Whirlpool Jet

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Today we traveled to Lewiston, N.Y. (right on the Canadian border) to ride the Whirlpool Jet. This is something we've been wanting to do for a couple of years now, but have never gotten around to it. A few weeks ago, for my birthday, Michael surprised me with tickets as one of my gifts.

We got to Lewiston around noon to check in for our 1:00 p.m. ride. Once we were through registration and had our wrist bands, we went back out to the car to eat some lunch.

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We found a couple of picnic tables to eat and relax at for a little bit.

Soon, we went in to meet up with our group for a short introduction/safety explanation, and then boarding.
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I didn't want to risk losing my sunglasses off of my face, so I was squinting like... well, like this. :)

Before boarding, they gave us life jackets, as well as aqua shoes. Since we have our cool waterproof camera case, we were able to keep our camera on us, but most people had to leave everything in their cars or the cubbies provided. You see... it's a rough ride. And um, you get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED.
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A few "before" pictures.

The ride starts off pretty mildly. Slowly at first, and then, once out of the wake zone, they open up the engines and hit full speed (50 mph). They "warmed" us up with a 360 degree spin in the boat, which was enough to get us a little bit wet. But nothing like what we were soon to experience.

Here's a video of us going through a little "practice" rapid:
That got us wet. We didn't know it at the time, but... THAT WAS NOTHING.

After that, we rode further down the Niagara River to some more serious looking rapids.
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Once we got there (these are Class 5 rapids), they slowed down the boat off to the side just so we could watch for a minute. See that blue boat over there on the upper right corner of the photo? It's just like ours, only it's COVERED, so its riders don't get drenched. Before we experienced the rapids, we watched this boat go through first.
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See how the boat is practically being swallowed by that monster wave? Well, imagine us, sitting in the SECOND ROW of that boat. With NO ROOF ON IT. That 10-foot wave hit us right in the faces. And on top of our heads. It was hilariously awesome. And wet (and a bit cold). Like, diving-into-an-ocean-wave wet. Did I mention wet?

Unfortunately, we couldn't get photos or video of us tackling the Class 5 rapids because, as it turns out, when these monster waves hit you in the face, they do it with a bit of force. The guides were pretty strict about us keeping both hands holding onto the safety bars at all times. It didn't take us long to figure out why.

We did 5-6 rounds of "Let's see if we can drown all of the people in the first 5 rows of the boat" before our 45 minute ride was up and we had to head back.
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We were completely soaked from head to toe. Repeatedly. Once we got back to the car, we took a few "after" photos for good measure.
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We had an absolutely gorgeous day, and the Whirlpool Jet was an absolute blast. We would definitely do it again, and it's highly recommended for those of you who may visit Western New York/Niagara Falls!


Miss. Candy September 7, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

My parents did that last year and loved it!!! We tried to do that this past spring, but it was closed when we were there! Looks like a must for my to do list!! Glad you had a great time!!!

anymommy September 9, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

This looks like so much fun and you look so happy together. I loved this post. It made me think of all the adventures my husband and I had together before all our kiddos started arriving. Not that we don't have adventures now, they're just significantly different.

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