Of Fate And Destiny

 One of the definitions in the Webster's Dictionary defines fate as "inevitable destiny or necessity" while destiny is defined as "the purpose or end to which any person or thing is appointed: unavoidable fate".  It was perhaps both of these things that took our fishing destination to Cinnemousun Narrows on Shuswap Lake on the 8th of May 2010 or, maybe just dumb blind luck!  I'm not much of a religious kinda guy (I can hear the laughs from my fishing buddies right now!) but I do have a belief that there is a reason for things that happen, be they good or bad.  I have no idea 99.99% of the time what the reason might be but, sometimes that reason show's itself full and clear to reaffirm my beliefs.

 I headed up to the Narrows to try my hand at fishing, something I don't do nearly enough (more laughs!), fishing I mean.  I got started bright and early and over the period of a couple of hours boated some very nice Lake Trout and lost one bigger than the boat!  Well, at least that's what it felt like.  The day was sunny, very little wind and, with some friends coming up in their boat a nice shore lunch and BS was all in order.  Tom and his son Jack (from Calgary), along with their buddy Tony (from Sicamous) showed up around 1030 or so, Tony doesn't like to get up early so delayed poor Jack's fishing day!  Jack by the way is a very typical almost 6 year old, usually to busy eating to fish but, does still catch fish!  Thanks to Jack's incredibly good appetite, his colon was in need of purging so Tom got hold of me on the VHF and informed me about the anticipated pit stop!  By this time it was getting near lunch time so I figured we may as well do our lunch/BS break at the same time as Jack's pit stop.

We pulled into the dock on the north shore of the Narrows, nice quite spot, just beware of mice running up your ropes should you moor there overnight!  Jack "did his thing" and we were all on the dock enjoying a sandwich and lots of BS when we heard what sounded like screams for help.  We looked around the immediate area but saw nothing but still heard the screams.  Looking out into the Seymour Arm area there was a red boat, it looked like they were fishing, and my first thought was that maybe someone fell overboard.  So, I grabbed my 10x hunting binos and scanned the area behind the boat, still nothing.  The screams continued, and our next thoughts was that some kids were screwing around and trying to get our attention.  When that fishing boat finally cleared the view of the channel I again glassed it and this time, spotted what looked like 4 heads bobbing in the water!

We got the Harbercraft quickly launched and I blasted over to where the "heads" were, and low and behold, there were four young boys in the water, offering up great shouts of relief that they were saved!  Needless to say every one of them was freezing from the 48F water.  They were lucky that it was sunny and warm out and that there were no waves, I doubt if they had 10 minutes left in them to keep swimming.  The story they related to me, once on board, was that the one canoe capsized with two boys in it and, when those two tried to board the second canoe it too capsized.  I think there was more to their story than it just flipped over, I'm thinking they were goofing around and tipped it over but whatever, they were safe and sound now.  To make matters worse, once they were all in the water they decided to swim to shore, not realizing just how far off any shore they really were.  Oh ya, remember that article I did on how important it is to have a boarding platform on your boat?  That one I installed last year paid for itself a 100 times over when getting these 4 on board quickly and safely.

The unbelievable part of all of this is, that none of the boys were wearing life jackets and there weren't even any on board the canoes!  Secondly, they left the canoes which, even though submerged, were still floating.  I asked the boys where they had come from and it was indeed from the Boy Scout Camp at Ruckel Pt., further stating that they were with the 4-H Club and were going to be councillor/supervisors at the camp this summer!  Good grief!  Like Tom said after this near disaster, that's really NOT where I'd want my kid to be going to camp!  So, with Tom and crew's help we managed to collect all the paddles and shoes and towed the canoes back to the camp, where the next piece of the "unbelievable" part continues.

Once I got on shore I was approached by several other kids who were of course making fun of the drenched rats!  Surprisingly enough, none of the boys were laughing!  I asked one of the young girls as to who their supervisor was and she said she was!  I wasn't really satisfied with that, especially in view of the fact that there was a "older" lady not 100' from me but not approaching me.  I again asked the girl the same question and she said it was "Sharon" but that she didn't know where she was. Turned out it was in fact the lady standing just up the hill from us, and she did finally come down and talk to me.

I told her of the ordeal, her response was to scold the boys and then tell me she didn't know they went out as she was up at the camp cooking, whatever!  I informed her of what her responsibility was with respect to these children and the fact that I also saw 3 girls out in a canoe earlier in the morning and they too did not have life jackets on!  I must say that I was not impressed with what appeared to be her lack of concern or that of the joking girls that were there.  None of them realized that these four boys could all have very easily drown, and no one at the camp would even have known where to start looking.  I'm not going to slam the 4-H Club, I have seen the work they do with kids and the community and it is a much needed Club.  I do however question why there would only be one adult there and also why was there absolutely no supervision of them.  There's not much point of ranting on about it, suffice to say it was a happy outcome fort the boys.  I did send letters to the local RCMP and to the main office of the 4-H Club where hopefully something will be done about this.

So where does the fate and destiny come into play? Well, the chances of me going up to the Narrows is about 1 in 20.  That's 1 time out of 20 on the lake that I usually fish up there.  Factor in that Tom and crew were also along on this trip and odds go up.  Now factor in that Jack had to have a colon break about a half hour sooner than we were intending on going for lunch.  Had we not gone when we did we never would have heard the screams from the boys.  Its strange how these things work out, there's no explaining them, its just how things happen sometimes.  For those four boys, it seems that it wasn't their fate to be laying on the bottom of the lake,  but it was our destiny to be in the right place at the right time, almost sounds like a good day of fishing!  Live long and prosper boys, sometimes you only get one spin on The Wheel Of Life!                      Sherm