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Old 06-29-2011   #1
fids11's Avatar
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111
My Marble Mile swim

Embarrassing, but this is such a cool online community, that i figured I'd share my experience swimming and losing a boat yesterday and hoping this can be a learning tool for beginner and intermediate boaters. (Sorry if this is lengthy). I've learned tons reading threads like this so maybe this can help. I'm in my 2nd year of kayaking, having a terrific season and running alot of sections that are new to me. I feel confident in my skills but not OVERLY confident and consider myself an intermediate. A friend and I have been eyeing the upper section of the Bogan Canyon run for some time and decided to give it a go yesterday. Neither of us had run it before but i've read as much as I can in WWSR, CRC, Eddyflower, and MB and was confident I would be fine. Wasn't even concerned about the WW (not smart), just the wood really. We scouted all the roadside stuff we could and dropped in at the Yule Quarry Bridge. Well, hell, 15 minutes into the 'Marble Mile', this is what happened...

I'm fine, lucky to not get caught in a strainer (there are alot of them in certain channels up there), but ego-bruised and now boatless! Happy to be out safely though. Lessons learned for me:
1. When trying to step up your game on a section you've never done, THINK TWICE ABOUT GOING AT FLOOD LEVEL, maybe let it drop to a more manageable level.

I'm sure there is much more to be learned and I'll proceed cautiously from now on for sure. Actually, i just got a phone call that my boat was found, so that's great news! Hopefully, someone in my shoes trying to decide if they should try something new, that's harder than what they've been doing, this swim will help them make an informed decision. Feel free to comment or razz me if you want, i deserve it. My swim was far from perfect, but all i wanted to do is get the hell out of the river! Suggestions are welcome as well, happy paddling everyone

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Old 06-29-2011   #2
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Theophilus's Avatar
The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
Good stuff man. Glad to hear you're getting your boat back. Nice piece of river. Is that your paddle shaft at the end in the brush? If so, way to hold onto it.

What happened to your Wingman?

"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 06-29-2011   #3
Plunk your magic twanger!
Gremlin's Avatar
New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
Great honest and informative post. Glad you got out okay and your gear was recovered. The Marble Mile has certainly looked tempting and it would be easy to justify jumping in. Thanks for illustrating the consequences humbly and vividly.

I personally didn't see any error in the "oh shit moment", only a quick shift to Plan B which I think you executed successfully without pulling anyone else into a dangerous situation.
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Old 06-29-2011   #4
fids11's Avatar
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111
No that's just a stick. Lost the paddle before i lost the boat - total yard sale! My wingman was the first one in (he's hard to see in front of me because of the chest cam and the sun reflection - oh, and the large waves that completely OWNED me), go thru clean and pulled over in some brush a little further upstream. He got out as fast as he could (no eddies anywhere) and was literally running thru the bush screaming for me, throw rope in hand. By that time i had self-rescued and was out of the river. NathanH. PM'd me and also said I should've been with a bigger crew as well - completely agree with that! Learned alot from this one... Cheers
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Old 06-29-2011   #5
salida, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 283
+ feedback

it's hard to tell but it looks like your paddle strokes good use some work. your arms look rigid or something...fwiw
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Old 06-30-2011   #6
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Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
Glad it all worked out. Spooky with no eddies anywhere.
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Old 06-30-2011   #7
Rifle, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4
Glad your ok! May I ask what it means that his strokes look rigid? How do you fix that? Is it just as simple as trying to relax more...( a little tough for some beginners like me). Such a mental sport!
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Old 06-30-2011   #8
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 945
Yep arms do look rigid...meaning for the first part it doesn't look like you're bending your elbows. I've never worn a camera on my chest though so it appears you may be holding your paddle out in front to not hit the camera?

This is honestly the first time I've seen a chest cam perspective as most wear them on their heads...It makes the swim seems really bad as I kept thinking your head was taking a thrashing.

You say abandon the ww swim position? Let me correct went from going down river in the ww (lounge chair) position to an aggressive swim which was the correct thing to do. Keep yourself safe in the LC position and work towards the sides/island or whatever...but when it's time to swim aggressive SWIM! You did it correctly so there was no "abandoning" going on. Good Job!
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Old 06-30-2011   #9
fids11's Avatar
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111
Yes, my strokes def need some work, no question! Gannon - no I do not need to keep my elbows straight to avoid hitting the camera, it's not even an issue when it's on my chest, my strokes technique just need refinement. It's not the camera, it's me. And, yes, the swim looks even worse cuz the camera keeps dipping underwater but the swim definitely wasn't a fun one either! thnks for all the nice comments everyone
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Old 06-30-2011   #10
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
You learned a good lesson. Now, get with two class 4 boaters and get back on that today. You were gripping because it was something new. You're a better boater than that and that same wave would of seemed like nothing on a run you've been down before. Get with someone that knows the lines and follow them through. A decade from now you'll look back and think how could I have ever swam in that section!

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