About halfway through the float, we were feeling pretty proud that Caroline was doing so well, not fussing. We found an abandoned sand bucket on the bank and let C play with it while we floated. She'd fill it from the river and dump it in the boat. Spence suggested she fill it on one side of the boat and dump it out on the other side, instead of in the boat. That worked -- exactly once. When she went to dump it, she, the bucket and the water went end over end right into the river. She did a little somersault under the water and, like a champ, popped to the surface on her back. Before she really understood what happened, I grabbed the loop on her life jacket and plucked the little 25-pound fish out of the water. She cried for about 30 seconds, cuddled in my safe, dry lap for about 2 minutes and was back on her way again.
The rest of the trip she reminded herself repeatedly, "Car-line, be careful." She sat in the bow and helped Dad reel in some nice bass and a redeye or two, which would have made a tasty dinner. We threw them all back, except for one. She was a keeper.
On another happy note, another Bethany family received their referral of a pre-school boy!