Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nam Ou Day 2

 After dawn the frogs stop there calls of l'amour.  Air mattress need to be filled up a half dozen times in the night.  I find two leaks and patch them in the morning.
I pack the bags on the raft with one made for easier access.  I find the boat a little more tippy with this new arrangement with the bags.  I continue to read the rapids as I run them. 
I spot a monkey only for a moment.  All I see is moving branches for my camera.
The rapids get more intense about five miles from the confluence with the nam Khang River.
 I flipped boat on first rapids I scout.  Went almost on end straight up a boulder then peeling off to the right around the boulder went into a big hole sideways.  Boat flipped and I am up the rocks on the side.  Not catching my breath I take off after my boat with paddle in hand.  Boat is getting further away as I run after it across rocks and boulders.  I have a paddle, hat, shirt, shorts and sandals to deal with the jungle and the river without the boat. 
 Fifty yards away it caches on a rock at the top of the next rapids.  It is on the far side of the river.  I am glad it has not wrap itself around a rock in the rapids.  Knowing the boat could free itself anytime I swim across with not taking any time to ponder the situation.  The strong current pulls me onto the same rock as my boat.  I get the boat righted as it had been floating on the dry bags.  Now standing on the rock I size up the boat and the rapids.
 My last two drinking water bottles are gone and a good strap holding them.  Everything else is still attached.  I pick a line to follow in the rapids below and carefully get myself launched.  I drop through one hole bigger than my boat.  Next rapid I try to scout and only see the meter and a half drop behind the boulder as I go over it.  The boat is a bit tippy going sideways through the big wave train.  At the next rapids I see some people fishing as I scout it.
  It is straight forward with no turns just some big holes and waves that fill my boat to top with water.  I need a life jacket and ... If there is much more of this class four rapids I am in big trouble.  These long runs with lots of boulders everywhere making route finding through the winding rapids difficult and hard to see everything.  Need to reevaluating soloing this in the morning, but there is only one way out.
 I ask to camp as I see huts after the rapids.  I asked about drinking water and they point down and across the river.  As I go to scout where it is, a couple of kids grab my water bottle and take it across an fill it for me.  I am tired and feel a little beat up from the workout I had today.  Almost everything is wet.  Sleeping bag and computer are dry.  I hang stuff to dry and wipe down tent and sleeping pad so that they will dry quickly. 
 Hanging stuff up does not work, but I do it any way.  Kids bring down fire to my beach camp.  Kids get firewood while there father and I sit by the fire.  I dry some cloths by the fire so I have something dry to wear.  Father takes the boat out to fish and ten minutes later comes back with three fish.  Youngest boy takes some burning branches and goes and lights a bush on fire.  We watch. 
I find the computer screen smashed but case looks fine.  
  I get the blue screen of death.  Damn!


River map 2

River map 1

Camp 2Boat 19.5 Miles, 5:59 Moving Time, Max Speed 9.9 Miles, Moving Average 3.3 Miles, Stop Time 2:07 Overall Average Speed 2.4 Miles, Temp Min 67 F-76 F, Start 8:30 next day end 18:00, Decent 621 feet, Max Altitude 2106 feet.

Cloudy with sunny in afternoon

Love & Kisses Steve

Boulder that got me

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