How many of you have gone white water rafting? Well I have only gone once, and here I am in a car waiting to get on this little island of paradise called a raft. I haven’t had much experience; the biggest waves I’ve been on (in Costa Rica) were only level two+ and that still made me crouch on the floor of the raft. But this is my second time and the average wave is supposed to be three plus! The guide said that there were even some level four rapids. We have arrived and we are going through the safety procedures.
There are nine commands that we have to follow. Like, “left back” which means that the left side of the boat paddles backwards and the right paddles forwards. For “right back” it is the same procedure except reversed. After all of us are on the boat we practice the commands.
After practicing for a few minutes, our guide Alex hopped over all of us and then untied the rope holding the raft in place and hopped back in beside me in the back. We hurried down the river and followed his commands exactly as we were told.
The first set of rapids came and I heard him yell, “Paddle! Paddle hard!” Before I knew it I was on my bum on the floor of the raft! A giant wave splashed over me, drenching all of us as we headed down the river.
For the next hour I continued to find myself on the floor of the raft again and again. The water felt like ice as it crashed over me. We spotted a small sandy area and our guide yelled again, “Paddle forward”. We glided onto the smooth sand and were able to hop out of the boat and take a break for lunch.
After the lunch, we climbed aboard, setting out into the rapids once more. At one point the guide told us we were entering our last set of rapids. He asked if anyone wanted to do “the cowboy”. This is where you sit perched on the front of the raft, hold onto the safety line and swing one hand in the air, hollering “yeehaw!” as you ride the waves. Caleb chose to give this a go. At the end of the rapids, we met one giant wave that started to curl. Caleb held on as we headed head-first into this wave. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and crouched onto the ground. When I opened them again I was surprised to see Caleb sprawled out in front of me! Thankfully, he was not hurt and we arrived safely to our destination, without flipping.
Overall, if you’re new to rafting, it was a lot fun but you might want to try the smaller level 2 rapids first.
You were incredibly brave!