Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bagaduce Falls

Thursday afternoon looked pretty nice: blue sky, calm ocean; the air was even a bit warm. When Todd called I thought, yeah, lets take a paddle out to the islands. But no, he'd been scouting the reversing falls on the Bagaduce River over in Brooksville. We'd gone there on Tuesday and watched for a couple hours as the brisk current went completely slack, and started flowing the opposite direction.

So we cartopped the kayaks over to the falls- 22 miles away, arriving as the water flowed inland. A bridge crosses the river here (which is really just a long tidal inlet) constricting the flow and creating a strong current with a long line of standing waves.

The bridge also provides photographers with a good spot to watch the action. Rebecca took these. She got so many good shots that it was hard to choose.

Of course we like the shots in which Todd is about to dump, like this one. Todd successfully rolled out of most of these spills, and only had to swim once. His ability to roll well helped him really push; I was a bit more cautious, but I'd probably have more fun if I'd just dump and get it over with.

We practiced peeling into eddies and riding downstream. Moving upstream, we tried to surf on standing waves, and found a few, but found them more elusive than at Sullivan Falls.

The occasional passing cars seemed to enjoy the show, occasionally honking. We spent a couple hours playing in the current before it began to die down. By then we were tired and ready to call it a day.

Earlier this week, I also circumnavigated the Lily Pond with Sarah, who was there to work on paddlefloat re-entries. And you've probably noticed my new paddle: a Werner Camano, like Todd's. What a night and day difference: lighter weight, shorter shaft, smaller blades... very light and agile. But now maybe I need a light and agile paddle with big blades for river paddling. The quest for gear never ends.

All photos by Rebecca Daugherty

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