Day 9: Swim Like Crazy

By Chet Caneff

We were happy to wake up to another beautiful day and right from the start of the day you could tell it was going to be a hot one. We were in no rush to leave camp because we knew that we had a shorter day in front of us so we took our time getting prepared for the day.

Once we started our paddle, we were greeted by a great number of eagles that were surrounding us and very welcoming to us letting us get to within 10 meters at times.

As for the paddling, it was one of the easier days on the trip only encountering swifts (very, very small rapids not big enough to be classified as class 1). 

After all of these minor rapids, we came across a class 1 that had some waves that were fairly large due to the high water. Everyone navigated through the rapid with ease but when Lucas and I decided to go back into the rapid and try to surf on the wave, we got a little bit caught up in the bigger waves and started to take on water. The boat then became harder to paddle and we spun around quickly and flipped our boat right over.

We realized right away that a few things had fallen out of the boat including Lucas’ fishing pole, croc, shirt, and map holder. After searching around for a while and coming up with only the croc, we made our way to shore with our boat. The only problem was that we were in the water with it.

Once we got to shore, emptied out our boat, and got the water out of it, we re-loaded our gear. We were ready to get back at it, hoping to keep the boat right side up for the remainder of the day.

From the spot of our little incident, it was just a quick paddle to the spot we would be stopping for lunch. We were all excited to stop for lunch at this gorgeous spot at Namay rapids, and Brad brought up the idea of this being our campsite for the night.

We were all happy to stay and enjoy this beautiful rock point overlooking the rapid, and the very mysterious rock formations just on the other side of the river.

After lunch we all spread out on the rocks and took a celebratory nap in wake of the good news. I was woke up from my nap by Brad in his life jacket saying, “come on guys who’s going swimming with me?!”

Emily Nagel, Lucas, Steve, Chad and myself joined Brad on this little swimming adventure and was it ever an adventure. It was one of the best swims on the trip due to the speed of the water and the length of it. It was a good 300 yard swim with massive waves the whole way down.

After our swim we decided that was enough work for a while and we went back to drying out in the hot sun. I had fallen asleep and was once again woken up by Brad saying, “Who’s with me on round two?” 

Claire decided to join us, and this time we were going to get out on the other side of the river and explore these rocks. The rocks were very high up and you had to use some rock climbing techniques to reach the top.

Once we got to the top, we spent some time walking around and looking at the weird landscape. To return to the other side, we went over to the edge of the rock and simply jumped off and swam like crazy across the current.

On our way back to camp we found a very small garter snake that Brad picked up and tried to help Emily Nagel calm her fears of snakes by getting her to touch it. I thought she was going to do it, but in the end, she just couldn’t get herself to do it but we all had a good time giggling at her squirrelly-ness around the snake.

We made it back to camp and once again lay out on the rocks to dry ourselves off, only this time we woke up to another group coming in to the rapid and portaging around us. They were going to be setting up camp just downriver of us for the night. By this time it was getting later in the afternoon so we went to go set up our tents and start to prepare for the evening.

After we got that taken care of we sat down for a few games of cards before supper. For supper we once again had a fresh fish fry thanks to Brad catching some fish earlier in the morning before we were even awake. For dessert we had some boiled evaporated milk and that sure did hit the spot. After supper we got ourselves ready for the evening and played a few more games of cards before calling day 9 on the Bloodvien complete.