25 June 2010

I decree...

...that anyone who visits me is required to go tidal bore rafting. I went last Friday with some friends and it was incredible. I really didn't know what to expect. I've never done rafting of any kind, and I was told this was not like white water rafting. We were told to bring old clothes that can get wet and dirty, and shoes or sandals that strap to your feet.

I should mention that last Friday the weather was gorgeous. High of 30 and sunny. It was perfect weather for our little adventure, and given how wet we got, I wouldn't have wanted to do it on a cool day.

I found out a bit beforehand that it was a 4-hour boat ride. I was thinking an hour, tops. What the hell were we going to do for 4 hours? The tour started at 2. The tours are planned around the tides for obvious reasons (obvious if you know what a bore is, anyhow. If not, read this). We were lucky enough to be there on the extreme tide. The rigid hull inflatables they use hold 8 people and the driver, but our boat only had 6 people. There were about 8 boats going out at once. The ride starts with a really, really slow cruise down the Shubenecadie river in the direction of the Bay of Fundy. It's so slow because the river, without the tidal water, is very shallow and full of sand bars. A couple of times the boats got stuck on bars and the driver had to get out and push.
They have, it seems, a designated area where they wait for the bore, and our departure time is planned so we get there with plenty of time to spare, so on the way they stop for some mud sliding. Seriously. It was fun to watch. Not really my thing, but lots of people partook.

[Note, all pics and video courtesy of Alej, she with the waterproof camera].

After the mud sliding there's more slow cruising. The scenery on the river is just beautiful. The river is the colour of chocolate milk, but the rock formations and stratification make for interesting viewing.

Eventually we got to the sweet spot and we watched the bore come in. It's so cool that you can see the wave approach.

Then the real fun began. None of the video or pictures really capture it. The waves seem to come out of nowhere. They come at you from all sides (the "washing machine effect," we were told), and at times the boat was so full of water we all had to shift to the back to help it drain. Our driver was awesome, he would spot the waves coming and aim us at them. He'd power the boat up them, so we flew off the waves and would free fall back to the water. It's such an odd sensation, thinking the boat is going to hit the water but there's only air there. No one on our boat got washed overboard, but it happened on a couple of other boats. There was one wave that came out of nowhere and washed Alej and I into the boat. The bul of it was non-stop bumpiness and spashing sea water. The waves come on fast and strong and don't last that long. We were the last boat in, but we were off the water around 6.

It was just sheer fun. It was painful, my butt was sore for days afterward, my arm muscles too from gripping the ropes so hard, and even my abs hurt from all the laughing. But it was all totally, unquestionably worth it.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I'm in!