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What, Really, Constitutes a “Wrap”?

February 21st, 2006 Robyn Suddeth

OK so I have this “friend” – we’ll call her Sudds – who was guiding a boat down the North Fork of the Smith River this weekend at fairly low water. The day went really well all the way through the more difficult rapids. Towards the end of the day she rounded a bend in what seemed to be an easier rapid and there was suddenly this huge boulder looming on the right side of her boat. She yelled “Hard Forward!” to the two paddlers up front but it was too late. Before they knew it they were highsiding and cursing the boulder that jumped in their way. (Darn those sneaky rocks!)

What happened over the next minute or so has become a point of disagreement amongst our boating companions this weekend, which is why I’ve decided to write this blog and appeal for your help in resolving this issue once and for all.

The point of disagreement is this: Was this a wrap, or was it merely an agressive temporary perch? Sudds of course contends that it was a temporary perch, while another boater – Zach – says that it was, in fact, her first wrap. I, being the unbiased observer that I am, decided to help these two friends of mine out by re-telling the event and asking you all what you thought.

This is how the next minute or so unfolded:

Sudds told the other two paddlers in the boat to go up to the front of the raft which was still in ongoing current, while she jumped out onto the boulder and started trying to push the back half of the raft off of it. At first this plan was not working and the tiniest bit of water began spilling over that upstream tube. Noticing this, Sudds quickly told the two paddlers to get further and as far out on the front of the boat as they could and she pushed a few more times with all the strength she had. Finally, the raft started peeling off the rock, and she jumped back in to the relieved cheers of her companions who were happy to see that they were still going to make it to take-out with some daylight left.

The point of contention? Sudds claims no throw bags, ropes, or assistance from other boats equals momentary perch. Zach contests that water spilling over the upstream tube for more than a few seconds equals a bona fide wrap.This brings me, then, to my original question: What, really, constitutes a wrap? Is it in the length of stay? The amount of equipment required to remove the boat? The amount of water spilling in to the boat?

I, of course, am forced by my role here as unbiased observer to withdraw any personal conclusions concerning this perch, but am hoping that someone out there will tell us what a wrap really is so that we can all move on from this disagreement and go back to planning our next trip out to the river.

4 Responses to “What, Really, Constitutes a “Wrap”?”

  1. Sammy Says:

    By the power vested in me by the great state of California, I here by deem this situation an aggressive perch.

    Your friend Sudds is exactly right… no ropes or flip lines were attactched to the raft in aiding it’s removal from the rock therefore it shall be deemed an aggressive perch.

    Some might even go as far as saying that a flip line may be used in recovery and still be considered an agressive perch, just as long there were no ropes attached from shore.

  2. Robyn Says:

    Thank you Sammy for clearing that up! (And just between you and me– I totally agree.)

  3. H2oLove Says:

    Ahhh! The adventures the Smith River hands out. It’s been a few years since I was up there and the water was really high, about 14 feet. I’ve only heard what it’s like at low water and I’m told it’s not very simple, so congrats to Sudds for getting the boat off the rock that she did not wrap her boat on. For those who need technical answers, I consulted the American Heritage Dictionary, (since I don’t find it feasible to go by guides alone.) A wrap used in verb tense: To coil or twist about or around something. Obviously this raft wasn’t twisted about the rock otherwise lines attached from shore would surely have been needed.

    Good job Sudds, an adventure well done!

  4. freeflow Says:

    Wrap… A boat held against a rock or other object by the force of the current.
    The internet never lies!!!

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