Sunday, September 30, 2007

Current Practice ... x2

On Saturday Tim planned an adventure in the currents by the old stone bridge in Tiverton. TM, RR, BH, EJ, RB, and Brian D showed up. We met for a 10AM launch but chose to have coffee first and let the outgoing tide build a little.

Unfortunately the wind was blowing fairly strong in the same direction as the current. It would take a boat or some other random activity to get some of the standing waves building. When a boat would pass we'd dash in like seagulls behind a dragger and play in the turbulence. The most exciting spot was right near the "big evil can" that would oscillate back and forth and occasionally get sucked down deep.

After about an hour of play we paddled around Gould Island to loosen up a bit. Our intention was to head back to shore for lunch but as we neared the beach I noticed it was whipped up pretty good so EJ, BH, RB and I returned for a little more. This really was the best current of the day and for about 15 minutes we frolicked in the 18 inch standing waves. This included watching Bob be chased by the evil can!

On Sunday CM had a paddle planned out of Westport. The group split into a level 2 and a level 3. The smarter 2 paddle went up river with the current. The 3s went out to the mouth fighting the current al the way.

At the mouth we all played in the current by the end of Horseneck Beach. CH and others went out around Gooseberry, TM, BH, EJ and I stayed in the mouth for some more current play. We ultimately headed out to the beach in front of the Charlton Estate for lunch and waited for the tide to turn.

After lunch we headed back in and found just what we had been looking for. The river was dumping its current at an unbelievable rate and the SE breeze was just enough to get it all stirred up.

We were treated to 2 foot standing waves in a 400 x 100 yard area. We passed back and forth through this slop multiple times. Each time one or two of us would watch (and rest) and the rest would mix it up. Our boats were at times buried to the spray skirt in the wave in front of us while the following wave pushed us in. The spacing between these standing waves was less than 15 feet. My first pass through bordered on scary, my second was an adrenaline rush that had me trembling with excitement. The third time through was less exciting and it was time for a rest to calm down. We made a few more passes before deciding we had pushed our fates far enough. It was one of the most exciting times I’ve had on the water.