A Ducky Love Story



I jumped off the boat and swam to Alex, who was enjoying some alone-time in the Ducky. I scrambled onto the one-person vessel, causing the back to sink lower into the river. We were laughing and messing around, trying to tip each other off the boat. We went along like this for a while: Alex paddling and me sitting back and enjoying the view. Until he decided that I should do the work of paddling and he should sit back and enjoy the view. Problems: I couldn’t see anything ahead except for his head and I couldn’t reach far enough for a good dig because his body was quite close in front of mine. So, when I heard Alex saying the word ‘rock’ over and over as the current pulled us forward, I tried to spot the obstacle but didn’t have much luck and I tried to dig deep in the water to steer us away from the unseen obstacle but also didn’t have much luck. Within seconds, we were sideways on a smooth, slanted rock, laughing so hard we didn’t come up with a strategy right away.

“Uhhhh,” Alex finally muttered, before he started wiggling his butt, which would gently wiggle the boat, hopefully, off the rock. A couple of wiggles and that boat was tipping off the rock. And we were swimming.

“Hold on to the paddle!” Alex was shouting to me from his position downstream. “Hold on to the boat!”

Who’s doing the work now?

I succeeded at holding onto both of these things and keeping my head above water- thanks to my handy dandy personal flotation device- until the current got a little calmer. We floated down the middle of the river, again laughing hysterically, this time at the fact we had flipped a boat that was said to be ‘almost impossible to flip.’

Pam and Ryan came up next to us on their raft.

“You flipped the Ducky,” Pam said, laughing. “It’s like, impossible to flip that thing.”

“Yeah, well, you know, when Cece and I get together we can pretty much do the impossible,” Alex joked back to her. “We can really do things you’ve never seen before.”

I too was surprised that the Ducky flipped; I went through a Class 3 rapid in that thing and just bumped and bobbled over all the whitewater, water splashing up in my face all the while. Out of the three watercraft I was on on this trip- catamaran raft, river kayak, and Ducky- the Ducky was my favorite. Not only was it a stable option for a river newbie like myself, it afforded its one and only captain some quiet time to think things over. I didn’t have much thinking over to do, but if I had I knew the Ducky would be there for me. Additionally, it’s quite cool in the Ducky because you’re really low-down and close to the water, and with each stroke of the paddle you get a little splash of river water on your hot legs. And I can’t forget to mention the maneuverability of the Ducky. For the sake of exploration and shade-seeking it could go places that a big raft couldn’t, like under the low cliff overhangs of the canyon walls.




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