Sunday, November 21, 2004

White Water Sledging

If you've ever gone white water rafting, and thought, hey I bet this would be more fun if we weren't in a pesky raft, then white water sledging is for you!

The van picked us up and dropped us off at the power station just above the "Roaring Meg" rapids we stopped at yesterday. We wore a two piece full wetsuit, booties, flippers, helmets, and life jackets. We also used something similar to a boogie board, which we lay on and grabbed onto bars at the top. After a brief introduction in what to do (don't let go of the board, various hand signals, enter and exit eddies at a 45 degree angle), we were off to raft three rapids: maneater, roller coaster, and dead cow.

Sledging was quite fun, but quite tiring as you had to kick furiously to enter and exit the drop-in and drop-off eddies. Actually, I wound up kicking for most of the second trip down the river as I got caught in various currents and would drift too far from the middle. The rapids were a bit easier (class 3) than the ones we've rafted (up to class 5), but being directly in the rapids instead of on top in a raft really added a lot to the experience! The scenery was beautiful but we were busy trying to steer and stay together.

Our tour involved two trips down the river, and the customary leap from a boulder before the final exit. Overall this was really fun and in the afternoon we were ready to take it a little easier.

Nevis Bluff rapids

We didn't sledge here - these rapids are considered class 6, very long (about 1.2 kilometers), and very rocky (they were created by pushing the rocks off a cliff when the nearby road was constructed).

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