Here's a little story about courage, determination and friends facing the elements of nature.
So what happened?
On a Thursday in July the sun was shining ever so bright with a few clouds in the sky and a nice breeze. With these perfect canal swimming conditions my friends in Amsterdam obviously went out to do some proper bridge diving. It so happened to be that Gravett had my beloved hand-made Durke's longboard which Tawil was using to practice his longboard skills right next to the water. Sadly for Tawil, my longboard got a ming of its own and decided to take a dive himself. He (my board) clipped Tawil's foot which resulted in a obstacle free six-stride run up right into the 9 meters deep canals....
Briefly after Tawil's loud yell my longboard was well air born and on his way to Davy Jones's Locker (simple because he forgot he had two heavy aluminum wheel trucks that would drag him down to the bottom in an instant).
As soon as the sound of Tawil's voice was followed by a plunge of the longboard Gravett knew there was trouble and jumped up and ran to the water. It didn't take much before he knew what was going on and he took a dive trying to save the lost soul. Without any luck the boys gave up after exhausting their lungs under the water' surface. It was to deep and dark to spot anything but water and dirt.
It goes without saying that I couldn't rest for a minute before attempting this pointless mission myself. Therefore, the next day, Gravett and I thought of a plan of building our own hook and try to fish that longboard out of the water. Step one was to build a DIY deep water grappling hook combining a heavy hamer with four large hooks using a 35m nylon rope. Step two was to get to the location and start scraping the bottom of the canals with our DIY fishing hook. Shortly after we started, the rain came pouring down on us but there was no way we could give up now. By this time Tawil arrived to support us.
Did it work?
After 30 minutes of scraping the bottom of the canal with our hook I found what seemed to feel like a metal sheet. So I tried many different ways to hook onto this undefined item. Whatever it was, it was exactly on the spot where the longboard actually dived into the water so my hopes were high! After jumping on a fastened boat to try grabbing the item from a different angle I felt that the hook was fixed on the item! So by lifting up the item inch for inch I managed to lift it off the bottom of the canal and it was slowly on its way to the surface. At this time I was saying ‘guys, I think I have something here, I definitely have something here!!’ and the guys came near to see what it was. The first thing we saw was the orange tip of the hamer , and shortly after that the nose and two wheels appeared from the darkened water! By this time all three of us were screaming out of disbelieve "NO WAAAY!!”. As careful as I could I lifted the board out from the water and just hugged the shit out of that smelly board of mine. I’m not the finest fisherman out there, but this was one hell of a catch if you ask me.