Chest Deep Into the River

Yesterday we visited a man-made (machine-made) river that is a tributary river of Lake Toro and conducted a bio survey of the water way. We knew right away it was man-made because of the metal fence-like net that wrapped around the rocks alongside the river. My group, Chum, was in charge of analyzing the features of the water way. This included measuring and noting attributes like, depth, width, velocity, color etc.

I was one of the few that got to wear the rubber boot-pant things that let you go into a body of water up until your chest without getting wet. Even though the boot size was 26cm and I’m usually a 22cm, because when you enter the water, the pressure makes it so the boots and pants stick onto your legs so thankfully, there was no problem with sizing. While the other groups were looking at local vegetation or trying to catch creatures, Leon, Rachel and I were walking through the river and we actually saw all sorts of things. For starters, we found lots of garbage and debris along the sides of the river. What was pretty crazy was that Professor Watanabe even found a whole tire!

The water was very brown and the more we moved around, the more reddish it got because we were moving around the sediment at the bottom of the river. The color of the river was brown and wasn’t as pretty as the river we trekked on Wednesday. The water came up to about my hips and as we kept going up the river, it got more shallow. I, being naïve and adventurous, kept walking on thinking it would stay shallow. This was my mistake. The bottom of the river was already slippery because of the rounded, smooth rocks so when I took that next step and the ground drastically shifted from shallow to deep, I went down so quickly and the water went from my hips to the top of my chest and water poured into my rubber pant-boots. I think I was also on a small hill of rocks so I had not yet reached the bottom so I was trying so hard to go back to the shallow surface but the rocks were making me slip more. Leon and Rachel kind of just stood there watching me and it took them a while to come and help me. Once they helped me get back to my feet, I climbed my way out of the river as quickly as possible because the lower half of my body was drenching wet.

Never again will I go into a river with water that goes higher than normal boots. Lesson learned, short people should not go into a high body of water unless it is in a wet suit or bathing suit.

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