Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Day on Fife Brook - June 23, 2102

It rained on the way out.  It rained on the way back.  In between, we had a great day (sunny and warm) on the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River.

Surfing at Carbis Bend
This was my first trip to the Deerfield since the extensive flooding on the Deerfield during Hurricane Irene last year.  We had a small group – Earl, Jeff, Paul and me. The release was scheduled to be 800 cfs, but it was closer to 900 cfs on the Charlemont gage.  Not a bad level, but I don't think I would want to run it much lower.

We ran the shuttle and got on the river around 11:00.  I had heard that there would be a lot of changes as a result of the flooding, but I was still surprised at how much had changed. 
  • Hangover Helper at the start of the run was bigger, but there is an easy line to the right. 
  • Carbis Bend has a much smaller surf wave, and the midstream rock that was great for side surfing is gone.
  • The wave train and surf hole above the railroad bridge at Freight Train are gone, although a new surf spot developed at the ledge downstream
  • Pinball is unaffected, but the wave trains and surf spots below it around Miami Beach are gone.
Some of the biggest changes occurred around Zoar Gap. The Gap is now considerably narrower, and the sneak route on the far right is gone – filled with rocks from the reconstruction of the road above. The easiest line, and the one I took, is now center right. The left line is still there - maybe I’ll try it next time.


Dryway Run from Wavehopper

If I ever get brave, maybe I'll run the Dryway.  Then again...maybe not!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

River Bend Farm with the BVPC – June 19, 2012

Had a good time yesterday with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club at River Bend Farm in Uxbridge.

The river was at a nice level – 2.8 feet, 525 cfs in the Northbridge gage – fluid but not particularly difficult.  I think it had dropped a little from when I scouted this section on Saturday.  We had about 30 boats - the largest group so far this season.

Ranger Chuck joined us on this trip and he gave a nice talk on river reading and river skills.  We would need those skills as we worked our way down the twists and turns in the river section.  We had two swims, but nothing serious.  Stopped for ice cream at Pirates Cove - can't beat that.

Ranger Chuck does the safety talk

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pawcatuck River – Potter Hill to Westerly – June 11, 2012

I headed down to South County yesterday to run the Pawcatuck River from Potter Hill to Westerly with the RICKA Flatwater group.  The river was at a nice level – 5ft., 550 cfs. on the Westerly gage.  We had a large group – 21 boats, 3 canoes and 18 kayaks.

We put-in a little upstream, but the normal put-in would be off Laurel Street just downstream from the Potter Hill Dam in Ashaway. We spent some time playing in the waves below the dam before moving downstream.

Below Potter Hill the river is mostly flatwater running though woods and fields for 3 ½ miles until it reaches the White Rock Dam.  The dam can be portaged on the right, but we ran the millrace to the left.  It is often described as class II whitewater, but it was more like quickwater/class I yesterday.  There is one nice playhole, and we found Duke Wavewalker enjoying the hole with a couple of friends. 

Below White Rock, the River is mostly flatwater with one short quickwater section before we reached downtown Westerly.  We took out at the boat ramp on Main Street.

Getting some pictures of the action below the Potter Hill Dam

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blackstone Canal/River Loop - Jun 9, 2009

Got up early, skipped the gym, and headed out to paddle the canal/river loop from Lonsdale to Ashton. River was little low (2 ft., 550 cfs. on the Woonsocket Gage), but not a bad level.

Blackstone River/Canal Loop from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

An Evening in “Beaver-Dam-Land” - June 5, 2012

It was too cloudy to see the Venus Transit, but it turned out to be a nice night for a relaxing paddle with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club in “Beaver-Dam-Land” on the Nipmuc River.  With the rain last weekend, the river was at a nice level – 3 ft., 30 cfs on the Harrisville gage.  We paddled upstream and portaged over two beaver dams before turning around at the “Land-of-Blown-Down-Trees” Along the way we saw a small fawn sleeping along the side of river.  We explored the beaver pond before returning back to the take-out - nice night.


Monday, June 4, 2012

RICKA Trip on the Assabet - June 3, 2012

The rain held off, and we had a nice group on the Assabet River – 18 boats – 3 canoes, 15 kayaks.  With the rains on Saturday, the river had come up nicely – 3 feet on the Maynard gage.  We ran the section from the Acton Canoe Launch to Lowell Street in Concord. Everyone made it through the broken dam.  Trip ended at Minuteman National Park.  Great day
The Red Coats are coming - Erik, Tom and Jim
at Minuteman National Park