|Not where we were paddling... just a view of part of the river on my way out of town on Sunday afternoon.|
Celliers started off showing me some paddle strokes and then we went across to an eddy so I could practice my rolls - especially as I only learned last weekend in a swimming pool.
BOOM - up I came. Yee-haa! I did it again. Yay!
Then we messed with some ferrying into the current. We started with a strong one and I had two swims - I came out at a funny angle and didn't even try to roll.
And then Celliers told me something really useful. He said that if I capsize in a rapid I'll be in a lot of turbulence.
"Just wait," he said. "It will get calmer and then roll. Don't even try in the current and turbulence."
A little while later I was playing in the main stream, crossing from one side to the other. I haven't quite got the hang of 'edging' the kayak - tilting the downstream side down (lifting the upstream side up). I flipped over.
I could feel the turbulence and I just waited, paddle in my hand.
Within seconds it was calm and I got my paddle into position but just as I started to roll I hit more turbulence. I waited - upside down in the water and folded over close to the boat.
It calmed again and in one stroke - BOOM - I was up. And there was cheering from the bank behind me.
Super, super cool.
It seems that in messing around at rapids there's a lot of bobbing and sitting on the water that happens. Really not good for my constitution. I felt a bit green. I've only ever raced down rivers so I've never been river-sick. Bobbing on the water isn't my thing. I'll need to take some anti-nausea meds for this - but maybe I'll adapt?
I'm not in town this weekend, unfortunately, but my full-time move happens in a week today. I'm itching to hit the water again.