Apologies to all of you who have written complaining about the lack of water-level updates. Fascinatingly, the levels have started rising already (as of 3 days ago), but I am assured by good friend Giancarlo Cavadini here that this is a false start – apparently they rise a little through to mid-November, then go down again, before the true rise begins. To put it all in context, those who were paying attention will have realised that the starting point (the highest level, on the 22nd June) was just over 28m amsl. The low-point reached 3 days ago was just short of 18m. You will also have grasped instantly that this is a flux of around 11m, and the effect is startling. I’ve added a couple of photos of the launch ramp at the marina here – normally these are completely covered by water. I’ll take photos from the same location when the water reaches its highest, for comparison. I can tell you now that taking your boat out at the moment can be a nerve-racking experience. Naice and I went out last Thursday and I had programmed-in what I thought was a safe route going upstream on the Negro, but even though we were a good 300-400m from the river bank, we were still pottering through just 5ft of water. We had to head out a good kilometre before we found the main (200ft+) channel.
It is odd looking directly across to the bank, then up through the trees to see the high-water mark, and some trees are completely covered by water for 6 – 7 months of the year. Anyway, for your edification and general delight, I can now inform you that yesterday’s precise level was 17.81m, and the low point (so far) was 17.74m (on Sunday 28th Ocotober). I was particularly nervous when we visited our local floating bar and the echo-sounder registered less than 3ft of water (although oddly enough after a couple of bottles of Skol with lunch I was somewhat more relaxed when we left).
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