Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tanama River 2009 - Part 1

Last year we went with the caving group (SEPRI) on a float down the Tanama and had a lot of fun. It is a yearly event and we decided to go again with "refined" tubes (we made plywood platforms to drop in the hole to sit on). This event gives previous, present, and future cavers and their families an event to participate in that isn't a cave. When we got to the river I was shocked to see a Willy Wonka Chocolate River where last year's clear river was! This is following our day of mud and rotten pig in Hog Hell! Oh well, it'll be fun anyway. The river was rising up to 1000 cfs around midnight and then dropping to around 100 during the day. We were starting out in the morning and I guess the deluge of mud enters with the big rains at night. Here I am on the left staring at the Chocolate River from the bridge.

Every one was assembling at the river bank with tubes, helmets, and other gear. It was quite a large group this year.

After standing around for a while and getting a safety briefing people started plopping into the river and heading downstream.

The river is really pretty with jungle and old farming crop remnants on the side. There are a lot of big boulders in the river that made nice little rapids. I floated for a while just looking up at the sky.

Hey - isn't that Jeff? He is happily bobbing down the river.

Like everything here it is hard to show the scale of things. Things are big, and tall, and very jungley.

There were a few spots we had to get out of the river and walk around. There were either sticks or rocks or some other combination of debris that made it unsafe to try to float over. The safety guys in the front would determine if an area was unnavigable and then send tubers to shore.

Here's Jeff just sitting on a rock happy to not be in Hog Hell! Maybe he is thinking about yesterday and is happy to be in the clean air, not in a cave and not underwater...

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