Read part I here and part II here.

Dedication for this work goes to Doctor Taylor Mac; a friend, and mentor

I counted: “One thousand one, one thousand two …” All paratroopers inherently count when they are falling. I mean they can’t not do it. They have to count seconds when falling. It is hard-coded into their flash ROMs in basic airborne training. It comes from the number of seconds that, if gone by upon exit with no rude tug on one’s scrotum by the parachute — because the parachute is indeed attached mainly to the scrotum — the number of seconds after which you must deploy your reserve parachute if you hope to land safely on the ground.

In this case, were I to reach second number six with no impact into the water, I would frantically search out and kiss my rosary one last time before I became a seafood entry. Not to worry! Not even two seconds later and we both met with a comfy splash in the chilly drink at the mouth of this river. Of primary note to me was the fact that I had swallowed a health jet of water on impact but it was fresh water, not brackish at all as I expected from the sea.

That was not a necessary cause for alarm, though it did pitch my mental cogs in forward momentum wondering why the water was fresh when it was supposed to be briny for a salty dog such as I. It soon became apparent that I needed not to be shy about my immediate questions upon impact with the water. Though I was tactfully hashing them out in quiet, my first mate let me and all our immediate surroundings in on the puzzle:

Punctuated by a fit of coughing as a man tries to clear his lungs, a man says,”Hey! Hey! This is freshwater! It’s supposed to be salt water, but it’s fresh! Those motherfuckers fucked up and fucking dropped us in the wrong fucking place!”

“No … No, wait,” I responded in an example-setting whisper, “this is the right place, the mouth of the river, a low-tide estuary.”

My hypothesis quieted the beast but fell on deaf ears. We were moving rapidly out to sea when we needed to be under power and penetrating inland.