Sunday, July 29, 2012

Swam the Gap - again - July 28, 2012

Had a good time yesterday with Paul, Fran and Charlie on the Deerfield River.  We ran the section from the Fife Brook Dam down to the Shunpike Rest Area.

When I left my house it was bright and sunny.  By the time we got on the water, the rain had moved in and it rained for most of the afternoon. The scheduled release was 950 cfs., but with the rain, it seemed a little higher.

We had two successful runs through the gap and one swim – me.  I tried to run the right line, but got too far left and filled up with water going through hole.  I remember trying to brace, but swam in the big waves just downstream. Tommy says that I need to turn the motor on and PADDLE - good advice.  At least I provided a real live example of safe swimming for a Zoar rescue class that was practicing below the Gap.  My boat made it all the way down the bridge before someone snagged it.

Zoar Gap - Deerfield River from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A twisted canoe story - more fun at the Manville Dam - July 9, 2012

Tommy says that poling is tough on boats, and he’s right – at least the way I do it. 

It was beautiful last Sunday, so I decided to head to my favorite poling spot on the Blackstone River.  It has some nice moving water and a couple of easy drops.  I had poled up and back five or six times when it happened – I hit a rock and did a "step-out" (fell out of the boat).  I watched in what seemed like slow motion as the boat filled up with water and pinned against a row of rocks.  I knew there was no way I was getting that boat out alone.

Fortunately I have a few friends (Jim, Paul, Tom and Steve) who enjoy a challenge, and we met Monday night to try to release the boat.  Jim ran the lines – wrapping the boat for rotation and setting up a 3 to 1 pull.  We all grabbed the lines with anticipation and pulled ... nothing.  The boat didn’t move.  We tried setting the lines higher ... still nothing.   We pushed on the boat and pulled ... still nothing.  There was too few of us, and too much water in the boat.

We knew we had to get some water out of the upstream end, but how?  Paul had the answer – an old 2x8 that he used as a lever to lift the boat.  Paul lifted, we pulled, and the boat rotated slightly forward.  Now we were getting somewhere.  We repeated the process over and over, slowly rotating the boat forward.  Eventually, Paul and Steve got bored with this process, and they gave the boat a good push.  Surprisingly, it swung out into the current, taking Jim with it.  The boat was free.

Nothing was broken, but the bottom was warped and the gunwales were bent.  We dragged it up on shore and I stomped on the bottom.  It popped back into shape - amazing. There was a crease in the hull where it wrapped and the gunwales weren’t as straight as they use to be.  Other than, that the boat was in good shape. I paddled it back to the put-in.

The moral of the story is have patience, don’t give up and always have a few good friends to help you out. Thanks guys.

Jim and Steve setting the lines

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Third time is definitely not the charm – Manville Dam – July 8, 2012

I went back to the Manville Dam today with my Mohawk tandem to do some poling.  I did 5 or 6 runs without a problem, and should have quit while I was ahead.  I did one more run, and ended up with a pinned boat.  River is dropping, so hopefully I can get it free over the next couple of days.

Ouch - it hurts just looking at it!

"Park and Play' at Manville Dam - July 7, 2012

Went back to Manville Dam again - this time with my whitewater boat.  Between 200 cfs and 300 cfs, the section below the dam makes a nice "park and play" spot.  I'm still playing around with iMovie, but I'm getting better - figured out how to adjust volume and crop video clips.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pemi/Bristol Release Levels

The following appeared on the NPMB message board about releases on the Pemi at Bristol:
If there is a heavy rain during the week, they will often release 1,200 cfs to 1,500 cfs on Saturday, and sometimes on Sunday. You can run it as low as 500 cfs, but 1,200 cfs to 1,500 cfs is more fun.  Over 1,500 cfs and it starts to wash out. When nothing else is running even 800 cfs is fun. 
Pemigewasset River at Plymouth

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Albion to Manville…again – July 3, 2012

I was back in Albion on Tuesday night for the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club trip to Manville. It was a nice summer night – sunny and warm.  We had a good turnout with around 30 boats. It’s a leisurely flatwater paddle up to Manville. About half the boats portaged the first rocky ledge and made their way up to the bridge. Five of us the carried up to the dam to run the quickwater back down.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Albion to Manville - June 30, 2012

I'll be leading the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club this week, so I went down to scout the trip from Albion to Manville.