Friday, October 11, 2013

Typical days on the Zam

The end of a beautiful day
Top drop of number 9
Tucking up for #8
The typical day on the Zambezi is quite great. It has been a month since I have arrived and most days are spent on the river, even if I have a day off I still tend to spend it on the river whether kayaking or some sort of mission. When not raft guiding I am Safety Kayaking, and it has to be one of the best jobs and I often have people tell me how great my job is and how lucky I am. I run rapids the way I want then I wait below and set up safety for any carnage and then zip out of eddies to pick up swimmers and greet them with my smiling face. Then everyday when I get to rapid #9, which is a portage for the rafts, I usually have a quick look then bomb down through the first drop then work my way left to run a huge wave and try not to be upside down and on the right side of the river which is quite shallow. It is always nice to have this rapid which scares me in a good way to keep me on my toes. Then after work, the afternoon is spent watching the daily rafting video with a few highlights of kayak carnage or good lines with a few cold beers at the waterfront.

Days off on the Zam are just as good as work days. I am lucky to have Sunday as my official day off and Sunday Fundays have been the mission the last few weekends. The other week we missioned to rapid number nine with a inflatable kayak with a cooler and drybags of gear, me paddling this, and John, Sean in kayaks and Faff and Melvin on bodyboards. It was an afternoon of fishing for some tiger fish, then putting some chicken livers on as bate and fishing into the night for giant Vudu, sort of an African catfish. Melvin hooked up with a huge Vundu, which took him about 20 minutes to bring in. When the fish came close, we brought it into a smaller pull behind the rocks by the river bank to wrestle it to shore while all of us were chanting "Pool of Death, pool of death." Night fishing is great, the pool of death only held Melvin's fish which probably fed his family for a week, while sean put back all of his catch. We made a fire and had a brai while drinking some whiskey and fell asleep under the stars on the banks of the Zambezi. We woke up early to paddle down to rapid number 10 and hike out and back at the base for another day of rafting and living the dream.

The put-in View
Freewheel rapid 5

Getting ready to drop into #9
Working left for the bottom hole
And dropping into bottom hole
Melvin, Me and Sean and the big Vundu

When things don't go as planned


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