last weeks rains upgraded some of the grade iii rapids to grade iv. i wasn’t fully aware of exactly what this meant. that proved to be a mistake. the safe landing of our group of 11 required true rowing abilities, as a coordinated group. with 3 young kids, 1 grandmother and my ‘athletic’ abilities we didn’ t have what it took. our guide should have warned us. he didn’t.
the scenery from our raft leaving bovec slovenia was beautiful – dramatic tree covered mountains and clear blue skies. the pale green waters were initially deceivingly calm. but pretty soon the river began to hint what it had in store for us. we hit the rock. the rafts left side went up high. man overboard! i’ve heard that so many times and there’s probably a correct way to deal with it. but when it’s three overboard it becomes quite a challenging situation. yael, 9 year old keren and i were able to feel the soca’s wrath. it was an educationally frightening experience. it made me realize the extent of our mortality and left me humble in face of the forces of nature. i was pretty much helpless against the current, trying to push keren back towards the raft and trying to grab onto the rope while gulping in huge amounts of water. i have never before come so close to drowning. the few scary moments left me physically and emotionally empty. i was angry. i was frightened. my body ached all over. my muscles trembled with exertion. i was thankful we got out of it ok. it was close.
i consider myself a very responsible person and a very responsible father. i blew it today, big time. it won’t happen again!