I love sailing. I even went to sailing camp growing up. And while a few stories from those experiences are a bit too deep and dramatic for my taste, there is the excellent tale of the Apollo.
The Apollo was a wonderful, ten-person sailboat. Just the spend a day on the lake kind, not the rich people I have a kitchen kind. But since the Apollo was so big and expensive, only the most experienced and responsible sailors at camp were allowed to take it out. Somehow, miraculously, I wolfed myself in that category.
I had it all planned out. I handpicked whom I thought I would be able to tolerate for a few hours with, and we headed down to the shiny, beautiful Apollo, our hearts set on an afternoon of fun.
It was all going beautifully. I was having fun pretending I was sailing a pirate ship. My friends were having fun going really fast. And then suddenly we weren’t going really fast. Then we weren’t going anywhere at all. We were sinking! A ten person boat in a lake, and we were sinking!
I jumped out and groped the bottom of the boat to find the problem. There was no plug. That whole “I’m here to help you drain any water that accidentally gets in your boat” plug was missing. Water was just flooding into the bottom of the boat, and there was nothing we could do.
I made everyone jump out, and together we grabbed the tie line and tried to swim the boat back. But we were too far out, and the boat was too waterlogged and heavy. We watched the beautiful and terribly ironically named Apollo sink slowly and sadly to the bottom of the lake. When she was all the way down, we could just barely make out the top of her mast under the water.
Eventually, the camp counselors noticed that they could no longer see our boat and came out to rescue us. They didn’t believe that the Apollo had sunk, though I don’t know what they thought we had done with it, until we pointed out the mast way down deep. We got back to shore, and since it wasn’t our fault, we didn’t even have dessert privileges revoked. And for the rest of the week, the Apollo sat at the bottom of the lake.
I like to think that they eventually got the poor boat back up, but for all I know she’s become the stuff of camp legend. The sunken boat at the bottom of the lake, awaiting the souls of misbehaved campers.