Trekking around the lake.

Just because a paddle isn’t all smiles doesn’t mean it isn’t a memorable one, nor does it mean it won’t have a happy ending! This paddling story comes from Ari Leach of Maine and touches on a dreaded subject for paddlers: losing things on the water. Lesson learned, leave those valuables at home or secure them in a dry box…enjoy!

My first ever paddle ended up with my partner and I getting caught in the middle of a Maine lake during a freak lightning storm. We were both terrified and had to fight the waves to get back to shore. Once we finally made it to shore, packed up the boats, and drove our soaked-selves home, I realized that somewhere along the way I had lost my wedding band. I was sure it had slipped off of my prune-like finger as we fought our way to land, and would sit on the lake bottom for all eternity. I had already accepted that fact that I would never see it again, and made arrangements to purchase a replacement the following week.

Lounging, prior to the storm.

A few days later, I went to the post office to check the mail, only to find a bright pink Post-it note sitting in the box. I pulled it out, slowly realizing that it was rolled into a tiny scroll and held together by my wedding band! My partner had rented a metal detector, gone back to the beach the following day in the still-pouring rain, scoured the beach for several hours, and eventually found my ring! I was so shocked that I started to cry, right there in the post office. I slipped the band from around the Post-it and onto my finger. It may not have been the best kayaking adventure, and certainly not one that I would care to repeat, but it was absolutely the most memorable paddle of my life.