Monday, May 29, 2006

Rattlesnake Rapid and HUGE waterfall

everyone asks about this rapid, and the huge drop, yet very few in the paddling world have actually seen it.
yea yea yea. a BUNCH of us have spotted a line down the drop. But, that first 9' boof onto pointy rock with about 4" of water is the crux, at the top of a giant, 60' slide, half of which goes into a cave,the other half goes off a lip and lands on a rock flake. You'd probably have more control freefalling from 60' than attempting this!

Still. Putting in below the thundering falls is absolutely spectacular! And, there are between two and five good little surfing waves on this short, 1/4 mile stretch of whitewater.

My personal favorite is the cave wave. Two waves with eddy service. The eddy is in a cave. How awesome is that?

This is not a great photo of Tim getting onto the wave for a good surf, but the sky was kind of pretty. I just couldn't resist...

Until very recently, there was an annual slalom race that started near this wave. Many top, national team athletes both looked forward to and dreaded the Rattlesnake Slalom. At least one person's super cool, all carbon fiber, boat would break each year. And "the drop" made many racers nervous. Only 8' high, but it packs a punch, and disguised a very narrow clean line. Being accurate enough to hit a patch of water that is barely as wide as your boat is tough. Doing it at the END of an intense slalom run take super human focus and effort!

Here's a better shot of the cave, where people warm up and surf in the mist of the big 60' "Great Falls".

Saturday, May 27, 2006

"Otto" boof

it's a move on the middle line to Pencil Sharpener (on Bulls Bridge) that really only works at lower water; otherwise the jet is not there and you end up getting munched in a really big nasty hole. (still a bit of a possibility at 2' as well).

you'll see in the first photo that Andrew didn't quite make it over for the boof. The line is only about 12" wide, so precision is the key.

On the second photo he gets it and landed with a nice "BOOF" sound.

It's a very fast move because all of the energy comes from a long slide leading into it. Not very high, but still a dynamic feel. The last photo of Corkzilla most effectively displays the speed of the move.
He was just an inch or two off line, but pulled it together with some last minute finesse.

Whitewater fun on the Housatonic River indeed.....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

DragoRossi and Jackson at Bulls Bridge

A beautiful day. Well, ok, maybe it was a bit cloudy, a bit rainy. But, who cares? Tim and I were totally psyched to be on the river at high water! It didn't matter if it was sunny, or we were having a freak hail storm (but that's another story....)

My shoulder is still a little bit tender from the surgery, but healing fast, so I am stuck in the "long" boat (funny how 7'2" is considered long today). Honestly, I am really enjoying the Pintail. I raved about it this past Fall when the rivers were flooding. The extra speed is a great crutch for MY out-of-shape butt. Still, it's short enough to throw around, cartwheel, and stern squirt (hey, remember those? STERN SQUIRTS)

Tim is getting a really good handle on his 4Fun. (he he he. still not as fast as my "long" Pintail) It was a pleasure just watching my friend surf every wave that we tried to catch. What a fun day.

boat breaks and plastic welding kayaks

yes. my friends. EVERY brand of boat breaks! Superlineamegatalacizedcrosspolywhatever plastic. It all breaks!

But, it can all be fixed too. Linear. Super linear. Crosslinked. It can all be fixed. Of course it will never be exactly the same, but it can be fixed well enough to get you through a season (even if you have to do the repair a couple of times...)

Creekboats are especially suspetible to breaking. When is the last time that you went creeking and didn't but some damage on your boat?

Robbie discovered just how much abuse he can dish out to his beloved Gus. Oops. Too much. That's ok. We can teach him how to weld it, and keep welding it until he saves up the money for another one.

(note the close up. it's Rob's first weld attmept. Pretty good, isnt' it?)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

fun in the sun

finally sunny out and a bit warm. I certainly appreciate and love the rain, high water, all that, but it's spring and I am certainly happy to have the warm sun on this run down the Housatonic River.
This is Rob's first time down the river. Look at him rip it up at surfing rapid, and getting ready for the big hit of whitewater in the face from running the flume.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

NHL playoffs. Go Devils!!!

a bit off topic, but I just had to say it.....

I grew up on New Jersey Devil's hockey. My family has had tickes since game one, when the Colorado Rockies moved to NJ and became the Devils. We watched the bad years, and now are enjoying the success of 3 Stanley Cups in 9 years.

Hockey is great.

NJDevils are great.

and their minor league team in Albany is called the River Rats. Just perfect for someone who loves the water....