05 May 2008

I'm a Raft Guide. Don't you know? I save lives on a regular basis...

I know that yesterday I said my rafting assessment was going to be Tuesday, but in fact it turned out to be today. It was originally going to be today, but then it was changed to Tuesday because of numbers, and then it was changed back to Monday to make Tuesday's batch of assessment's quicker. Confusing I know, but either way it doesn't really matter as I passed my Level 1 Raft Asessment on the mighty Durance. Bob Timms was the dude running the assessment and man is he a nice bloke? I've met so many good guys now in my short time spent in the rafting circuit. I've been trained by Geraint Rowlands (top bloke), then had further training from my CI (nice man), Jim Hill (also a nice man) and Jon Caterer (just happens to be a nice man) and then only a few days ago I was on a raft with Tim Vollum (funny guy). All in all I've probably had some of the best training you could hope for before walking into your first assessment unprepared because you thought it was going to be Tuesday. Anyway, enough rambling; I passed. Here are some pictures from the day.

On the section of river from Saint Clement down to the Rabioux hole.

Looking downstream at some snowy Alpine mountains.

Bob Timms giving us some words of wisdow below the Rabioux hole.

On the Durance somewhere.

The other half of our flotilla surfing Reeves Wave just outside Embrun town.

Tomorrow I now have the day off as the assessment is done and dusted so I've decided to go kayaking on the Durance for a change. I'll be acting as safety boater for the assessment tomorrow as only one raft is running I think. That was what I last heard, but that could change with in minutes of sitting down to my Smack (French equivalent of Sugar Puffs) at breakfast.

A quick update on river levels in the area. The Durance came up over night. It's on 74 on the guage and before that it's just been hitting the 60's. There's been a few days of sun so the snow pack is melting, but right now it's royally throwing it down. The site is flooded, my tent has water in it, and there's the odd rumble of thunder and flash of lightening. It's quite intense really.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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