Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day after Christmas Paddle - Crystal/Boateater on the Farmington - December 26, 2014

Santa was good to me this year with a new PFD, helmet, river knife, whistle and gloves, so I decided to go out and try out my new gear.  I saw a post on the Yakkers Facebook group that Matt, Scott, Tim, Paul and Dave were going to paddle the Crystal section of the Farmington.  It’s been a while since I’ve had my whitewater boat out, so I decided to join in.

The day was relatively warm and the river was at a decent level – 1,100 cfs, 6.5 feet on the Unionville gage.  We put-in off Rt. 179 near Collinsville.  Even though there was no snow, Scott gave the seal launch hill a try.

Scott - seal launch at Crystal from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

The run is about 5-miles long and includes a series of easy class I/II rapids with lots of rock gardens with places to play. The first major rapid is Crystal, which is the site of an annual spring slalom race. Its about a quarter mile long and terminates in a nice surf wave. Below Crystal is the Ledge at the Rt. 4 Bridge that we ran to the right. After a short section of flatwater comes the Boateater Rapid – a long wavetrain that we ran just right of center. 

The run took us about 3 hours with no swims – pretty good for us.  Either our skills are getting better, or we are getting old and not taking as many chances.

Surfing above the Crystal Rapid
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