I observed two couples ---one couple in each four-wheeler. Caretaker B, piloting the first machine, was promptly at my side, with rope in hand, with all the right questions, in all the right order: “Is anybody injured’ “How many people are involved?” “Is there anybody else downstream?”
“Listen,” he said, “We’re going to get her, and all your gear, including the raft, off the rock right now. Tonight.”
“Well, I appreciate your ambition, but..”
“Look. We have heavy equipment. A backhoe. Come-alongs. Etc.”
I interrupted, “Getting the boat off the rock means getting me with a good line back onto the raft. ---Not going to happen under darkness! Now that you are here, I am going to reprioritize, and get her off the rock. That’s enough. Leave the gear. The rest can wait until morning. That boat, and that gear, are going nowhere tonight.” He accepted.
I then reminded The First Mate, via hand signals and gestures, to hold the throw bag to her chest, with the line draped over her left shoulder, and to slide into the current, belly up, and to keep her face skyward.
He interjected: “What?” “You are going to have her jump into the river just holding on to a rope?”
“Yes”, I said.
“No. No. No. She has to be tied to the rope!”
So began a debate/argument between Caretaker B and me that lasted several precious minutes.
He declared, “Listen. We own both sides of the river ---hence, we own that rock! You are on our property, trespassing essentially, and I am not about to let you do that! She must be tied to the rope.“
I yelled, “I’ve done this dozens of times. This is how it must be done. This is really treacherous water. She must be free to let go of the rope. To be fixed to it could be deadly. Please!”
Finally, after quite a battle, he conceded. “Since you are “the expert”, we’ll do it your way.”
By then, Caretaker B, was at our side as well. He had apparently driven the two female companions back to the lodges to prepare for our arrival and he had returned.
So, on signal, The First Mate jumped into the river. I had her on a pendulum to shore in less than half the distance it had taken me to swim it. Caretaker A was right there to help her out of the current. We two piled into the back of the four-wheeler, with them in front, and they whisked us off to safety. I learned that this was a fishing lodge, and that they had no guests due to the high water/poor fishing. There were multiple cabins on the premises.
True sanctuary after tremendous peril is heavenly. In this case, a gorgeous, huge cabin with a large slate patio, and a triple sized sunken slate hot tub. We stripped down and clamoured into the tub. They brought us black coffee and whisky. The caretaker’s wives took our clothes away to tumble dry. The two caretakers retreated. We were left to bask in the bubbling hot water and to consider our fortune. ---All grins and giggles and sighs. We were elated to be alive and safe, unequivocally.