He squeezed the wheel as hard as he could then relaxed, squeezed, relaxed, then began trying to shake the wheel as violently as possible, the wheel never moved but the attempt was beginning to return feeling to his arms and hands. His breathing had been rapid and shallow, he tried to bring that under control by concentrating on taking a deep breath then roaring as loud and as hard as he could, breath in...RAAAAAAAOR....breath in RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOR!!!!!
It was having the desired effect, the shivering was subsiding, breathing was less rapid but still shallow, and the oncoming tunnel vision had stopped, but still visible at that point. Gritting his teeth he slapped his brain and began mentally shouting to himself again, THINK!!! Shaking his head in an effort to clear it....THINK!! He felt like he was a bit inebriated like after a few drinks at the NCO Club. He had always been able to pull it together and drive back to base without incident fortunately, and had wisely given up on those foolish drinking and driving days a while back, but now he was going to have to try it once more, but first he had to try and get the boat back into the van. The big side passenger door was still open, scootching his butt across the vans carpeted floor, he slid his legs out until his shoes touched the ground and tested his legs by standing up. They felt weak and rubbery, and he still felt a bit dizzy and light headed, but he could stand and so kind of shuffled his way over to the boat still pinned to the shoreline, once by the boat he dropped to knees feeling exhausted, he just wanted to sit there and not move again, but reached over took hold of the little boat and heaved it out of the water, then place it in it's custom cradle he had built for it. Sliding his fingers under the ends of the cradle he lifted, and up she came, cradle and all, next task was to get back on his feet, like an athlete doing a squat lift, he pushed against the earth with all his remaining strength and fond himself on his feet, shuffling back to the van, boat safely in hand.
Setting the cradle on the carpeted floor, he was able to slid it back and out of the way, then crawled in after. Grabbing the lever to close the side door, he pulled! The rear safety latch disengaged and the door began to move, slowly at first but rapidly picked up speed as he pulled with all his might, and the door slammed home with a solid “whump!” and the reassuring double click as the front and rear latches engaged, the door was safely closed. The physical activity involved in retrieving the boat was beginning to help, the shivering, and teeth chattering was subsiding, his head was feeling a bit clearer, but he wasn't out of the woods quite yet and knew it.