I also used my packraft ... a long time ago.
And then I kind of remembered that I was scared of white water, and that I had terrible coordination and balance, and so I sort of put my paddling plans on hold until I could somehow figure out how to paddle a packraft ... without drowning.
Enter Canoe Tasmania's "Introduction to Packrafting Course" ... the first of its kind in Australia I am lead to believe (I was always a pace setter)
It was an eye-opening weekend, although I confess to still being pretty scared for most of the time (those rapids always look so much bigger up close).
I learnt, that like so many things in life, there's a whole universe of innovation and experimentation going on in the packrafting world that I was oblivious to, ranging from self bailing boats, internal storage compartments and even rolling systems (yep, they roll packrafts - I saw them do it) ... it was a toy junkies paradise and I've already chalked up over $500 in new purchases since I came home ...
|Self bailing system (custom job)|
|Alpaka Raft - front storage bag|
|See the forward seat, the raised bottom.|
The problem with this decision manifested itself on day 2 when I headed off with my 'advanced' group and found them talking a language I didn't understand and doing things that I couldn't do.
So I paddled into a rapid and drowned.
Did that get your attention?
OK, so I didn't die (that was someone else in the photo above), but I did think I was in trouble a couple of times, and almost packed it in early at lunch time as my confidence level had plummeted to a two out of ten, but fortunately I didn't give up, instead I went for a couple more runs down the slalom course ... AND I FINALLY GOT IT - IN FACT I LOVED IT.
OK, I was still a little bit scared.
It was a great weekend, and I really got a lot out of it ... I just need some more chances to get out there and use these new skills ... before I lose them.
Thanks to the organisers.