September 16th, 2006 – by: djc81
Some of the group
Im affraid it's going to be another long journal entry-
Well today was the day, I was so scared. I got up at 8am and had chat to the group about the day ahead of us. The people doing the rafting and myself had to go to the bar to have breakfast We met with two guys called Steve and Liam who were going to be joining us for rafting. The rafting crew turned up We went outside and the guide gave us a safety talk we had to pick a lifejacket and put it on then get a friend to check it then check their's it had to be on very tight so you could feel your ribs and chest being slightly crushed.
Then we had to get a helmet that fitted snugly so we done this and picked up an oar.
Then we walked down to the river I was a bit worried because I was wearing only swimming shorts and nothing underneath and they were very loose. I walked down with Sam and we were laughing about me falling in the first rapid and my short's coming of then I would either have to jump back on the raft butt naked of stay in the water. And the entire trip with just a tshirt and helmet on hehe . We were both having such a laugh at this Susan over heard and said I could have her shorts if that happened as she has her bikini underneath. So I ended up trying my shorts to my life jacket which was giving me a full on wedgy.
We got to the river and the rafts were waiting for us. We got in, at the front over the other side was Steve with Eric behind then Missy Then last was Susan over my side it was Liam in the front, myself second with Cathy and Sam last and the guide sitting on the back. We spent a while getting used to the instructions that he would be yelling at us. Then we had to practise rowing forwards and backwadrs and then hold on and get down . This took quite a while to get used to, we did not have it perfect but good enough.
Then he said the words I was regretting and that was "time to practise tipping then raft".
So we all sat on my side he attached a rope to the other side stood up and pulled the rope so the raft tipped. It was horrible going under water with people pushing you then the boat on top of you. It felt like I was under for a long time but I was not. We then turned the boat the correct way up and was told to get in the boat, everyone was struggling but I got in within seconds probably because I wanted to get out of the water , so I helped the other to get in. Then the guide asked you got in first so they all said me, So I had to jump back in so they could demonstrate what to do when we tip in the rapids and how to get help, and how to hold on to the rescue kayaks.
After I done this we had a final chat and off we went I was so scared.
The first rapid was a grade three which looked terrifying as we got closer he told us what was going to happen then we got to the top he said get down and hold on ( I was shaking and my heart pounding in my throat) . So that meant get down on your knees and hold on to your paddle and rope there was a certain way this had to be done to avoid hitting yourself or anybody else in the face with your paddle.
So we got down and held on and waves are water smashed in your face and I thought I was going in but we all got through so we got to calm water put are paddles together in the air and cheered. You see I thought that rapid was bad I was wrong the next one was a grade 5 (the highest is a 6 i think?) I was still a bit panicky from the grade three then as we were going down to the five the guide said does any one want to go on the chicken boat (safety boat) we all said no I was thinking yes because he said the raft will tip and he was telling us when we go in try not to panic yeah right and make your body soft.
When you go in the water open your eyes and swim towards the light otherwise you may swim to the bottom and that would be very bad. Then when you come up push up with both hands because the boat may be on top of you or another person so just push them out of the way. He also warned us that we may get knocked under more than once so try to take short breaths and that we would come to the surface because of the jackets and the rescue boats will be around to help.
So we got towards the grade 5 rapid it looked so scary and I was already panicking knowing that I was going to fall of. We got to the top and he said get down and hold on so we did.
My heart was pounding in my throat and my breathing very fast. When you are down in the raft you are getting smashed by waves of water so you are looking to the side trying to see. Then before I got a chance to get a deep breath the raft from some height ( well it felt like it anyway) tipped over. As I went in someone landed on top of me and kicked me. I tried to get up but the current pulled me straight down and was pulling me in every direction, I opened my eyes and all I could see was hundreds of bubble's and swirling water. I thought I had it, I managed to get to the surface then I got pulled under again I was panicking and nearly out of breath I got to the surface again had half a breath and a wave took me under again I was struggling know. I was so tired, scared and disoriented I didn’t know where I was or where anybody else includig the rescue men. I got up again turned around to try and see someone and I was knocked under again. Finally I got to the surface totally knackered and trying to stay above the water when a rescue kayak turned up , I got a hold of the kayak then he said quick let go so I did and he rolled over I am sure he was showing off , he picked his moment.
im second along in the top row holding on for dear life. Didnt work in we went
Grade 5 rapid
I got taken back to the raft I was so weak and coughing up loads of water everyone said I was under for ages. We continued down the Nile after a break we were aloud to jump over the side and float down the Nile. The first time I stayed in the boat to get my breath back but after lunch and another rapid ( and yes I fell over on this one aswell ) I jumped in with the others even this scared me as I had no control where the currents were taking me and the thought of going down a rapid with no boat scared the crap out of me.
We spent a while just floating down the Nile then we got back in and done another grade 5 rapid all the time we had a rapid coming up I was tempted to go on the safety boat but I stuck through it to the end.
The next rapid the other side fell off and we stayed on then we floated for a bit then we were coming up to a grade 5 which was technical because of the rocks . The guide said if we hold on we wont tip and don’t fall off because it’s very hard to try and swim. So we got there heart still as ever pounding we got the call get down and hold on so we did .We got most of the way down then a wave hit me I thought It was going to tip again and having the boat and people land on me before it scared me so for some reason I pushed my legs up and jumped of the raft. I was under for a while. I got up turned around and the guide put his paddle out and pulled me to safety the funny thing was everyone else was still on the boat looking at me like what the hell. I got back on the boat again coughing up loads of water then people started laughing. Because Missy said because before the rapid she said she would crab me if it looked like I was going over again just joking around. As she said one minute I was sitting in front of her the next she felt my legs slid over her shoulders she was going to try and grab me but it happened so fast . Sam thought it was funny because of the look I always had on my face like really shocked and I was on my hands and knees coughing.
another grade 5
We carried on and had a laugh and another swim and grade 4 rapid ( fell in again )
Im 2nd top row
Then we got told that to pull over and walk around to the last rapid as coming up was a grade 6 called the dead Dutchman the name says it all someone died there. Apparently if you go in there you have had it. So we pulled up to the side just before it started I was scared that I would fall out or something would go wrong and that we would go down it. We pulled up the raft stopped and then somehow Sam fell out backwards she looked scared then again so I would I being so close to that rapid. We walked around and had a look at this grade 6 and it was so terrifying I was scared being on the path next to it.
We walked along a path then we got to the raft which was right next to this grade 6 if only you could see it then you would know why I was bricking it. Maybe I don’t know 30-50 yards to the side were massive crashing waves and like a whirl pool affect, I was going to get on the safety boat but this had gone. So I was going to walk along the path and not do the last rapid, because I was scared on the other rapids but this was on a whole new level. I talked to the group and we had a choice of two rapids which were the grade 5 and the tail end of the dead Dutchman the choices were the bad place or the other place we chose the bad place. So we got in my stomach felt like it was in my throat heart pounding, hands shaking.
We set of paddling hard I am sure the others were scared as well.
Then came the call get down and hold on so we did. The boat went high in the air a wave hit and myself; Missy and Liam fell of this time from a height. I went in the water as before it was pulling me everywhere I opened my eyes and tried swimming to the surface I tried pushing up but I couldn’t I realised the boat was on top of me so I kept trying I must have gone from one side of the raft to the other length wise. I finally got up and got on to the boat again choking. They said that they could feel someone under the raft it seems Missy ended up under the raft as well. We paddled hard to the side put are paddles in the air and cheered then climbed of the boat to the shore.
Just after this was taken, I went in and got stuck under the raft. nightmare
We went up and had a photo taken, took the gear of had a drink then climbed on the back of the truck andgot taken back to the campsite.
I was exhausted it was scary but I had to do every rapid. I am glad I done it, it is one way of trying to tackle a fear. We got back to the campsite and . Eric, Susan, Missy and myself went straight for a cold larger we deserved it. Some of the others like Anne and Sue f joined us for a drink. I stayed there chatting then quickly went away and had a lush hot shower looking at the rapids I had just tackled After I had a shower.
I managed to tackle my fear and do all the rapids yay
The people who didn’t go on the rapids went to have tea and we stayed for a so called bbq it was not we had a bit of chicken and a few like roast potatoes. We had a few more drinks then went and joined are group to find out what was going on in the morning Then a few of us went to the bar for another drink.
Alan and Helen were saying that they seen Sam come back and she seemed ok then they saw the look on my face and that said it all the knew straight away how the rapids went for me. What a day