Deception River 

A dory is a small row boat used by fishermen. 

I knew we were in trouble when I couldn’t get Dexter to sit down as he tried to untangle the net, rocking the dory; taking on river water.

My warning, ” We’re going to sink if you don’t sit down . ” Seemed to fall on deaf ears. 

I remembered Harold’s wise words. ” If you think you’re going under, remove your rubber boots or you will drown.”

I was sitting in my socks in the  middle of the river, bailing water with a rubber boot as the dory disappeared beneath me.

We had reached the tipping point. 

The Atlantic Ocean water is cold in late October and adds weight to sweaters and wool.

I heard Dexter splashing, however my main focus early on,  was to not get tangled up in the net. When I was sure I was clear I decided to allow my body time to recover for another push to shore. This required holding my breath and allowing myself to sink to the bottom Deception River.

It was here in the estuary with approximately 10 feet of the Atlantic Ocean over my head that I realized that it had been perhaps decades since I had prayed and this might be an opportune time to return to the practice. The prayer went something like this. 

“Dear God… If you get me out of this; I will never drink again. ”

I pushed off the river bottom and swam towards shore in the darkness. I remembered Perry’s warnings, ” Don’t panic… to panic is death.” I sank, stayed calm, repeated and reached dry land .

Dexter yelled from the opposite shore. 

I sat for a moment cold and grateful to be alive and thought to myself… If I don’t get out of here I’m going to die.

Dennis Mantin 

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