National Geographic : 1955 May
703 ueorge noager, Magnum Each Second Thousands of Gallons of Water Gush from Mighty Owen Falls Dam Kayak voyagers, portaging around this section of the river, watched construction gangs at work. Queen Elizabeth opened the $61,600,000 project in April, 1954. Harnessing the Nile, it feeds power to Uganda industries, helps irrigate Egypt and the Sudan. Sluices spout water 100 feet out to avoid erosion of the riverbed. I answered him and asked, "Where is Andre?" Jean held up a sodden hat and one water soaked bag. It was the only evidence of our friend's fate. We shouted and searched for more than an hour, but to no avail. Andre had vanished. Wrecked and Marooned, but Alive! Jean and I salvaged my kayak; then he wandered off into the brush as I sat morosely slapping at tsetse flies. Suddenly, with a whoop of joy, Jean bounded into view, yell ing the happy news that he had found Andre! Our lost companion had been hidden from us because he had cracked up at a blind spot, where the right bank formed a horseshoe curve. He was still marooned on a mass of rock in a welter of white water. Yelling over the rapids' roar, we worked Andre almost to shore with a long rope, when his boat, its back broken, folded. He was spilled out but grabbed the rope. I held fast while Jean helped Andre from the water. After a few minutes' rest, we wrestled bag gage and battered kayak to dry land through papyrus twice as tall as a man. Biting insects nearly drove us crazy as we wallowed through knee-deep muck. Leeches clung in clusters to our legs. "I know now what they mean when they say Africa 'gets under your skin!'" I com mented.