Friday, March 29, 2024

Second Swim of the Year - Scantic - March 29, 2024

At the put-in
We will be busy this weekend with the family for Easter, so when I found out that I had Good Friday off from work and that Paul D. was running a CTAMC trip on the Scantic, it was a perfect match.

The Scantic arises in Hampden, MA (southeast of Springfield) and flows general southwest for 40-miles to join the Connecticut River in South Windsor, CT. We would be running the 5-mile section from Quality Avenue in Somers to the Powder Hollow Barn (South Maple Street) in Hazardville that is the site of the Scantic Spring Splash downriver race. There are 4 class II+ (maybe class III at this level) rapids - Trestle, Stokers, Chimney and Staircase.

With all the rain this week the river was at a nice level with 2-feet, 150 cfs on the Broad Brook gage and 1.5-feet on the trestle bridge gage. Jo-Ann described it as “sporty”. We had 9 boats – 8 kayaks and 1 canoe - what else is new. We put in off Quality Avenue and headed downstream. The first 2.5 miles is mostly quickwater, and it was moving right along. The removal of the Springborn Dam in 2017 created the first major rapid – the Trestle Rapid under the railroad bridge.

Shortly after Trestle is Stokers - a 3-foot ledge that needs to be run about 10 feet off the left bank. I usually try move to the right after the drop to avoid the rock pile at the bottom. This time, it didn’t happen. The current pushed me left, but with the higher water level I made it through fine.

After some more quickwater and a nice surf wave comes Chimney - an “S” turn through some rocky ledges that is generally run down the center (maybe center left). I filled up my boat running the drop at the bottom. I pulled into the eddy, but I didn’t have my bailer and there wasn’t anyplace to get out to empty my boat, so I pulled back out into the current to find a place downstream. Unfortunately, with a boat full of water I flipped in the small drop downstream – second swim of the year for me.  Maybe it is time for an electric bilge pump (JTK CanoeRidge 

The last rapid is Staircase, which is exactly what you would expect - a series of ledges that look like a staircase with a large shoot at the bottom. I eddied out on the left as I came down to help line up on the shoot on the bottom, and made it through fine. Another fun day. It was a good Good Friday!


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