Category

Boating

Surviving Irene

By | Boating, Events

We have survived.
As we live only a block from the tidal part of the Hackensack River so our area had a voluntary evacuation….a voluntary evacuation? What’s the difference between that and a vacation? We did move the car out of the basement parking lot and filled a bunch of water bottles and, being campers, we have enough candles, flashlights, propane and the like to survive comfortably for weeks.

The Hackensack, despite the  pictures below, got away fine, but some of the other towns in the are have some serious flooding  ….maybe someday the powers that be will understand that dams only control flooding if they are drawn down so that they hold water during heavy rain…and of course developing in a flood plain is seldom a good idea. The powers that be will say that the rain was so severe no one could anticipate it (despite it being less severe then what meteorologists had forecast). Heard NJ Gov. Christie on the news on Thursday night saying he wasn’t going to open the flood gates at Pompton Lakes until he had convincing proof that drawing the lake down would lessen the flooding. How convincing off a proof do they need….though of course the problem is development in low lying flood prone areas. For many houses along the Pompton and Passiac this will be the third time they are being flooded in 5 months.

Still, as you can see, the flooding is impressive, though for the most part it’s of parks, parking lots and old buildings…things that can survive flooding.

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Delaware River with HRCKC

By | Boating, Trips

On Saturday, August 13th, quite a few of us intreprid souls met at the Water Gap….we first convoyed up to Worthington State Park a few miles (and that one darn 3 minute stoplight), spent a while unloading, convoyed down to Belvidere.

As usual, Martha and I were the last to arrive….early mornings just are not a forte. Sorry folks.

Despite the early start it was after 11 before we hit the water….we started in beautiful weather but it quickly clouded up.

Approaching the Water Gap we approached the noise that was to be with us for the better part of the trip. The gap is, of course, spectacular, but the interstate highway the runs though it is not….

To start things off they are taking the lead paint off the I-80 bridge, so we entered with the gap with the smell of solvents.

At an island below the gap some search and rescue folks were doing some sort of a training exercise.  Lori went over there to check out a Great Blue Heron and when she finally understood that they did not want her to come down on there side of the island she was unable to get out of the main current (see http://www.nfb.ca/film/path_of_the_paddle_solo_basic/ for some quick instruction on how to ferry across a current ) so she finally went down river and across their rope…

A leisurely lunch followed, with Lori having disappeared downstream. I used her disappearance as chance to explore the other side of the islands, but she was waiting for us a the pull out with cookies.

A brief shower at the end of the trip and I guess some of them headed off for Pizza.

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Ramapo River with Hackensack Canoe and Kayak Club

By | Boating, Trips

On June 25th 5 intrepid souls joined me for a little trip down the Ramapo.

On Wednesday several inches of rain in an hour or so had pushed the gauges up above 4000 cfs (flood stage)  but by Friday morning when I announced the trip the were down around a 1000…still a lot, but I’ve run the river at the level.

Being a relatively inexperienced trip leader I added “You should at least be able to ferry (move sideways across the stream) which is difficult in keeled boats.”

2 club members contacted my after I posted cautioning me but I decided to go ahead anyway. Launched from the trail conference and around the first big turn below 17 with no trouble as everyone stayed to the inside and avoided the strainers on the outside…

Not a HRCKC member flipped on the Ramapo

Not a HRCKC member flipped on the Ramapo...I was too busy when we had our issues to get the camera out.

But the next turn had more of a problem, with a strainer across most of the river only a few inches below the water….high enough to catch a boat and with plenty of force to turn it sideways. Debby got caught up and flipped and got pinned against it for a minute before climbing free. Her friend Phillip Horschel tried to save her and got knocked over and clear. John Bergen got flipped trying to rescue her paddle….boats and people everywhere. Read More

Practicing dancing at Historic New Bridge with less then historic gas station at rear.

Pinkster Fest: A Colonial Celebration of Spring

By | Boating, Events, History, Shows, Trips

Bergen County Historical Society’s “Pinkster,” a Colonial celebration of summer’s arrival at Historic New Bridge Landing,  River Edge.classic boats on the Hackensack River

Benjamin Donson with his son Julio Valle  and Jim Norman met me in Hackensack’s Johnson Park.  Ben and Julio paddled Jim’s wooden kayak and Jim paddles his replica 1800s solo canoe. Andy Anderson rowed down in his replica rowing dingy. All are similar to boats that would have been used on the Hackensack many years ago.

Jim actually offers help building wooden boats for anyone interested. Contact him thru his website, jimnormanart.com .

For anyone looking to emulate our trip, be sure to check out my guide on how to paddle the Hackensack.

We arrived at New Bridge Landing where we were allowed to land on the New Bridge Landing side. The New Bridge Landing (west) side of the river has long been posted ‘No fishing, dumping or boat launching.’ I reached out to the Bergen County Historical Society, which responded that the had posted it due to littering, abuse of the historic wharf including motor boat launching and even chemical truck dumping. According to Mike Trepicchio of the Bergen County Historic Society,  ‘We have been protecting and preserving the landing as well as the River since 1944, Frank Koehler, a long time past president of the BCHS is credited as being the first Hackensack riverkeeper, as well as steward of New Bridge. We keep his tradition alive, by respecting the Landing and keeping abusive uses from the River. If the use is compatible with our mission of protection and preservation and permission is requested and granted, we welcome the company.’ Read More

On the river

Canoe Trip on the Musky

By | Boating

November 2010 canoe trip down the Muscunetong River in Western Jersey with the Hackensack River Canoe and Kayak Club….for once, actually just the canoe club….a little swiftwater, a turkey, the usual. For once it didn’t rain, though it could have been warmer.

For those of you that might want to do the mighty Musky, it’s a little river in a narrow valley. Lake Muscunetong and Lake Hopatcong were built at it’s source to feed the Morris canal in the 1800’s and bring PA coal to New York and New Jersey literally fueling the City’s growth….but these lakes hold back most of the water except during the drawdowns in November, where the lower the lake level to protect docks from ice during the winter. Read More

Lamington River

By | Boating, Trips

Jul 10, 2010
Rockaway Creek and the Lamington River, New Jersey with the Hackensack River Canoe and Kayak Club….started out in the rain, but it wasn’t cold and turned into a nice day.

This little river is fed by reservoirs and in times of drought the authorities often turn on the drain to keep the folks downstream from running out of water…so those in the know  can find some local swiftwater small stream paddling when everything else around is dried up…and probably would be dried up, even if the reservoirs weren’t holding back all that water. Read More