Three Trip Reports
Monksville Reservoir Full Moon Paddle, Wallkill River, Green Turtle Pond Throw Rope Tossing "Lab" and paddle
by Martin W.
Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, June 14
Well, the Friday The 13th Full Moon Paddle got rained and lightninged out big time, so I quickly rescheduled it for the following day, Saturday... resulting in plenty of folks dropping out or just not bothering to show up. Anyway, those that did come seemed to have a good time with the weather clearing nicely, but the moon rise wasn't until 10:00pm so we pretty much were off the water and headed home by then with a few staying for an impromptu parking lot knot tying session. We did leave Larry Talbot standing there in the parking lot, looking like he was just about to do his transforming schtick. Those that did attend were the 3 Sharons... guests - Doc Sharon P., Sharon P. and members Sharon G., Pat U., John S., Richard H., Teri R. and myself.
Saturday, June 14
Earlier on Saturday, a bunch of us did the mighty Wallkill River in Sussex County. Those that went were Mike K., Renee L., Marina L., John F., Teri R., Peter W., Lori Y., Cory W., Chis K. and myself. As a change of pace, we started from Bassett's Bridge and headed north to what was suppose to be a leisurely and tranquil paddle to a wonderful section of the river which I call the "Cataracts". A small waterfall and smooth (non-muddy) stone banks to eat lunch at and an easily return back paddling upstream with a couple of short ankle-deep small rock ledges to haul the boats up. Well..... things didn't quite turn out that way!
After the torrential rains the night before, the usually shallow and tranquil only slightly mighty Wallkill was indeed very mighty and not very tranquil - some of which you can see on the photos and short video that I have included a link to... Big time water in a few places. Two people went swimming negotiating the big ledge and another getting out of the boat. All were OK and all equipment retrieved. The Cataracts were under water and the small waterfall was a lively but runnable souse-hole. So, we ended up eating lunch on the only 3 feet of river bank that was only semi-muddy. On the return trip back to Oil City Road takeout, we paddled up the current when we could, portaging around the torrents of water pouring over the ledges and through massive stands of poison ivy. But we had fun anyway and at the end gave us plenty of "character", I would say.
Sunday's Throw Rope Tossing "Lab" and paddle..
Sunday, June 15
The rescue throw rope lab and short paddle afterwards at Green Turtle Pond had the usual (of late) very light turnout with only Tom C., Deb C., Barrett W., Pat U., Bruce U., Susan R., Ramon S., and myself in attendance. The group went over the basics of the throw rope - throwing and second throw technique, signals, how to pack one and how to receive the rope if you are the victim (with most going into the water). This group did extremely well indeed and get an A+. Hopefully we will practice this important skill for any moving water paddlers in actual moving water soon. Tom C. demoed the what I now call the "Tom-Drag" - a method of retrieving a pinned boat in conjunction with the classic Z-Drag, which we set up on shore. Later we went out on the water for a short paddle. Congratulations to our new members - Pat and Bruce U. on their newly acquired kayaks.
Again, I really want to thank Deb and Tom Colby for all they do to help out with these safety "Labs". Without member volunteers such as Tom and Deb, the club couldn't offer all these important skill enhancement "labs" for those HRCKC members who actually want to gain and enhance their paddling skills.