matt | June 24, 2008
So, this past week I was in RI at the office for work, and the cubicle farm is very noisy, so I was grateful for my noise canceling headphones. I had sushi at Seven Moons, visited URI, gamed with the old wednesday night crew (Flames of War, for the curious), and visited my brother and my folks.
On Friday, I headed up to Maine and went Whitewater rafting with these folks. It was a good time. They have a great facility there, with a very good restaurant and brewpub.
Total distance = 1146.85 mi
Max speed: 89.3 mph
Average speed: 54.1 mph
Total Time: 21 hours 11 minutes
(This included a bunch of driving around Rhode Island too)
We rafted the Dead River, which was running about 6000cfm.. 3500 is normal. 4800 is high. It was a blast. We wanted to hit everything, and did pretty well… right up until the last big rapid, where we hit and lost half the people in the boat. I stayed in at first, until the boat turned around and I got hit from the other side, which swept me over the bow. I had the end of a rope, but I couldn't hold on and it was pulled from my grasp. At first, I waited for them to come and get me, but I realized they weren't coming right away, and I needed to do something to take care of the situation. I turned around, so I could see where I was going, instead of where I was coming from and therefore time my breathing for hitting the waves.
I realized it was getting rocky when I bashed both my knees on some rocks, and the other guides were yelling at me to come to them.. I was like “I can't make it to your boat, you're moving too fast”, but then I realized that they just wanted me to get away from the rocks on that side.. which I was going to do anyway. So, I headed out that way, picking up a second paddle along the way (I already had mine). Putting them overlapping in opposite directions gave me a kayak style paddle and allowed me to use them to pull myself along much faster.
After the initial moment of panic, I wasn't really worried, because I am a strong swimmer and was timing my breathing so that I could breathe. I was really only concerned about catching a rock on my back or side, busting my ribs, and then I would be all done…
However, then the lads came in like the cavalry.. right over the top of a wave and plopped down right in front of me. They started paddling backwards to slow their momentum as the guide, Greg, offered me the end of an oar, pulled me close, and then he and Simon grabbed me and pulled me into the boat.
(1) Stay in the boat. It's better that way.
(2) Bring strong friends to haul your fat ass out of the water.