beyond repair. I was able to recover my wallet (which had some cash in it, but the credit cards and license were useless by then). The SD cards that I had in a Pelican box in the camera bag were all undamaged, actually dry. The extra batteries that I had in the camera bag were damaged.
These are the photos that I took before the capsize.
This is what a camera looks like after being submerged for 3 days.