First Release Day of Ocoee!

So yesterday was the first time I ran the Ocoee river in my EZG, which is a playboat. It was fantastic! Oh, and it was also the first release day for the year, need I say more?
I ended up swimming the tail end of moon shute. I flipped over and was pretty banged by the rocks on it, trying to get over and just hitting rocks instead. So I bailed and had a nice swim.
That was my only swim, though, which for being in a playboat on that river for the first time and class III rivers total a second time ain’t too bad. I flipped over in Table Saw (after that rock, thank God) and hit my second roll, which was a proud moment. A not so proud moment was flipping over in the eddy line right above diamond splitter. I was trying to beat out a line of rafts, wasn’t paying attention and over I went. Luckily, it was an easy up.
I went with Andreas and Andrew, who were really great and made sure I was relaxed and ready for each rapid. Andrew was quick to get my paddle when I swam, and Andreas was there in case I lost hold of my boat. They really helped make my first playboat experience on the Ocoee a fun one.
To beat my own chest, my determination also helped make my trip awesome. After that first swim, I got right back in and was ready to beat out the next rapids, a new confidence I just discovered in my paddling. I also made that second roll at Table Saw, which usually does not happen as I would freak out and wet exit. I have a new clarity in paddling that was not always there before. Basically, my brain feels like I’m playing something like soccer rather than being chased by a tiger, which is a pretty good feeling.
I still had some ugly looking rapid runs and flipped a lot. What makes kayaking what it is, is that it has this amazing ability to be both empowering and humbling. Truly a remarkable sport.


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