Friday, September 11, 2015

Canal is off, and it rained

Keep an eye on the gauge as the water comes up.  It all goes into the river and not the hydro project.  They are replacing the penstocks.

The photos below are from noon today.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Boof move at The Flume (at 1' on the painted gauge)

1 on the painted gauge opens up some light creeking practice at Bulls Bridge.  One particularly fun move is to catch the last-chance eddy on river left above the Flume, then cross the horizon line and launch into the river right eddy at the base of the Flume.  It's a move that can only be done when the gauge is on either side of 1; too low and the river does not have enough water, too high and you'll boof into a sticky hole with rocks barely below the surface.

The first sequence shows me doing it in my LL Stinger.  The photos were taken from the river right side, by Tom Coker, standing on the ledge that makes the rapid.  Later sequences show angles from the river left eddy, then the angle seen from the landing eddy at river right.

approach the rapid from center and angle left to the last-chance eddy

There is a little rock just beneath the surface at the top of the eddy so you have to enter the eddy just a little off the top.  Be careful.  If you enter too low, you'll run a very rocky drop backwards.

Peel out and paddle hard across the main current.  The goal is to cross the current as far as you possibly can and boof at the far right edge of the horizon line.

Boof the drop heading about 45 degrees into the eddy.

A little hip and leg kung fu to make some micro adjustments to the boat and you're in the eddy.

Of course, the only way out of this eddy is to surf across the hole at the base of the main drop.

Here is Ted showing us how it's done in a shorter boat.  The photos were taken from the river left side staging eddy that is at the lip of the main drop.

You can see how last-chance the river right eddy really is.  

Ted driving across the current at the top of The Flume.

The crux of the move is to continue driving across the current.  The current at the far side of the move starts to push you back towards center.  The move takes a couple of more strokes than you might thing it does.

Ted making his boof stroke and landing in the eddy.

As mentioned earlier, the only way out of the landing eddy is by surfing across the hole at the base of the drop.  

Here is a sequence of Winston doing the same move from the same angle (river left eddy).  The last five pictures show the reverse angle; standing in the landing eddy (river right), looking back up the drop.

Below is the reverse view of the same move.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Safety Hazard at Bulls Bridge (ongoing construction debris)

The old wires that work crews had used to work under Bulls Bridge were cut and allowed to fall into the river when the crew set up new ones.  Be very careful about these wires.  They do not give the same indications when they are just below the surface as a log would.

Ted and I put on the river today around 4 pm.  The level on the paint was just above 1.  We saw old cables draped across the concrete abutment and decided to clean up the debris that the work crews had not.

One of the cables was stuck, and is still in the water.  The second one could be pulled on to shore completely (river left) and placed above the 3' mark.  Both are still attached to the bank, so need to be cut with a torch or cutoff wheel.  I may approach the work crew this week to see what their plan if for this stuff.

One thing to note is that this does not mean that the work crew was being lazy or purposely irresponsible.  Most people do not know that things falling into the river present a hazard to the boating community (and it is our job to educate them).  There are some cables on shore, by the road, indicating that the crew was replacing old cables with new ones so they could safely work under the bridge.  The arrows show the new cables used to support the work platform.  

To summarize:  one cable is still in the water as of tonight.  More debris may fall into the water as the bridge is repaired.  The work crew has a quitting time, and whatever is not finished at that time is left for the next work day, so the whitewater community has to be alert around this job site.


Update (June 30):
I spoke with the work crew yesterday.  They understood the hazard that debris would present to boaters, particularly cables, and promised to remove them all.  When a few of us paddled at the end of the day, it was apparent that they only removed the cables that were easy to access and left the ones that Ted and I had clean up on the shore and still extending into the water.  Be very careful about these.  They are on river left side.  They are high enough that they should not be a problem at levels of 3 and lower, but conditions change daily.  

If anyone knows of the State of CT department that approves these kinds of operations and/or the contractors that got the work for Bulls Bridge, please post a comment.  They need to be made aware of the danger that they are presenting to the boating community, at a designated boat launch, where it is widely known that boaters navigate that waterway on a regular basis.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bulls Bridge was 1 1/2 on painted gauge at 6 pm today

it was raining when I took the photo, so I expect the level to hold or go up.  Check the USGS gauge at this address

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Bulls Bridge just below 1 1/2 on the painted gauge at 12:30 pm today

Update:  Power plant is back online (seems to be running all turbines) and the painted gauge was a solid 2 when a couple of us put on at 5:45 pm today.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Powerplant Maintenance so.... Bulls Bridge is running below One

All gauge correlations are off because they seem to be working on the power plant.  The canal has moving water, and it looks like they are running at least one turbine, but are not taking as much water as they can.  This little bit of rain has brought the level up almost to 1, and some more rain is expected.  The trick is that, if they turn the power plant back to full capacity, all of the water will be diverted.  Keep an eye on the internet gauge.  If there is a sudden spike then drop, it means that they turned the rest of the turbines back on and are taking more water.  In the mean time, the water is warm, and this is a rare chance to paddle on Bulls Bridge in June.

View from the bridge, looking upstream at Stairway.