|Team Leader, Jessica, Steers The Batteau|
July 7th, Day 13
Unlike most mornings, we were motivated to start the day with showers provided by James River Reeling and Rafting in Scottsville, Va.
Today is different from all previous days on the river. We are travelling by an early American batteau. Before boarding the vessel, we had to hear safety precautions about riding the batteau. Our batteau captains Mason, Chip and Kevin told us to be very careful and to not be downstream of the boat. If you got stuck between a rock and the boat as Mason said “it would pop you like a zit”. The captains knew so much about the bateau because they handmade it during the winter of 2010. The batteau is made out of white oak and sits at 40 ft long and 7ft wide and is easily able to fit all of us. Today was very relaxing for Grant and I. Our time was passed with cool and calm chatter and a few rounds of word tennis. Word tennis is when you must continuously say words that are associated with previous words- taking turns around a circle. Later in the day the batteau got blocked a fallen sycamore in the middle of a creek. Our team persevered and made it through- even when we had almost lost hope of making it past the tree. After a few more hours on the boat we floated by something very disturbing: the Hardware River- it was dumping murky clay sediment into the James, turning it a copper color. The sediment continued for about 5 miles down the river and is still present at our campsite. When we arrived early at Thousand Islands for camp, we all worked hard to unload the canoes and were done setting up camp early. I felt rewarded with a delicious meal of mac n’ cheese and chili. Afterwards people began to quiet down and enjoy the peaceful night.
Written By Reporters: Grant, Cara & Chaney