Well, for my first time running this, I had a good line into the set below the falls and all was going smooth. Then i gawked at the hole to my right, got turned around and missed my chance to brace. Next thing I know I was upside down still strapped in and could feel my paddle touching rocks below... tried to slice up for a low brace and decided to bail at that point. I pushed my capsized boat down stream from me, paddle still in hand and tried to get to an eddy before the next hole...wasn't happening. So in my infinite wisdom, I chucked my paddle after a few good gulps of water.
No one saw where it went, including me. I think my initial though was **** my boat!!!!, and I forgot about the paddle. Very possibly still in an eddy just a bit down from the falls. The other paddle was in use by the upturned boater ahead of me, also got away.
Lesson learned... first spring paddle... use the beaters, scout the entire set you've never run or consider portaging around 'em. And at very least... remember your training -> Discuss the rescue plan ahead of time and then if need be, grab the throwbag attached to your boat and hold on to your paddle. Keeping your feet downstream, on your back high in the water and stay upstream of your boat.
I think not knowing much of what lay ahead made me anxious to get to shore- felt like I went through a washing machine - when in reality I probably only went 200m in the drink... I could have just rode out the rapids and taken time to look for an eddy and gotten myself and my gear to shore.
Up Eel River Without A Paddle
P.S. Nothing like a frigid spring swim to work out the kinks
Oh, and I must thank Kyle for saving my boat and Rob for the ferry back to river left and for later spotting my beater paddle caught in some willows. So I did get 1 of my 3 paddles back!
Last Edit: Apr 4, 2011 18:10:38 GMT -5 by hawthorn