Day 21 - A little woop and wiped out....

Day 21

Despite a good  sleep, it was another late one last night.  I’m super tired and once again struggling to stay on my feet.  There’s a group going to do the Briancon Gorge today which is NFM (not for me), and Gregg and Chucky are staying at the house with plans to potter about and take it easy for a day.  I’m going with Keith, Jamie, Sam and Rob to go and paddle the second half of the Sun Run on the Durance.  This is the bit from Rab to Embrun which Sam and I didn’t paddle last time.  I also didn’t do Rab wave last time either. 

We get to Rabioux and have an inspection of the wave.  It’s considerably lower than last week, but possibly still a little bigger than I ran it last year.  We sort the shuttle then get ourselves kitted up.  I’m feeling nervous, even a little sick and I can’t tell you why.  It feels daft but I think maybe the fatigue is kicking in, and I’m a tad worried about going straight through Rab wave without much of a warm up.  My internal monologue is very much external on the way down.  *Keep Paddling, drive the boat, be effective, look ahead, loose hips, paddle forward, ready with a brace but keep paddling...*  Some of the waves in the approach are almost as big as Rab itself, and I make it through the wave just fine.  There were a couple of moments of hesitation but at this level and a good line in it doesn’t affect me too much.  I have a delayed woop, I can’t woop until I’m safe in the eddy and off the boily eddy line.  I’m fairly awake now!

not so impressive in a picture from the bank

What it looks like coming in to the wave, There are kayakers in the eddy here if you can see them to the right!!!
Yup that's the view in the middle of it!

After Keith has had a couple of goes at playing in the wave we carry on down stream, following the nice wave trains.  I’m really enjoying myself after a while, with a bit of wooping over some of the bigger waves.  We stop a couple of times to give Sam a break, she’s finding it hard to get back in to the swing of paddling after a couple of days off, and possibly the tiredness is hitting her too.  She’s paddling fine but her head games are getting the better of her, and every time she apologises we all tell her it’s fine.  Everyone struggles with these head games from time to time, and it’s a sign of her determination that she keep going, even though she’s clearly terrified at times on the water.

When we get down to Embrun, we break out a little way upstream to make sure everyone is ok, and we go down as a group but giving each other plenty of space.  I manage to read the water and watch where the guys in front of me go and what that line does, pick my own line and it’s a pretty good one.  I don’t make the eddy as high up as I’d like but it wasn’t a bad run through at all.  Keith has a couple of goes at getting back in the wave, gets eaten and spat out after a short side surf, and then we all have lunch on the river side.  

Going in to Embrun

In Embrun

Keith going for a surf

You can just see him...

If you look carefully you can just see his hat cam...

Oops, nose up just before he's spat out....

Once shuttles are sorted it’s back to the house, Tom Tom are doing BBQ for dinner and it’s soon time for chatting and laughter.  Jess also arrives tonight, Chucky has been to pick her up from the airport after a few delays to her journey meant she was going to miss buses and trains to get her closer. 

I start to feel the fatigue hit me, it’s making me feel I need some space alone and I head to our bedroom after I’ve eaten to look at some of the days videos, and catch up on a days worth of blog.  It’s not so late before everyone is heading to bed too and after a bit of a chat when Keith comes to bed, it’s off to sleep for us too.

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