Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Moving Water Seminar
by Jim McLoone

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The weather was clear and the sky was cloudless. The Barryville gauge read 3.4 feet. The water temperature was about 70 rising to 72 during the day. We had a party of 11 including Jim, Martin, George, Karl, Erik, Jan, Lyn, Melissa, Bill, and Rebecca.

10:00 Jim just beats first arrival at Narrowsburg access, our takeout.
10:15 all have arrived except George and party. He called me at 8: am to let me know he was on the way. Jim puts his boat on Martin’s car.
10:30 all depart for Skinner’s falls leaving Jim’s Suburban as a shuttle vehicle for all 8 drivers.
10:50 Say hello to Bill Weber a law enforcement Ranger and long time friend.
11:15 Jim and Martin paddle down to meet the group at the top of the top of the falls where they had walked to.
Jim gave everyone a turn at holding his boat full of water in a very light current. Surprise at how much force the water applied.
Jim identified some rocks from upstream with a second view from downstream.
After re loading the boat all hands were invited to look on at a small channel where a plastic boat was used to illustrate the benefits of leaning into a rock instead of away from it.
Jim used a spinning rod with a bobber on the end of the line to illustrate the holding power of a small hole and the formation of eddies. The bobber was floated through several channels and also cast into a couple of larger eddies to help the group focus on areas that Jim was describing.
We made use of a small channel to illustrate the use of a paddle to enhance in water mobility and at 12:30 returned to the parking area to enjoy our picnic lunch on the grass.

Around 1:15 we finished lunch and began launch for the rest of the group. We paddled over to the Pennsylvania side of the river and pulled off just before the first drop. Jim and Martin distributed throw bags to those who had not brought one and the group hiked down the rough trail on the right shore to study lines that can be used to run the rapids. We picked out several large rocks that were nearly invisible from the upstream side but that actually could be seen to be two or three inches out of the water on the downstream side. Thus folks found out that the water tends to pillow above the rock.

We paused in our scouting expedition for an in water mobility exercise using groups of three people, and after that took several turns at “bagging” Jim and several volunteers. Then everyone got a turn at belaying Martin in the same fast channel.

By then it was 3:30 and we walked back up to the boats to begin our trip to Narrowsburg.

We reached the take out around 5:15, ran the shuttle and loaded our boats. We were ready to leave the take out by 6:30 and 7 of our group enjoyed a fine meal at the Whistle Stop Café where the only down side was that the second page of the order form was lost and three meals had to be re ordered resulting in a two seating meal. The food was good and enjoyed by all. It was almost 8:00 by the time the check was tallied up and we all departed for home.