Tuesday, May 20, 2008
White Water Weekend
Surely I could handle one of those little white water boats?!? How hard could it be? The first problem I had was just making it go in a strait line ... on calm water. It soon becomes apparent that the little directional stability problem on calm water becomes its saving grace in the bumpy stuff. Saturday was a day of paddle strokes, and learning some fundamentals that would be essential for paddling the Kettle River from Banning to Sandstone. Jerome, Chris G, and I, the seakaykers in our group of six students, and three instructors, headed for Banning on Sunday morning. A little warm up in the calm waters, and its a go! Through "Blueberry Slide" and catch an eddy to regroup ... one swim ... no harm done. "Teachers Pet" is the next rapid. Kent was behind me yelling "Go left!" When I hit the hole the bow disappeared into a mess of foamy root beer coloured water. Now I'm flipped over .. sideways .. and stuck! A couple futile attempts to roll up, and I'm outa here! Swimming through the rest of the "Pet", Dave catches up with me and I hang on to his boat through "Mothers Delight" and we catch the next eddy. One thing I learned is the "Pet" was a big enough bomb, to bomb my roll. The other is it pays to go with some good paddlers.
Dave is a great instructor, I wish I could've bought him a cold one at the end of the day! A husband and wife teaching team, both in thier day jobs, and on the river, Kent and Sally have many years playing, and teaching white water. They made a great teaching team! The tally for me ... 4 combat rolls, 1 swim, and a good time on the river.