The Pure Orange Expedition Journal - Storm chaser

Friday, 20 February 2009

Started off the day relatively slow to let gear dry. Water level was up a few inches. The day was all flat water except for Class 1 rapids on the bends, and huge reed channels.

Was amazingly lucky and fortunate through three storms - the first at eleven o’clock - it was just ahead of me, so decided to have an early lunch and see which way it was headed. Down river it went - whew!

I had even considered setting up camp for the rest of the day, but now was time to go. The second incident was a weave  through two storms - lightning was close - but I took the gap, and made it.

Number 3 ... at about 4p.m. I spoke to two farmhands who said this was a big one coming, but without thinking about it too much I decided to go for Prieska - I knew I had water, food and about four and a half hours of light - it would be an awesome push after already seven hours on the water. The monster thrust behind me all the way .... I made it!! I found out later that it dropped between 75 to 105 mm water - a record rainfall since 1986!

The pink-sky approach to Prieska was an unbelievable end to a big session on this grand Orange River.

I will be here for a few days to rest, resupply and chill for the weekend. But, I am already looking forward to getting back on the river.

Lekker way to end the day ... steak and a few Black Labels at the Riverside Restaurant.