Friday, June 30, 2017

Second swim of 2017 - Tville - June 29, 2017

It's hard to believe that it's the end of June, and I can still get my whitewater boat out on a natural flow river. Tville on the Farmington River in CT continues to run, and shows no sign of dropping. I got out again last night with the CT/AMC, and had my second swim of the year. My ride in the playhole only lasted a couple of seconds, but this time there is a picture of me upright.

The calm before the swim...
The paddle on the upstream side probably contributed to my speedy demise, but a least I was facing the camera for the shot.

The river was 1.6 feet, 550 cfs.  Tom wrote on Pnet...
Anyone can bob a hole embedded in a cork,
but when the tale wags twain gunwhale that wallows wide as pork,
that into stall that sooee's call you herd with the short stick,
Wellll, then you've done well sink or swim in swell where the yak yawns in dizzy lick.

(Meaning a pig's pirouette in the sty is worth two yak bow stalls in the eye. Mind you, that's a pirouette not spun around an horizontal axis!)

No pig's pirouette for me! 😉

My Pictures
Tville Gage
River Description from American Whitewater

Monday, June 26, 2017

Pawcatuck “Wilderness” Trip – June 24-25, 2017

Each spring, The RICKA Wilderness group does an overnight trip on the Pawcatuck River.  The idea is to give people a sense of what it takes to do more extended wilderness tripping from a canoe or kayak.  The Pawcatuck has a bunch of nice paddle-in sites, so it’s the perfect place for this type of trip. 

I didn’t have time to pack up on Friday, so I was rushing around on Saturday morning to get everything together. Usually with meals it is “everyone for themselves”, but for this trip we decided to do group meals, and I agreed to take breakfast.  The remnants of Tropical Strom Cindy would be coming through as well, so I packed tarps, clothes, and rain gear that I wouldn’t normally bring.  I had two big drybags stuffed with food and gear.

Enjoying the campfire
Just as I was about to leave the rain started, and it pored until about 11:00.  Then, just a predicted, the storm moved off and the sky cleared.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.  We met at the Richmond Landing (now called the Jay Cronin Access), ran the shuttle down to Alton, and then got on the river for an easy paddle down to the campsite. 

We camped at the bootleg site at the confluence of the Wood and the Pawcatuck.  When we arrived, the site was a mess – littered with beer cans and broken glass. The first job was to clean things up.  After that we set up the tents, took a hike down to the osprey nest (no osprey in residence) and cooked dinner.  Bill joined us around dinner time, and we settled in for a relaxing evening around the campfire. 

At the take-out at Alton Dam
Most of us were up early on Sunday, so we got the fire going, cooked breakfast, and sat around the fire before packing up to leave.  Once on the water we paddle up the Wood River to Alton.  Great trip.

The crew gets ready to leave
My Pictures

Saturday, June 17, 2017

First swim of 2017 – Tville - June 15, 2017

Last year, my first swim of the year was on January 1st, and I swam again before the month was out.  This year it took a little longer, but I finally had my first swim of 2017.

With Father’s Day and rainy weather, I knew it would be tough to get out this weekend, so I decided to join the local AMC group on their Thursday night run at Tville.  Tville is a short but fun trip at this level - 1.7 feet, 600 cfs.  It has some nice surf spots above the Gorge, and a couple of pool drops in the Gorge.  The highlight of the trip for most is the playhole.

To be honest, I usually skip the playhole and focus on taking pictures.  I had tried it once before at about the same level, bounced around for a few seconds before backing out with the boat still upright, and considered myself lucky.  It didn’t look too bad on Thursday, so I decided to give it a try again.  

I ventured in and the boat immediately got swung around sideways.  I side-surfed for a couple of seconds before doing a couple of forward strokes to get myself out.  I was almost out when the boat hit the stronger downstream current that the edge of the hole, shifted upstream, and over I went. 

Over I go in the Playhole
I gave the boat a good push thinking that would get it over to the eddy, but in the strong current it continued downstream – and me with it.  I decided that I had better focus on getting myself to shore, which I did.  My boat went over the next drop before the crew as able to push it into an eddy. 

Even with the swim, it was another fun trip, and I reamain captain of the swim team for 2017! From Tom (canoeswithduckheads) on P-net:

There's a vortex in which the little yaks squirt,
and twist and flip roll play,
with bipolar tale they flail and flail,
wave-to-wave they glide away,

but for big gnu this just won't do,
whilst in their one-legged doggy paddle,
with a sideways buck they often like to chuck,
into the trough riders from the saddle.


Monday, June 12, 2017

RICKA Flatwater Training – June 11, 2017

I helped Bill and Frank with the annual RICKA flatwater training.  We had ten participants, and seven tried to do assisted rescues.  We got all seven got back n the boat – including me!

Bill and Frank demonstrating as assisted rescue