Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Flume at 3 1/2 (Bulls Bridge)

http://youtu.be/ec74KZygMpI




View from observation deck between Dead Horse and the main flow, looking down at The Flume.  This can be run direct, but setting up in the river-right eddy is often more accurate.  Note how Sollie hits the rooster tail at the lip of the drop and follows it down with right to left momentum.  He hits the line perfectly.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

http://totalwhitewaterfun.blogspot.com/p/bulls-bridge-painted-gauge-internet.html


Bulls Bridge: Painted Gauge & Internet Gauge Correlations

Alden Bird’s book ,  “Let It Rain:  The Whitewater Rivers of New England, New York, Quebec and Ontario”  ISBN-13: 978-0615154077  has some data on gauge correlations from Dan St. Germain.   While many people have complex systems to remotely figure out the level on the painted gauge, the one Dan outlined in the book is simple (and one that boaters have used for decades to decide if they were going load gear into the car to drive to the river).  The table below has a version of the same system that I was taught 20 years ago (probably by Dan or someone who paddled with him).  

The simple way to remember it is:
4 on the internet = 1 on the paint, 
and every half step up on the internet is a whole step up on the painted gauge.


Internet gauge at Gaylordsville
(power plant operation normal)
Painted boater’s gauge on river right, below the bridge at regular put-in
4.0
1   (or a little lower)
4.5
2   (or a little lower)
5.0
3
5.5 
4
6.0
5
6.5
6
7.0
7   (or a little higher)

It’s not perfect, but is an easy correlation that works within a couple of inches on the gauge.  Close enough for boating!


If you don’t have Alden’s book, then I recommend picking it up.  It’s a great resource!


According to the limited data from this past month, when the power plant is off, the following correlations exist.

Internet gauge at Gaylordsville
(power plant is off)
Painted boater’s gauge on river right, below the bridge at regular put-in
3.4
1 ½ 
3.7
2 ½ 
4.0
3
5.15
4 ½ 
7.5
7



Bulls Bridge gauge records from December 2014
(a bunch of numbers that don’t make perfect sense, but do have rough correlations)

Chronological Record

Date
Powerplant OFF/ON
Painted Gauge
online gauge
Gaylordsville
online gauge
TenMile
online gauge
Falls Village
11/30
offline
1 ½ 
3.40  (997cfs)
1.52  (154cfs)
3.05  (842cfs)
12/5
offline
2 ½
3.70  (1680cfs)
1.89  (246cfs)
3.43  (1230cfs)
12/6
offline
3 (low)
3.89  (1900cfs)
2.24  (352cfs)
3.62  (1379cfs)
12/7
offline
4 ½(high)
5.28  (3700cfs)
3.32  (793cfs)
4.67  (2470cfs)
12/8
offline
4 ½ (low)
5.00  (3320cfs)
2.77  (546cfs)
4.40  (2150cfs)
12/10
offline
7
7.53  (7510cfs)
5.47(2140cfs)
6.40  (4840cfs)
12/11
ON
6 ½ 
7.32  (7090cfs)
4.52 (1470cfs)
6.34  (4750cfs)
12/12
ON
5 ½ 
6.63  (5770cfs)
3.83 (1060cfs)
5.89  (4110cfs)
12/13
ON
4 ½ 
5.94  (4650cfs)
3.39  (828cfs)
5.09  (2990cfs)
12/14
ON
3 ½ 
5.31  (3740cfs)
3.12  (698cfs)
4.55  (2320cfs)
12/15
ON
2 ½ 
4.98  (3300cfs)
2.94  (618cfs)
4.30  (2040cfs)
12/16
ON
2
4.75  (3000cfs)
2.77  (546cfs)
4.16  (1900cfs)
12/17
ON
2
4.72  (2960cfs)
2.87  (588cfs)
4.06  (1790cfs)
12/19
ON
2 ½ 
no info
2.74  (534cfs)
4.16  (1900cfs)
12/20
ON
2+
4.60  (2820cfs)
2.55  (460cfs)
4.09  (1820cfs)
12/21
ON
1 ½ 
4.40  (2570cfs)
2.47  (431cfs)
3.94  (1670cfs)
12/22
ON
1 ½ (low)
4.28  (2400cfs)
2.42  (413cfs)
3.84  (1580cfs)
12/23
ON
1 ¼ 
4.21  (2300cfs)
2.42  (413cfs)
3.83  (1570cfs)
12/24
ON
1 ½ 
4.32  (2460cfs)
2.48  (434cfs)
4.01  (1740cfs)

Compared levels:  powerplant ON vs powerplant offline

Date
Powerplant OFF/ON
Painted Gauge
online gauge
Gaylordsville
online gauge
TenMile
online gauge
Falls Village
12/21
ON
1 ½ 
4.40  (2570cfs)
2.47  (431cfs)
3.94  (1670cfs)
12/24
ON
1 ½ 
4.32  (2460cfs)
2.48  (434cfs)
4.01  (1740cfs)
11/30
offline
1 ½ 
3.40  (997cfs)
1.52  (154cfs)
3.05  (842cfs)






12/16
ON
2
4.75 (3000cfs)
2.77 (546cfs)
4.16 (1900cfs)
12/17
ON
2
4.72  (2960cfs)
2.87  (588cfs)
4.06  (1790cfs)
12/20
ON
2+
4.60  (2820cfs)
2.55  (460cfs)
4.09  (1820cfs)






12/19
ON
2 ½ 
no info
2.74  (534cfs)
4.16  (1900cfs)
12/15
ON
2 ½ 
4.98  (3300cfs)
2.94  (618cfs)
4.30  (2040cfs)
12/5
offline
2 ½
3.70  (1680cfs)
1.89  (246cfs)
3.43  (1230cfs)






12/6
offline
3 (low)
3.89  (1900cfs)
2.24  (352cfs)
3.62  (1379cfs)






12/14
ON
3 ½ 
5.31  (3740cfs)
3.12  (698cfs)
4.55  (2320cfs)






12/13
ON
4 ½ 
5.94  (4650cfs)
3.39  (828cfs)
5.09  (2990cfs)
12/7
offline
4 ½ (high)
5.28  (3700cfs)
3.32  (793cfs)
4.67  (2470cfs)
12/8
offline
4 ½ (low)
5.00  (3320cfs)
2.77  (546cfs)
4.40  (2150cfs)

Power plant is alleged to take 1800 cfs, but only seems to take 1200 – 1600 cfs.    If they keep fixing the systems, they might actually take 1800 cfs again in the future.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bulls Bridge 1 1/2 on painted gauge


Painted boater's gauge:  1 1/2

Beware of stick in the last small drop of Stairway (river left)

Housatonic at Gaylordsville gauge:   4.32  (2460 cfs)
Tenmile River gauge:  2.48  (434 cfs)
Falls Village gauge:  4.01 (1740 cfs)

This is the level at 12:00 pm today
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=ct&w=map

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bulls Bridge 1 1/4 on the painted gauge (and some basic Flume info)


Painted boater's gauge:  1 1/4

Beware of stick in the last small drop of Stairway (river left)

Housatonic at Gaylordsville gauge:   4.21  (2300 cfs)
Tenmile River gauge:  2.42  (413 cfs)
Falls Village gauge:  3.83 (1570 cfs)

This is the level at 12:00 pm today
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=ct&w=map





photo of Stairway taken from the bridge



Normal Lines for running the Flume (my observations, not intended to guide anyone.  As always, when in doubt, get out and scout, and make your own decision!)  The view in this photo is from the observation deck next to Dead Horse.



This is the normal, direct approach line for the flume.  Start crossing Dead Horse, then turn down to bite off the right corner of the guardian wave (if you try to go around the wave, then you'll have trouble getting back on line).  Once through the wave, look for the cleft in the horizon.  Most of the water gets funneled to the left (some people call this rapid "funnel"), and you want to take a few strokes to get on that left moving water.  Allowing yourself to drift right puts you into a steep hole and shallow water.


This low angle approach starts from the river right eddy.  You can ride one of the two angled breaking waves that help you move from right to left, into the flume as mentioned above.  Or, you can thread the needle between the two waves to get on line.  Either way, the idea is to end up in the same position as the line mentioned just before.  

The eddy is pretty long, and many people use the eddy to stage a hybrid line between this low approach and direct approach.  Start high in the eddy and ferry out towards center until you are back on the direct approach line.




The boof line starts to open up at this level, but probably only to those with local knowledge.  The red arrow on the right shows a part of the ledge that is exposed at 1 (but just barely under water in this photo).  Once that is exposed, then a crossing move that starts from a last chance eddy river left, and ends up boofing, cross grain, landing in the eddy below the red arrow.  It is super super shallow, and not very friendly to those who miss the move.  I show this mostly to demonstrate that the level is not quite down to 1 (since the rock on river right still has water going over it).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bulls Bridge 1 1/2 (low) on painted gauge

Painted boater's gauge:  1 1/2 (low)

Beware of stick in the last small drop of Stairway (river left)

Housatonic at Gaylordsville gauge:   4.28  (2400 cfs)
Tenmile River gauge:  2.42  (413 cfs)
Falls Village gauge:  3.84 (1580 cfs)

This is the level at 12:00 pm today
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=ct&w=map


(left) looking across from river right, (right) looking down from bridge
The footer/block just under water is the mark for 1


view of Stairway from the bridge

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bulls Bridge 1 1/2 on the painted gauge


Painted boater's gauge:  1 1/2 (difficult to tell with condition of paint)
Beware of stick in the last small drop of Stairway (river left)

Housatonic at Gaylordsville gauge:   4.40  (2570 cfs)
Tenmile River gauge:  2.47  (431 cfs)
Falls Village gauge:  3.94 (1670 cfs)

This is the level at 10:00 am today
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=ct&w=map


view of gauge from river left


view of gauge from 2nd window from river right, downstream side of bridge.
This is often the best place to check since you can see the block.


Stairway from the bridge. 
Beware of the stick in the river left side of the bottom of stairway.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bulls Bridge 2 on the painted gauge


Painted boater's gauge:  2 (about 2" over 2)
Housatonic at Gaylordsville gauge:   4.60  (2820 cfs)
Tenmile River gauge:  2.55  (460 cfs)
Falls Village gauge:  4.09 (1820 cfs)

This is the level at 1:00 pm today
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=ct&w=map

 
gauge seen from river right bank

  
gauge enhanced to show worn level markers

  
view of stairway rapid from the bridge, showing the run out to stairway and the usual put in spot on river left

view from under the bridge, on river left, looking across to the usual put in and painted gauge.  The painted gauge used to be called the "Flintstone Gauge" because a large spray painted picture of Fred Flintstone used to be higher up on the concrete to the right.


You never know what treasures you'll find in the trees as the water level drops.  Some Brony was obviously heart broken when this fine piece of wall art/clock washed away.