Kind of a Christmas miracle

Bob Bang and I went deer hunting this morning.  It was in the teens and cold but not much wind.  When we launched the boat, the engine did not want to start.  Finally, I kept cranking longer than I had been doing and it finally caught and ran smoothly. We headed down the channel and it was pretty flat.  As we turned the corner and got across Stephens Passage, the waves picked up with the winds coming right out of the Taku River.  That explained the 20 mph wind reading at Pt Bishop and the calm reading at Marmion Pt.  Freezing spray coated the port side of the boat but I could see out of my starbard window.  When we got to our spot, it was well protected and the tide was flooding all morning – so perfect for throwing out the anchor at the beach, tying a line to the anchor and running the line up the beach to the trees for an easy retrieval later. We headed into the woods.  I thought we’d try to stay in the woods and skirt the muskegs.  We saw tracks but no deer.  As we worked our way up the slope, I stepped into a little depression.  I heard the ice crack and I slowly sank.  I thought it would just be up to my calf or something.  And then I was in over my waist.   As I tried to climb out, I broke more unseen ice under the snow and was floundering.  Luckily, Bob was right there and was able to lend a hand.  Even then, it was a struggle to get up out of this tiny pond.  I immediately thought:  I wonder if I could have gotten out of this if Bob wasn’t here, and would have just frozen in.     There wasn’t much to do then.  Start back to the boat and keep moving.  I had fleece on so it didn’t retain much water.  The only thing cold was my feet in my xtratuffs.  It didn’t take us all too long to get back to the beach, and luckily the anchor came right in by the line without hanging up, and I was feeling okay and not hypothermic.  I had extra clothes but no extra socks- those are going into the boat today before I put the boat away.   The fire was still going in the woodstove when I got home.  I loaded it, undressed, and right into a hot shower.  No worse for wear.