My friend Noreen sent me this story that she had read on Facebook. It is about an experience a man named Grant Hatcher recently had while motorcycling in Nova Scotia and since it equates in location to a frustrating story of my own, I’m reblogging it here, along with a link to my own story.
Below is a link to Grant Hatcher’s Facebook page. Read the story there if you can, then come back and read my story HERE.
If that link doesn’t work for you because you don’t belong to Facebook, read his story below:
Just had a wonderful time home in Cape Breton, but the start of the trip was certainly far from “smooth” sailing, let me tell you…
I was in a rush leaving Halifax. Didn’t get out the door until about 7pm and it gets dark around 8:30pm. I was taking my motorbike and wasn’t feeling like riding at night so I figured I’d get somewhere outside Truro, head down a rural road and find a place to camp.
After driving for an hour I pulled up to the Noell Shore, just outside Truro. It’s raining a little bit and it’s getting quite dark, so I’m a bit anxious to get my tent set up.
I find what “appears” to be a great spot! The ground is perfectly flat and grassy. I can see this muddy channel about 12 feet below where I’m setting my tent up, this must be where the tide comes in. It’d be nice to wake up next to the ocean, just relax, no big rush to get on the go the next day. Perfect!
Before I continue, it’s important to note here that when you really want something you are prone to ignore the signs of why having this something could actually be a bad thing. For example: fall in love and you may ignore all the obvious red flags this new person has because you’re all caught up in the tingle-wingles and you want that to continue. In my situation I just really wanted to set up my tent and go to sleep. Now let’s continue.
The place I choose “seems” like the perfect spot except for a couple of things.
Thing #1) The grass is long like beach grass but it’s all completely flat. “Why is all this Grass flat?” I ask myself. “Grass normally grows straight up.” So this is weird…
Thing #2) The ground is a little squishy under my boots as I walk. Also a little strange…
“But hey, it did rain a bit earlier!” I say to myself, but not enough to make it this squishy…
Thing #3) I decided to taste the grass.Yes, I tasted the grass. And… it tasted VERY salty…
Very suspicious. “That muddy channel over there is where the ocean comes in at, the grass here probably gets some ocean spray. That explains it!” I convince myself…
Now, MAYBE if it wasn’t so late, I wasn’t so tired, it wasn’t trickling rain, then I would have set up somewhere else, just in case. Maybe.
I looked around one final time. “Could the tide really come up here? It’s all grass, there’s no way.” I look around and don’t see a single piece of driftwood, not a shell or anything that the ocean tides normally bring in.
Just a bunch of weird ass, salty ass, flat grass….
So I set up my tent and climb in for the night. I was exhausted and passed out quite quickly.
All is good in the world, until….
I wake up at 4am to a due drop that falls from the top of the tent and hits me directly in the forehead. It startled me awake, but tents collect due, no biggie. I go to roll over to readjust my sleeping position and at that precise moment I realized something was not right.
Not right at all… lol
NOW… before we continue, I need to fill you in on the fact that I had just bought myself a BRAND NEW tent from MEC. In the past I’ve bought cheap tents from places like Walmart and Canadian Tire, but I do camp a fair bit so I decided to get a good one this time around. Nice and WATERPROOF… So let’s continue.
Due drop to the forehead. Readjust my body. “Wait… WTF is going on?!”
My aunt Karen used to have a waterbed back in the day and it’s the ONLY comparable sensation. It was 4am, I was still in my tent, I was dry… but I was also floating…
Did I forget to mention that I did not peg my tent down? Yeah…. I didn’t
After a moment of pure shock I INSTANTLY realize what happened. The tide came in and I am in my tent on top of the Atlantic Ocean….
I felt like Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter and The Order of the Pheonix when he finally saw Voldemort for the first time and he’s like “He’s back!” Yeah, no shit Cornelius, DIDN’T YOU SEE ALL THE SIGNS?!?
And not to mention you set your tent up on the shore of the BAY OF FUNDY where tourists come from ALL OVER THE WORLD to witness, LITERALLY, the HIGHEST TIDES ON PLANET EARTH!!!! You know, right beside the FRIGGING TIDAL BORE in Truro where the tide comes in SO FAST it makes a FRIGGING WAVE!!!!
“Grant you idiot!”
But before I can continue, we need to talk about MEC’s tents. MEC (short for Mountain Equipment Co-op), y’all make a hell of a tent! Those suckers are completely, I mean COMPLETELY, 100% waterproof. I can attest to that 💯 💯 💯
If y’all got an upcoming commercial or need a new spokesperson, I got you! I can be the Jared to your Subway, you just call my people.
Okay, on with the story.
I begin to panic for a second.
“AM I FLOATING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN RIGHT NOW?!?! LIKE AN I HALFWAY TO PEI?!?!”
Because, folks, I am literally in my tent and floating. Not a drop of water is in the tent, helluva tent, just the bit of condensation from my breath (that thankfully woke me up). Not a drop inside. Helluva tent. Helluva tent.
I use my ears and listen. “I can still hear crickets! I’m still close to shore, thank god….”
As I slowly move around I can feel myself just gently bouncing up and down on the bottom. I can tell that the water is probably about 2 and a half feet deep.
So at this point I know I’m okay. I’m still close to shore, I’m not sailing the Atlantic Ocean at night in my tent, I’m not going to die.
But I have to get out of the tent, that’s clear.
Now, please don’t forget that it’s 4am, I’m still half asleep, and even though I know I’m not going to die, this situation is still a complete mess.
Despite the fact that I have a really nice backpack in the tent that I could start to carefully pack things up in, I decide that my motorcycle helmet is my best storage device. So I put on my headlamp and gather up my phone, wallet, and boots and put them in my motorcycle helmet.
Now, have you ever sat on a pool noodle before? You know when you stratle it you sink in the middle a little bit and both ends go up in the air? Well that’s essentially what was happening to me. When I sat up I sank in the middle of the tent and my bum gently bounced on the ocean floor, while the outside of my tent floated up all around me.
Again, it’s 4am, I’m tired…. Okay okay, I don’t know why I’m trying to rationalize my poor actions, I’ve clearly already made some grand errors, AND THEY CONTINUED!
I carefully reach over and slowly unzip the tent door: Success! I slowly move towards the door to get out: Failure! The weight of my body pushed the tent door down below the level of the water…
It was honestly like a scene from a movie…
The tent instantly, I mean INSTANTLY, “WHOOSH!”, fills up with the Atlantic Ocean.
My pillow was floating
My comforter was floating
My sleeping pad was floating
My leather jacket was floating
I stumble back from the door and trip over something floating “Oh, it’s my back pack… with all my clean clothes and other things.” Also dropped my boots and wallet when I tripped…
EVERYTHING, except my helmet and phone, are floating in thy high ocean water inside my tent. At 4am…
All I could do was watch in shock as things just went from bad to worse. I was like a baby who shits itself and rolls around in it and there’s nothing you can do.
It’s a complete shit show folks! We’re full on in it now! Did I plan on swimming in the Atlantic Ocean that night? Nope! Very unplanned, but there I was….
I finally manage to climb out of my tent, literally dumbfounded, and begin to wade myself to shore, dragging my tent behind me. Oh did I mention I was naked? Yeah, I sleep naked.
I salvage what I could from the mess of my things and haul my tent up to the side of the road.
Now what? I’m soaked to the bone and everything I own is soaked. I decide I’m going to head to Truro and get the first hotel I can find, I don’t even care.
I put on a pare of pants from my back pack, it’s all soaked. I begin to start packing up my tent and I see something.
“What is that? Headlights?”
At first I think “I’m saved!”
But then look around and take in myself and my setting and I think “I CAN’T BE SEEN LIKE THIS!!!!” So I grab my tent and literally dive and hide in the bushes 🤣
Car drives by.
WOO! Thank god!
I get everything packed up and Google map Truro. It’s 45 mins away, the side roads from Noelle Shore are not at all straight forward.
Although I was very thankful to finish my unplanned swim, those 45 mins made up for the absolute coldest, wettest, and WORST drive of my life… on a motorcycle!
By this time I was already beginning to laugh in my head a bit about the absolute absurdity of my experience, but I literally had to go into a deep state of meditation, using different breathing techniques and whatnot, just to keep myself warm and sane as I made the drive to Truro.
I finally role up at the Comfort Inn in Truro at about 5:30am.
“I need a warm place to sleep.” I say.
The front desk clerk looks me over. He is clearly curious and intrigued as to why I am there at this time in the morning and why I look so damp. Thankfully he doesn’t ask what happened…
“You know you have to check out at 11am?” he asks.
“Great.” I respond.
“That’ll be $150.” he says.
Completely defeated by this point I have no other options. This is where I’m sleeping tonight (but why so expensive Comfort Inn Truro?).
I take a warm shower, and let me tell you folks: HEAVEN! It was the best thing ever. I wrang all my clothes out in the tub and hung em up all around hotel room and then had the best 4 hour sleep OF MY LiFe. Woke up with just enough time to try to dry everything out with the hair dryer, didn’t really work…
So yea, the start of my Cape Breton trip was certainly not “smooth” sailing, just very “unplanned” sailing… haaaa ha…
Very happy I didn’t die, because let’s be real, people have drowned in shallower water. Thank GOODNESS I bought a nice tent from MEC. Do y’all make boats? If so I’m sure they work great!
HERE is my own story that occurred when I set out in a rental car from Halifax airport late at night, not having any idea where I was going, and ended up spending the night near the same spot that he describes some time past midnight, not in equal duress, but in duress nonetheless.