I have spent rather more time in churches than I am accustomed to, so today I went to a "house" of worship I'm more comfortable in. I went to Bø Elva with the Bergen dorm mate and the school paddling club. When Bergen and I decided to join the trip we thought it would be a pleasant paddle down the river in canoes. Instead, I got baptised in Norway learning to do eskimo rolls. The club only had one spare wetsuit, so I did it in my black pants and a t-shirt. Consider, that in Gvarv (the closest city to Bø that I could find on weatherunderground) the high today was 13 (55 F). The river was COLD! I loved it anyway. Bergen had a harder time of it. She's afraid of being submerged in water. I, however, have a fear of down. This was a problem for me when I was younger, and would happily climb up the lighthouses on the Outer Banks and look out over the ocean and straight down to the beach, but then couldn't get back down the narrow stairs.
Yes, I certainly did have my moments of panic, but that just meant bailing from the kayak. I only hit my head on the boat, and that was just once. I certainly didn't perfect my technique for righting my boat today, perhaps in part because I was slowly freezing, but I did get comfortable keeping my head underwater. Cold, cold water. But very clean. So are my sinuses now. Not that I inhaled any water, I just didn't have a nose clip to keep the river out. I also appreciated having short hair.