Saturday, February 25, 2012

Going Big!

We are in southern Chile, staying with Aren, Sarah and Hannah, and all working on our kayaking skills.  Mom, Dad, and I have been drilling our rolls, working on our eddy turns, and bumping up our boating skills.  Today both my dad and I made great accomplishments in our kayaking, while Mom enjoyed a day of paddle rafting.  Dad boated the Bridge to Bridge section of the Futaleufu for his first time and I reran the class III- rapid on the lower Futaleufu, which had caused me to swim last time.

The Bridge to Bridge section is predominately class IV and is the classic Futaleufu run.  Today, my dad boated his biggest and most intimidating kayak run ever.  He started off nervous and scared.  After the first couple rapids, Timothy Silbaugh stated, “I get it, this is how the Futa flows...”.  About half way through the run, he came to the biggest rapid on Bridge to Bridge, Mundaca.  This is a huge jobble of big and crashing waves all flowing into the giant Mundaca hole, five times the size of a kayaker. Soon Dad’s run was over and he pulled his boat up the slab of rock at the take-out.  He was on a major high and he was the happiest and most energetic I have seen him in a while.  I was happy to celebrate my dad’s success, but soon it was my turn.
Mundaca Rapid
Aren Helping out a Nervous Dad
Mundaca Hole
Thumbs up Before the Gnar!
After a quick lunch by the river, we drove from the take out of Bridge to Bridge to Lower Futaleufu, where my rapid awaited.  Today, the plan was to practice rolls and to run the rapid as many times as we wanted.  I slipped into my boat and recognized the waves and the rocks.  I was going to take that darn rapid down.  After some rolling, surfing, and eddy peal-out practice, we ferried across the river to the eddy on the other side from which we would walk to the top of the rapid.  My ferry went slick as silk but my mind was elsewhere.  I was going to show the rapid once and for all that I was the boss.  On my last run, I was flipped by a huge wave and swam.  Those waves were going to bow down before me.  With building suspense we walked our kayaks up to the rocky beach before the rapid, we pealed out of the eddy, and we turned our boats towards the rapid.  I paddled over the first small wave of the rapid, this was it.  This was the moment I had been waiting for ever since I swam.  The waves became bigger.  I remembered to lean into the confusing and misleading lateral waves littered around the rapid.  Soon I was punching the last big waves. I had done It!  This is for you, big, fat rapid: Think before you try to force my boat under.  I will always be BACK!!!!!

Today was so great!  I was extremely excited for myself and for my dad!  It was a big day for both of us.  Mom also enjoyed a day on the raft.  I am tired out and hope to get some rest before the mysteries of tomorrow pop up in front of me.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!                 


  1. Hi Rohan,
    WHAT an adventure for you and your parents and what a treasure your blog and photos are for those of us who are traveling with you vicariously . . .

    Would you be so kind as to ask your mother to either resend her last email communication to me or, if that is not possible, send me her email address as all of your parent's contact information has been lost!

    Savannah Girl

  2. Congrats on your success run! Turning sick into slick and gnarl into normal -- way to go!