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Bow and Stern - March 1, 1990

Bow and Stern - - March 1990

Bow and Stern

March 1990


March 1990

Greetings...Fellow Canoesporters,

Another paddling season approaches, (when you read this it may already be here) and with it, good times and challenges. One of those challenges is keeping the NVCC alive and vital ... Lately we seem to be reduced to the "Old Guard" who handle most everything and a handful of new faces. I hope while I'm President, to get more members more actively involved and to attract new people. There are lots of paddlers out there, let's find them! The club has done a lot for me and I hope for you too ... If we all put back a little, we can keep the fun going....

Now let's hope that when it's time to put away the skis ... there's enough snow to melt and fill some lakes and rivers!!

Mike Fullerton

Who's Who of the NVCC....

President			Mike Fullerton		456-8701
Vice-president			Sheri Larsen		878-6828
Treasurer			Sue Sonchik		878-4408
Secretary			Charlie Thompson	878-2536
Membership			Sue Sonchik		878-4408
Whitewater Schedule		Mike Fullerton &	456-8701
				Al Roberts		899-4129
Open Boat Clinic		Chuck Thompson &	878-2536
				Rick Davis		863-2438
Closed Boat Clinic		Jay Appleton		425-2821
Conservation/Water Resources	Ray Gonda		862-6164
Bow & Stern			Cathy Chamberlain	863-3067


Please fill out and return the Membership Update Form sent with your meeting notice or on the following page in this newsletter. We are trying to update our records on abilities to better coordinate / plan paddling adventures. It will also record who wants / needs / is willing to paddle tandem when partners are needed. We will also be updating the address list to eliminate old names.

Thank you...Send to Sue Sonchik

VPC membership application/update

New Membership. <-----CIRCLE ONE-----> Update/Renewal

Family trips.
Lessons (canoe).
Flatwater. Camping. Lessons (kayak).
Other (specify) ________________________________________________________
Beginner. Beginner.
Intermediate. Intermediate.
Advanced. Advanced.
Max. class paddled:_______ Max. class paddled:_______

I may be willing to...
  1. Be a trip organizer.
  2. Be a tandem partner.
  3. Promote conservation of paddling resources.
  4. Report level for the following river(s)_________________________
  5. Volunteer/help to_________________________________________




state________ zip code_______________


This is a printable membership form and VPC waiver. Please read and sign the waiver, then mail both with your membership fee ($8 per individual OR family) to:

Rich Larsen VPC Membership Chairman (802)878-6828
11 Discovery Road, Essex Junction VT 05452

Make checks payable to VPC

NOTE: All adult members must sign and submit a VPC Waiver and Release of Liability.



I realize that danger exists in my participation in canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and other activities organized by the Vermont Paddlers Club.

Although I am in good health and able to participate in such activities, I realize that such participation may result in illness or injury due to accidents, the forces of nature, or other causes not foreseeable. Such illness and injury may include disease, strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, paralysis, and/or death. Possible injuries may cause serious and permanent disability. By my participation in this activity I hereby knowingly assume the risks arising out of that activity.

I also, on behalf of myself, my personal representatives and my heirs, hereby agree to release, hold harmless and indemnify the Vermont Paddlers Club and its agents, officers and employees from any and all claims and suits for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services or otherwise which may arise out of my participation in canoeing, kayaking, tubing and other activities, whether or not such claims or suits arise from negligent acts or omissions by the organizers and conductors of this activity, their employees or volunteers, another participant, any other person or from any other cause.


NAME: ___________________________________________________________

SIGNATURE: ______________________________________________________

AGE: _____________ DATE: ________________________________________


SIGNATURE: ______________________________________________________

DATE: ____________________

[ Activity Club Affiliate of the American Canoe Association ]

The primary purpose of the club is recreational paddlesport. Other purposes include:

  1. Sponsoring and organizing activities which promote paddlesport and the club, such as races and public interest activities.
  2. Education of both club members and the general public in paddlesport skills, safety and ethics.
  3. Conservation as related to protecting the existence, integrity and quality of the natural resources the club draws upon to pursue its other purposes.

No requirement is placed on the club to pursue any or all of these purposes at any given time.


The NORTHERN VERMONT CANOE CRUISERS is a paddling club based in the Burlington, Vermont area, but has members from throughout Vermont with a few from other states. All activities of the club are open to the general public as well as club members. The club organizes a variety of activities relating to both canoeing and kayaking, from flatwater to expert whitewater trips. Whitewater slalom and flatwater racing play a role in club activities. For those interested in meeting other wilderness paddlers and learning about wilderness rivers or looking to meet other sea-kayakers, the club provides an excellent starting point.

The activities in which the club becomes involved depends mainly on the interests and energies of its members who are willing to become active. Anyone is welcome to pursue his or her interests within the club structure if they can generate enough interest among other members and if the activity is not too far astray of club policy or the club charter. Club Policy is often simply a matter of forming a consensus on some activity in the course of normal club operations.


Membership meetings are held at least two times a year in early March and in mid-June. These consist typically of a dinner (catered or pot-luck), a business meeting of about an hour followed by a slide presentation of some boating related adventure. There is an additional meeting in December of odd numbered years for election of officers for the following two years. All items affecting general club policy are determined at the membership meetings.

At other times during the year, the president and the executive committee set club direction. (The executive committee consists of the elected officers, appointed activity chairs, and other interested members). Operational decisions are made through the committees with any major policy issues being brought back to the full membership at the first opportunity. The executive committee also reaches consensus decisions on many small items, to keep them from clogging the agenda at membership meetings.


The BOW &AMP; STERN is published twice a year to coincide with club meetings (excepting the election meeting). These times coincide with the start of the spring paddling season and then the summer/fall season. Included in the newsletter are minutes of club meetings, treasurer's report, items on conservation and rivers issues, informational articles of interest to members, a "bulletin board" for advertising sale of personal equipment, trip reports from the past season, and most importantly the trip schedule and instructional clinic dates for the upcoming season. All members are encouraged to submit items for publication.


These introductory clinics are for the novice paddlers who have equipment and desire to learn basic paddling skills. Eligible participants must be competent swimmers (capable of swimming 100 yards) and should have their own transportation. On-the-water instruction begins with flatwater and progresses to a class II whitewater trip. Few instructors are certified but they enjoy helping prospective new members learn, as they have learned, from each other, while having a good time. Safety, cooperation and having fun are important aspects of both the open and decked boat clinics. Pre-registration is required.

This clinic is usually run each spring. It starts with a weekday evening classroom session featuring films, slides, equipment, demonstrations of safety, and river running technique. It is followed by a morning-weekend-indoor-pool session where basic strokes and boat maneuvers are taught. Finally, a trip on a local river, preferably on the Mad River in Moretown, puts it all together. Necessary equipment includes completely outfitted canoe with float bags, and appropriately thick painters of bright colors which float. Personal equipment includes life jacket, protective clothing appropriate for the time of year and expected water and air temperatures. Details are covered in the classroom session.

This clinic is run each mid-summer. It is intended for kayaks and C-1s. The clinic is oriented toward whitewater, however flatwater touring and sea kayakers are welcome. Instruction in Eskimo-roll for kayak or C-1 is included. Necessary equipment includes properly outfitted boat which includes float bags in good repair, paddle, spray skirt, properly fitting life jacket (preferably type-III PFD) and whitewater-type helmet.


The Cruisers have been involved with various aspects of canoe and kayak racing for many years. Projects have included war canoe races, flatwater events on Lake Champlain and, beginning in the mid-1980s, whitewater slalom racing.

Each year, usually the first weekend of May, the Club co-sponsors an open and decked boat slalom race on the West River in Southern Vermont. This is a superb spectator event, as the boats and paddlers negotiate a twisting course through fast and turbulent whitewater. For the paddler, it is a great way to improve boat handling and precision. Club members race at various events throughout the Northeast and are happy to encourage newcomers to this exciting sport.

Others are active in flatwater racing, the purely aerobic sport of paddling a canoe (usually, though there are some flatwater kayak events as well) as quickly as possible. These races are gaining in popularity in this region and are often associated with triathalons.


When important stretches of whitewater or other valued paddling resources are in some way threatened, the Club will not hesitate to take action to protect its interests. The Club usually seeks to work hand-in-hand with other conservation organizations to achieve its goals. Protection of the paddling resource includes rivers, lakes and ponds. Constant club involvement in river issues is important since no other organization exists within Vermont to tackle the issues which are most clearly of interest to canoeists and kayakers of all persuasions.

Protection of key stretches of whitewater within Vermont ranks as the highest conservation priority for the Club. Nonetheless, limited club involvement may occur as a result of threats to certain whitewater rivers elsewhere in New England. More generally, the club maintains some profile in nearly all initiatives in river protection and river management issues in Vermont ... be it state or federal agency initiatives and regulatory processes or legislative body actions. Some river protection efforts in which the club has played a central role includes the West, and upper and lower Lamoille Rivers, the Missisquoi at Sheldon Springs and the Connecticut River. It also supported the 1987 Vermont River Protection Bill. Currently the Club is involved in the re-licensing of some 15 hydropower dams in Vermont in an effort to obtain recreational enhancements for canoeists.


Trips are held nearly every weekend from mid-March to mid-june and are scheduled for many weekends in the summer and fall utilizing mostly scheduled water releases from dams through New England and the Adirondacks. Trips are offered at all levels of difficulty, from novice to advanced. Occasional week or longer trips are organized farther afield from year to year ranging from the Southern Appalachians to Canada, from Maine to Idaho.

Flatwater, flowing water, and other laisse-faire events (like the tubing trip) are held primarily in the summer with some in the fall. This part of the club activities is not as focussed as the whitewater portion since whitewater trips require more organization and mutual support among participants for safety and logistics reasons. New member with an interest in this area could help establish a more active schedule. Picnics at Sandbar State Park were once annual events.


The club's Charter does not define the Club as a public service oriented club. However, given that only a small percentage of those who have taken advantage of club training clinics actually become active in club affairs, the club in fact performs a valuable public service in teaching beginning and experienced paddlers, alike, the fundamentals of safe canoeing in both flatwater and whitewater. About 30 to 60 participants per year receive formal club clinic training and an undetermined number of others receive impromptu on-the-river paddling tips when on club trips.

6/6/89 - 1/1/90


------------				----------------------



Dues			$ 399.00	Kayak School		$ 200.00
Dinner			$  86.37	Sales (Decals)		$  12.00

Total Income		$ 485.37	Total Income:		$ 212.00


Bow and Stern		$ 160.54	Canoe/Kayak School:
Stamps			$ 158.35	Pool Rental 		$ 184.69
Room Rental		$ 100.00	Printing 		$  59.38
Miscellaneous		$  29.67	Food			$  52.83
Special Olympics	$  50.00	Weekend Costs		$  35.09

Total Expenses		$ 498.56	Total Expenses		$ 331.99

BALANCE			$  95.08	BALANCE			$ 520.25



NVCC Meeting Dec. 3, 1989
College Street Congregational Church.

  • Called to order at 6:55 by President Rich Larsen.
  • Old business - None.
  • New business - Elections: Nominating committee report:
  • nominees are
    President: Mike Fullerton and Ray Gonda.
    Vice President: Sheri Larsen.
    Secretary: Charlie Thompson.
    Treasurer: Sue Sonchik.

  • Call for nominations from floor. None. Peter Alden moved nominations close. Motion carried.
  • Peter Alden moved the searetary cast one ballot for the uncontested positions. Motion carried and ballot was cast.
  • Rick Davis moved the question on president. Ballots were distributed, collected, and counted by the secretary. Winner was Mike Fullerton.

  • Dams and accesses - Discussion on Lamoille and Passumpsic.
  • NVCC position and support at public hearings, etc. - Rick Davis reported that at a meeting on the Deerfield River, the individual in attendance did not accurately represent the club's viewpoint. Suggested we write a club policy. Rick then moved that any club position put forth at official hearings on conservation or releases be done so in writing after approval by elected officers or the membership. This was seconded and all were in favor.

  • Winooski and Connecticut river planning - those interested in participating should contact Rich Larsen.
  • Norm Lavoie memorial - We are looking into a memorial plaque to put at the put-in on the Lamoille River at the Fairfax dam.
  • Adjournment Peter Alden so moved.

Respectively submitted, Charlie Thompson, Secretary.

NVCC Executive Meeting - Jan. 18, 1990

  • Called to order at 7:20 at Larsen's house.
  • Charlie Thompson read minutes which were accepted.
  • Sue Sonchik reported $95 in general fund and $520 in safety and education for a total of $615. Sue found a new checking account which saves us the service charges of the old account.
  • Norm Lavoie memorial - Rich Larsen will check with CVPS for permission and location, method of attachment, and cost. Once determined, we will propose the project to the family.
  • Joining 1990 ACA - Cost $75. No benefit to NVCC except our name mentioned as a member and possible source of members. Al Roberts moved we join. Motion carried.
  • State and conservation mailings - These have been going to Larsens. Sherri will request change to Chuck Thompson who will review and keep the club informed of pertinent articles and info.
  • West River drowning - Charlie Thompson will write for a report from Charlie Walbridge, Safety Chairman at ACA, PO Box 1190, Newington, VA 22122. Mike Fullerton will get the AMC report from Adrian Brown. We will share these reports with the club to help accident prevention.
  • Brochure - Chuck Thompson and Rich Davis will get the project from Ray Gonda and work up a proposal for the March meeting. Sherri Larsen will proofread. Mike declared this a committee of three.
  • Safety and Education - With Ann Chetham-Strodes departure, we need a new committee. Jay Appleton will likely run the kayak clinic again this summer. Chuck Thompson will head up the canoe clinic and recruit a committee. Sherri will help. The canoe clinic will be held in the summer this year as an experiment. The summer kayak clinic has worked well.
  • Whitewater schedule - Mike Fullerton will chair the committee and Al Roberts will help.
  • Bow and Stern - Kathy Chamberlain and Eric Bishop. Will need materials by March 1.
  • Spring Dinner - March 11. Al Roberts and Bob Schumacher will order pasta dinner like last spring. Al and Mike will coordinate cooking. Charlie Thompson will publish the notice in the last week of Feb. Try to reserve 1st Congregational Church, Janet Shaw, 862-5010. Program: Len Carpenters Labrador trip, movie, or John Barry. Rick Davis will check on Barry. Charlie will check with Cathy for the movie list she got a while back.
  • West River spring release - April 28-29 and May 5-6. Recreation only no races due to complications over the past couple years.
  • Membership questionnaire - Sue Sonchik will prepare a sheet to mail with the dinner announcement to gather info. to add to the membership list. She will code this into the computer.

Respectively submitted Charlie Thompson, Secretary.


To all those who are interested in the whitewater training course given by the NVCC:

This year the canoe training session will not be held in the spring as usual. Instead it has been decided to move the course into the month of June. A cold introduction into the sport of whitewater canoeing seems to have discouraged further participation of new potentially active members. I feel that the cold water is not the only discouraging factor to a new trainee but moving the class into warmer weather will be the first step in trying to solve problem at hand.

During the last NVCC executive meeting I half volunteered and was half given the job of organizing the training course. Though I am happy to be the Whitewater Training Chairman, I see this to be a somewhat large job and would like to have at least two other people work with me. If you are interested please let me know.

When things are organized and the dates set I will be looking for volunteers to help in the training. People will be needed for the following: the instruction class, the "pool" session, and the river. Those who are interested in the training program please let me know.

Thank You. Chuck Thompson Phone #: 878-2536


for sale...

Old Town Tripper... - 17' $400.00
ABS Green
Call Mike Fullerton 456 - 8701 evenings
(Belongs to Eric Bishop - who's Westward Bound!
He's off to travel / boat / and carpenter his way out west ...
Oregon ... Montana ... Texas... Northern California)

Whitewater Play Boat
Complete with spray skirts and cargo hatch cover
$400 or best offer...
Call Fred Jordan 223-3935
RR 1 Box 1315
Towne Hill Road
Montpelier VT 05602

CALL TONY RYAN 603-795-4522

SOLO ... stable .... whitewater boat
Call Cathy Chamberlain 863-3067

available from Sue Sonchik 878-4408

River Safety Reports $5
... Call Mike Fullerton 456-8701



Paddlers Wanted:
We are looking for another boat or two of paddlers that are Interested in paddling the MOISE RIVER in Northern Quebec. A remote wilderness river, about 300 miles long. In AUGUST. We are open and would consider another river besides the MOISE. Please give us a call... early mornings are best... This trip will take between 3 and 4 weeks. The MOISE is called the Grand Canyon of the East, spectacular scenery, wonderful water, lots of portages...

Roger	456-7088
Lori	454-1418

Paddlers for the 74 mile trip down the MACHIAS in Maine. Flatwater to class 3 .. This trip takes about 6 or 7 days in high water. Starting date is May 24 or 25.

The AMC guide says "one of Maine's most scenic waterways ... offering semi-wilderness travel with lakes, swamps, intermittent rapids up to III, ledges, a waterfall - all in a region that has much less use than the Allagash.

Contact Roger 456-7088 or Lori 454-1418

In The News...

Anne Chetham-Strode is going to be teaching again at WILDWATERS Outdoor Center in late May ... She has returned to graduate school at Cornell..

Pat Ezekiel Moor .. has taken a new turn ... shes off to live in AUSTRALIA with new husband, RICK... For those who'd like to write or VISIT...

#12 Geerilong Garden
Reid, ACT 2601

Steve & Charlotte Bailey-McPherson (Freeport ME) are expecting their first little paddler in June!

Any contributions to the next edition of this newsletter should be sent to: Cathy Chamberlain L-10 Stonehedge Drive South Burlington VT 05403 863-3067 - hand written or "camera ready"! DEADLINE JUNE 1st...


FIDDLEHEAD BOATWORKS is a new boat shop in Bradford VT specializing in repairs to and custom construction of small wooden boats and canoes. We are currently producing a 13 1/2 foot double paddle canoe of lightweight plywood / epoxy composite. An excellent soto cartopper, this craft fulfills our requirements of being easy to move and maintain, strong ... pretty ... and practical.

Other models scheduled for production in early summer include a lightweight rowable daysailer and perhaps a recreational sliding seat rower. Of course ... we offer recanvasing, repair and refinishing services of wood / canvas canoes and lake boats .... and almost anything else that's made of wood and floats...

Mike Collins ....... Jennifer Schaafsma
802-222-5583 8 AM to 8 PM


HUDSON GORGE (NY): June 4, 1989

Participants: Sheri Larsen, Rich Larsen, Ray Gonda, Bob Campbell, Eric Bishop, Alf Elvestad, Tim Kunin (Solo Canoes), Marvie Campbell, Chris Campbell, Tao Campbell, Tom Furland, Dan Kunkel, Megan Cunningham (Kayaks).
Water: Gauge at North Creek: 5.0 ft.

Except for a light rain at the beginning of the trip, the conditions were quite good .. The water was at a fun level with the dam release. (The gage at North Creek was 5.0 Ft before the bubble, but that reading probably was inflated by 4-5 inches because of a temporary dam near the gage) There were very few rafters, so we had the Indian and Hudson Rivers pretty much to ourselves ... The trip went smoothly with no major swims. The Campbell kids livened up the trip by entering the water In their kayaks from a rock some 10 feet above the water. Several Campbells, Ray Gonda and Eric Bishop also entertained us with some stunts at Bus Stop Rapids...

June 4th was the last dam release on the Indian for the spring season. Releases will resume in the fall.

AMMONOOSUC (NH): June 10, 1989

Participants: Paddlin' Pate Alden, Mike Fullerton, Eric Bishop (OC1), Alan Rexford (K1)
Weather: overcast, but the rain held off
Water: estimated 3.2 feet

Since we missed a scheduled NH trip earlier due to unfavorable water levels ... we took this end of a rainy week to try the Ammonoosuc. The water level was about 3.2' (gage is hard to read...) This turned out to be less challenging than the 5' level that was our introduction to this river .. but It was lively and little technical. We had a fine trip, and in record time by my experience - we were done by 4 PM at Railroad Rapid. Alder Brook Rapid was quite manageable at this level. We look forward to this trip again with high water.

DEAD RIVER (ME): July 1-2, 1989

Leader: Mike Fullerton

Once again, Maine came through and a large group enjoyed two great days on the Dead River. Weather cooperated fairly well with cloudy but tolerable on Saturday, and sunny and superb on Sunday.

Water levels were higher than advertised but no one seemed to mind. No major incidents or damage reported.

Saturday night was graced with another of Al Roberts community dinners. This time kabobs with plenty of wine. We were entertained later with the music of whistles, flutes, and harmonica. A great evening sitting in the light rain around the fire .. listening to good music and bad jokes. (The brick made a brief reappearance!!??)

Two of our open boaters, Bob Campbell and Eric Bishop ran the Kennebec Gorge twice, swimming but surviving. It is reported that open boats do not disappear in MAGIC, at least not permanently. Both report the thing is do-able and not as formidable as its reputation.

Last, as usual, space on the shuffle was scarce... For the benefit of future leaders, PLEASE remember to make your reservation with the leader a couple weeks in advance.


Participants: Three canoes carried Carol Chapman, Carol Hignite, Joan Hughes, Craig Allen, Barry Jones and Collie Chambers... & enough stuff for three weeks!#@%

SAT AM we were really happy to find that the campsite we picked out as the best for our purposes, on our previous scouting trip, was free ... and we set up camp right away. It was a beautiful sunny day and after lunch we decided to head toward the northern end of the lake. We passed a loon family (two adults, two chicks (loonlings?]) and some brown ducks. We poked our way up a swampy brook until we reached the inevitable beaver dam. Craig and Joan crossed three of them, but didn't get far before the stream ran out.

The campsite had a nice rocky point and we had a relaxing swim before dinner. Later after toasted marshmallows and between twilight and moonrise some of us put out on a glassy water to watch the stars and satellites. Sometime during the night the clouds came over and the wind blew hard and the rain woke us in the early morning. The loons swam nearby and called us to get up.

We tried to wait out the rain, but finally decided to pack up the boats before noon. The rain let up then so we visited the dam and watched four mergansers in a cove for a while. It was a nice trip, even with the rain.

HUDSON RIVER (NY): September 16, 1989

We were planning to paddle the Hudson Gorge but had second thoughts when we got to North Creek and discovered that the river was 5.2 feet at the gauge. After some discussion, we reached the conclusion that 5.2 feet before the release was a bit too high for the group, especially since there were only four of us and there weren't very many other groups on the river. Since the Hudson was high, we thought the East Branch of the Sacandaga River might be just the right level for paddling. We got in our cars and drove for about a half hour, only to discover that the East Branch was too low. After another conference, we decided to head back to North Creek and paddle the lower stretch of the Hudson. We started at the bridge In North Creek and took out by the railroad tracks beyond the Glen. Although we all wished that we could have paddled the Gorge, we still had a good time on the lower stretch of the Hudson.


Participants: Adrienne Brown, Eric Bishop, Michael Fullerton, &AMP; 11 Idahoans...

The Middle Fork is a permitted river, with permits assigned by a lottery system. The three Cruisers went as guests of the locals, friends of Adrienne's, who scored a permit after five years of trying...

The put-in is Boundary Creek, reached by a 24 mile dirt road from Stanley, ID (population negligible!). Paddlers can stay on the river up to eight days,, and we spent seven. Campsites are assigned by the ranger prior to launch, with much horse trading among the parties launching. Sites range from small and rocky, to large and shaded with sandy beaches and hot springs.

The river is much like a northeastern Class II - III in its upper portions, at least at 2.2 ft., the level we found. It winds through steep mountains and Douglas fir forests. Lower down the land is drier, and the lowest section is a virtual desert canyon.

The river varies from quickwater to Class IV at this level, and gets larger and faster as the level rises. 2 feet is generally the lower limit for rafts at the put-in, below that they are usually flown in to Indian Creek, two days downstream. Below Indian Creek the river is usually deep enough for rafts.

We had five hard boats and three rafts to carry luxury accomodations, chairs, tents, beer, wine and gourmet food. Meals included steak (from one rafter's own herd!), seafood fettucini, barbecue chicken, pork chops and elk. There was always an appropriate wine! Rarely have so few carried so much...

The trip is highly recommended. Scenery and wildlife rate a 10 as does the river itself. We also got perfect weather, seven days of clear skies and temps In the 80-90 degree range. If you can find a permit or friend with one .. it's well worth the effort ... !

RAFTING THE MIDDLE FORK OF SALMON -- recorded by Susan Sonchik: June, 1989

Participants: Sally Spear, Len Carpenter, Pat Leonard, and Susan Sonchik

On June 7, Sally, Len, Pat, and Susan joined 11 other people in the Idaho Wilderness area to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Pat and 2 others kayaked; the rest of us shared 5 oared rafts. It's amazing how much gear a raft can haul: tables, chairs, coolers, stoves, an extensive wine cellar, sufficient beer, all the necessary luxuries but the kitchen sink. Food was great and included such things as steak and baked potatoes, beef stroganoff, cobbler, pie, shrimp salad; no one lost weight!

The first day Sally and I timidly climbed into the raft belonging to Michael Marine (with a name like that he must be a safe boater, right?) and we manned the auxiliary paddles and bailing bucket. The put-in point is at the top of First Bend Rapid (class 2) so we were quickly drenched by waves that slapped over the bow. Not at all sure that this was fun! Then followed No Name rapid(2), Sulfur Slide(3), Ramshorn(3), Velvet Falls(4), the Chutes(3), Elkhorn(3), and Powerhouse(4) before the first night's camp. Sally and I obediently paddled when prompted to do so by Mike's one-word commands of "Back", "Forward", "Stop", "Hard". The day was spent drifting from one rapid into the next. Good thing Powerhouse was last. By that time we worked as a team. Powerhouse has a 90 degree turn in it where the river rams into a tall undercut cliff; we knew it was a serious rapid when Mike's one-word commands stretched into "Back, hard, harder, HARDER". We missed ramming the wall by about 5 inches. I was ready to set up camp and get out of the raft for the day.

In all the trip covered 105 miles in 7 days, a leisurely float trip thru class 3/4 rapids with names like Sheepeater, Pistol Creek, Cannon Creek, Artillery, Tappan Falls, Jackass, Haystack, Redside, Weber, Porcupine, and (most terrifying) Rubber. Waves crashed over the bow an most rapids, but several times they crashed over the entire raft. Quite exciting and fun once I learned to keep my eyes open and mouth shut. On hot days, the cold water felt refreshing; on the one cloudy rainy day we bailed without removing water just to keep warm. In the quiet water between rapids, Sally and I took turns at the oars, learning to read the river, letting it do the work, ferrying across, doing eddy turns. Sally was a natural at the oars, properly manuveuring without delay to decide what to do. On the last day just above the take-out point I was at the oars for the last easy rapid of the trip; scary to be responsible for the raft and all the gear.

There was lots of time for side trips and exploration during the trip and it was a marvelous area to explore. We found an abandoned mine, an old ranch cabin, a grotto with a tall thin waterfall, many other thundering waterfalls, old Parrot's cabin, Whitey Cox's grave, a large cave with Indian pictograms on the walls, Flying B ranch, and a resort owned by Harrah's. Time was also spent lounging in the many hot springs along the river, but I won't tell tales of those. To the entertainment of all, I had my first kayak lessons: on the grass, then in the shallow water at the shore, and finally in an eddy with the kayak on a long tether so it would not escape downriver. (It was fun enough to convince me to take Jay's course in July.)

This may not have been a canoeing trip but was a fun way to play on the river. The kayaks were so graceful as they flitted through the rapids, they were fun to watch, as were the huge rafts that would disappear from sight in some of the waves. Fun trip (Prepared me for the Dead River with Lenny on the July 4 weekend).

NVCC donation in Memory of Norm Lavoie ... Keep on Paddlin'

P.O. Box 299
Essex Junction, Vermont 05453
(802) 879-0499

July 24, 1989

C.A. Chamberlain
Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers
L-10 Stonehedge Drive
So. Burlington, VT 05403

Dear Friends:

I would like to personally acknowledge your generous contribution of $50.00 to Vermont Special Olympics in memory of Normand R. Lavoie.

We certainly appreciate this special gift. It is through donations such as this that we have been able to bring quality sports training and athletic competition to Vermont's Special Olympics athletes. The memory of Mr. Lavoie will surely be with us during this year's events.


Jim Murphy
Executive Director

State offers wealth of paddling pleasure

By Lawrence Pyne
Free Press Correspondent

     In 1609, Samuel de Champlain first spied the lake that now bears his name from a boat that excited his curiosity as much as the waters he explored. It was an Indian-designed craft he found remarkably light and re- sponsive, yet admirably suited to rugged work in the wilderness.
     Today, the canoe is largely the same boat that was used by the explorers and fur traders who first plied the uncharted waters of our continent, although modern materials offer a far superior hull than the early bark and wood used by the Indians.
     Canoes are as much at home on subur- ban rivers and backyard ponds as on the remote waters of the north woods, and they are the single most popular and useful craft available to boaters.
     This is particularly true for the canoe enthusiast in Vermont, as the canoe, more than any other boat, opens up the state's wealth of unspoiled rivers, lakes and ponds.
     Lake Champlain is the state's largest boating resource and offers untold miles of excellent canoeing water.
     All four of the lake's major tributaries offer easily accessed Class I (easy) water from the first dam downstream to their confluence with the lake. On the Missisquoi there is 6 1/2 miles of such water, the Lamoille 5; the Winooski 7 1/2; and Otter Creek 7. Access areas are provided by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and these sections are perfect for short day trips.
     The Missisquoi and Lamoille also have extensive deltas (both of which are waterfowl refuges) with multiple river mouths to explore. On all of the lake's lower tributaries there is a good chance to observe wildlife in solitary surroundings, particularly early in the morning and during weekdays.
     The lake also has virtually hundreds of miles of shoreline that can be safely paddled during calm weather, especially in the summer, and many of the smaller bays, coves and passages provide safe water for canoeing.
     On Champlain, however, the canoeist must always exercise caution, because a canoe on open water with high winds and cold temperatures can spell disaster. There are times and places, particularly on the Broad Lake, when canoeing is decidedly dangerous.

     On the opposite side of the state, the mighty Connecticut River also provides scores of miles of canoe water, with the upper reaches of the Connecticut ranking among the most scenic waters in New England.
     The upper Connecticut, from Beecher's Falls in Canaan 30 miles south to Bloomfield offers a variety of moderate Class II (novice) rapids interspersed with some Class III (intermediate) water, especially the old dam in Lemington, and makes for a nice day trip.
     From Bloomfield south to Gilman the river is winding and placid except for a run of Class II and III water just south of Bloomfield, and, with the exception of a short portage at the Northumberland dam, offers more than 50 miles Of uninterrupted canoe water.
     From the Moore Dam in Waterford south to the Massachusetts line, the river provides more than 150 miles of scenic and accessible Class I and II water with the occasional, well-marked portage around dams. There is also the Class IV (advanced) Hartland rapids, which should only be attempted by experts in closed canoes or kayaks.
     For the canoe camper, the New England Power Company (PO Box 528, Lebanon, N.H. 03766. Tel. 603-448-2200) maintains campsites along the river at Wilder, Vernon and Bellows Falls.
     "The Complete Guide to Boating the Connecticut" is available from the Connecticut River Watershed Council, 312 First N.H. Bank Building, Lebanon, N.H. 03766, for $11.45 and is highly recommended for those new to New England's longest and largest river.
     Rivers in interior Vermont also offer almost unlimited canoe possibilities.
     The Otter Creek in west-central Vermont is the longest river in the state, and the placid section from Rutland to the Middlebury falls provides some 30 miles of uninterrupted Class I water. This stretch passes through the extensive Cornwall and Brandon swamps, and can be surprisingly remote and rich in wildlife.
     The Winooski River in the north-central part of the state can also provide scenic, enjoyable canoeing and has two popular sections.
     From the Middlesex dam west to the Bolton dam the river cuts through the spine of the Green Mountains, and there is almost 14 miles of scenic Class II water and one interesting, though safe, gorge to navigate. From the Bolton dam to Williston the river slackens considerably, and there is roughly 28 miles of Class I water.

     The comprehensive "Winooski River Canoe Guide" is available from local sports shops or the Winooski Valley Park District at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington.
     Like the Winooski to the south, the Lamoille River also provides quality canoeing as it bisects northern Vermont en route to Lake Champlain. The stretch from Johnson to Fairfax is perhaps the longest and best on the river, with 27 miles of bucolic Class II water.
     The Mississquoi river in north-western Vermont has the most challenging whitewater in Vermont during the early spring, but for the average canoeist the section from Richford to Enosburg Falls offers 15 miles of very enjoyable Class II water with stunning views in a pastoral setting.
     The White River in east-central Vermont is also known for whitewater conditions in the early spring, but the section from Bethel
to White River often provides fine Class II canoeing throughout the summer, with at least three Class III ledges that can be safely paddled.
     Regardless of the river paddled, canoeists should always be on the lookout for obstructions, falls, ledges and other hazards. Whenever in doubt, the canoe should be beached and the water ahead thoroughly scouted.
     Some stretches may have obvious passages or channels once scouted, while others may require walking (low water) or portaging the canoe past the obstruction.
     Water levels can also be extremely variable on rivers during the summer, with low water making some popular spring stretches unnavigable in July. However, water levels are still favorable for canoeing and, where low, a steady rain may result in several days of prime canoeing.
     The most common access points are roadside pull-offs, bridges and utility company properties (dams). Whenever possible, request Permission before crossing private property, and on new or unknown rivers consult guidebooks, atlases and topographic maps in advance to determine the length of the trip and the put-in and take-out points.
     However, not all of the state's canoeing waters are rivers. Vermont has many ponds and lakes that are fine for canoeing and readily accessible through fishing access areas.
     The Northeast Kingdom lakes, the Groton State Forest ponds in the upper Connecticut valley and the Warrior Lakes in west-central Vermont are three areas that have a multitude of stillwaters to choose from in beautiful Vermont settings.

Water classifications

No discernable current.

Moving water
Class A: under 2 mph.
Class B: 2-4 mph.
Class C: over 4 mph.

Class I:
Easy - few or
no obstructions, gentle
riffles and small waves.

Class II:
Novice -
Straight forward rapids of
medium difficulty with clear
passages that do not require

Class III:
Intermediate -
Numerous irregular
waves; rocks, eddies and
narrow passages that may
require scouting.

Class IV:
Advanced -
Intense, powerful rapids;
dangerous rocks and eddies,
scouting mandatory first
time; precise maneuvering

Class V:

Class VI:

Learn ropes before taking the plunge

By Lawrence Pyne
Free Press Correspondent

     Canoes are the ideal craft for the first-time boater, but there are some basic boatsmanship concerns and paddling techniques that make canoeing safer and more enjoyable, according to canoe instructor Anne Chetham-Strode.
     "First of all, canoeists should launch their boats parallel to the shore," said Chetham-Strode, a Waterbury resident who is certified by the American Canoe Association, "and the stern (rear) paddler should always get in first and get out last, to maintain control of the boat."
     Paddlers should sit with their knees below the gunwales (sides), either by kneeling slightly and tucking one's legs under the seat or by extending one's legs out and down.
     "Sitting with the knees below the gunwales lowers the center of gravity and makes the boat much more stable," said Chetham-Strode. "Before setting out, boaters should also know their limits, in terms of what they can do and what the weather and water conditions are," Chetham-Strode said. "Being comfortable around water (swimming) and wearing a life jacket are important safety concerns."
     With tandem paddlers - one paddler in the bow and one in the stern - communication is key.
     "For new paddlers, it's important to come to an agreement that the stern provides the steering and the bow the power, unless the stern paddler asks for help from the bow.
     "Paddlers should also agree on timing and speed, and work as a team."
     Once under way, there are four basic strokes paddlers can use for efficient control of the canoe. For all strokes, the top hand grips the end of the paddle shaft, with the end of the shaft against the palm.
     The most basic stroke is the forward power stroke.
     "The forward stroke is what powers the boat, and is used by both paddlers but more often by the bow," Chetham-Strode said.
     "During the power stroke, the paddle shall is held vertical to the water (not at an angle), and the direction of the stroke is parallel to the keel (centerline)."

     To power the boat forward, both paddlers use a power stroke while paddling on opposite sides of the boat. But as the stern paddler is closer to his end of the boat, he tends to push the bow toward the opposite side from which he is paddling and thus turn the boat.
     Most beginning canoeists paddle on alternate sides of the stern to try to track a straight line and counteract the turning tendency, but a better method is for the stern paddler to occasionally pause and employ a "rudder" stroke.
     "For the stern rudder stroke, the paddle is held back with the blade vertical, and the thumb up (on the upper hand), and it's used like a rudder to push the stern back (away from the direction of the turn)," Chetham-Strode said.
     A more complex and useful stroke is the "J" stroke, which combines elements of the power and rudder strokes.
     "The J begins as a forward stroke, with the paddle blade brought back and under the side of the boat next to the paddler. The shaft of the paddle is then levered off the gunwale (outward), and as the (upper hand) thumb twists down and out, the paddle blade carves the "J" (if paddling on the port or left side)."
     The J allows the boat to be powered forward without having to pause and rudder the boat, and is particularly useful for the solo paddler. With a little practice it can be quickly learned.
     Another stroke Chetham-Strode recommends is the sweep, which is primarily for turning the boat.
     "The sweep is done with the hands down and the paddle horizontal. The (upper) body is rotated to bring the paddle forward, and as it's twisted back the blade makes a long, powerful sweep."
     The bowman, and sternman if needed, can use the sweep to turn the boat away from the paddling side. For sharp turns, the stern paddler can use a reverse sweep (backward stroke) on the side opposite the bow paddler, pivoting the boat around its center.
     Although the above strokes will suffice for paddling in all but technical waters (whitewater), there are many other strokes and paddling techniques that can make one an expert canoeist. Chetham-Strode recommends that canoeists interested in approving their skills join a canoeing club or take a class in a canoeing school (see listing).

Power Stroke

The most basic stroke for propelling a canoe forward is the power stroke. With the upper hand gripping the top of the paddle, the shaft is held vertical and swept back parallel to the boat's centerline.

J Stroke

The J stroke is a forward steering stroke and begins as a power stroke (see above). As the paddle is brought back it is pulled under the side of the boat by the paddler and then levered off the gunwale. The upper hand thumb then twists forward and down, and the paddle carves the J (if paddling on the port side).

Sweep Stroke

This stroke is used to turn the canoe. With the hands down and the paddle extended, the upper body is rotated to bring the paddle forward and as the body rotates back, the paddle makes a long powerful sweep. The opposite maneuver is a reverse sweep.

Source: The American Red Cross

Books, services help beginners get their feet wet

Canoe USA - Canoe Vermont
	PO Box 610,
	Waitsfield, Vt. 05673
	Tel. 496-2409.
	Guided river expeditions and Inn-to-Inn tours.

Clearwater Sports Route 100, RD 1, Box 395 Waitsfield, Vt. 05673 Tel. 496-2708 Guided and self-guided tours, Inn-to-Inn tours, and one- and two-day instruction courses.

Connecticut River Safari 3A Putney Road, US Rt. 5 Brattleboro, Vt. 05301 Tel. 257-5008 Guided tours and self-guided tours.

Pine Ridge Adventure Center 1075 Williston Road Williston, Vt 05495 Tel. 434-2161 Guided and self-guided tours, Inn-to-Inn tours.

Vermont Canoe Trippers/Battenkill Canoe Ltd. Rt. 313 West Arlington, Vt. 05250 Tel. 375-9559 Guided and self-guided tours, Inn-to-Inn tours

Vermont Voyager Expeditions Rt. 242, Box 1015 Montgomery Center, Vt 05471 Tel. 326-4789 Guided and self-guided tours, Inn-to-Inn tours.


Battenkill Canoe Ltd. Rt. 313 West Arlington, Vt. 05250 Tel. 375-9559.

Clearwater Sports Route 100, RD 1, Box 395 Waitsfield, Vt. 05673 Tel. 496-2708.

Connecticut River Safari 3A Putney Road, US Rt. 5 Brattleboro, Vt. 05301 Tel. 257-5008.

Sailing Winds Rt. 30 Poultney, Vt. 05764 Tel. 287-9411.

Vermont State Park System Several state parks rent canoes, including Brighton, Burton Island, Lake Carmi, Elmore and Groton state parks. Dept. of Parks and Recreation Montpelier, Vt. 05602 Tel, 828-3375.

Vermont Voyager Equipment Rt. 242, Box 101S Montgomery Center, Vt. 05471 Tel. 326-4789,

Village Sports Shop 74 Broad St. Lyndonville, Vt. 05851 Tel. 626-8448.

West River Canoe Rt. 100 East Jamaica, Vt. 05343 Tel. 896-6209.


American Canoe Association Suite 1900, 8580 Cinder Bed Road Newington, Va. 22122 Tel. 703-550-7523. Publishes a monthly newsletter and promotes tours throughout the country.

Connecticut River Watershed Council 312 First N.H. Bank Building Lebanon, N.H. 03766 Tel. 603-448-2792. Promotes conservation and recreation on the Connecticut River, and annually sponsors 35 canoe trips and clinics.

Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers membership secretary Cathy Chamberlain L-10 Stonehedge Drive South Burlington, Vt. 05401 -or- Rich Larsen, president 878-6828. Teaches an annual whitewater Canoeing school and maintains an active schedule of trips and outings in northern Vermont. Memberships $6/year.


Church Street Center 135 Church St. Burlington, Vt. 05401 Tel. 863-0202. Frequently offers courses on canoeing and/or short instructional trips to the Adirondacks.

Wildwaters Box 197, HCR-01 Warrensburg, NY 12885 Tel. 518-494-7478. Private and group classes from half-day to a week taught on the Hudson River in the Adirondacks.

Guide books (available at local outdoor shops, all prices are approximate)

AMC River Guide - New Hampshire and Vermont, 1988, Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy St., Boston, Mass., 02108. $8.95.

Canoe Camping Vermont & New Hampshire Rivers, second edition, by Roioli Schwelker, 1989, Backcountry Publications, PO Box 175, Woodstock, Vt. 05901. $6.95.

The Complete Boating Guide to the Connecticut River, 1988, CRWC, 312 First N.H. Bank Building, Lebanon, N.H. 03766. $11.45.

The Vermont Atlas and Gazeteer, 1988, The Delorme Mapping Company Freeport, Maine 04032. $9.95.

The Winooski River Canoe Guide, 1987, Winooski Valley Park District, Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vt. 05401. $1.95.

Compiled by Lawrence Pyne

Working up a splash - Bill Garlack of Westford paddles down Otter Creek at the beginning of the Vergennes Days canoe race Saturday. Garlack was the first-place finisher for the five-mile race, one of several events in the annual festivities in Addison County's only city.

A group of NVCC volunteers supported a booth and display at the Conservation Celebration last fall. Mike Fullerton showed slides. The boats on display generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the sport.


March 24
Huntington M
Mike Fullerton 456-8701

March 25
Lower Lamoille E-M
Cathy Chamberlin 863-3067

White/Waits E-M
OR: New Haven D-F
Mike Fullerton 456-8701

April 1
Lower Lamoille E-M
Charlie Thomsom 878-2536

April 7
Contoocook (NH) D
Adrienne Brown

April 8
Moose River D
Mike Fullerton 456-8701

April 14
Southern Vt Rivers M-D
Bob & Marvie Campbell

April 15
Southern Vt Rivers

April 21
Upper Lamoille D
Bill Gerlack 879-0979

April 22
Local Rivers E-M
George McIntosh 644-2134

April 28
Ammonoosuc (NH) D
Peter Alden 863-6585

April 29 Ammonoosuc
Peter Alden 863-6585
Local Rivers
Charlie Thomsom 878-2536

May 5
West River Weekend M-D
Rich Larsen 878-6828

May 6
West River (contd)

May 12
New York Rivers M
Cathy Chamberlin 863-3067

May 13
New York Rivers
Possible Gorge Trip

May 19
New York Rivers
(possible gorge)
Al Roberts 899-4129

May 26 (Memorial Day Wknd)
New York Rivers
Mike Fullerton 456-8701

May 27-28
0vernight with possible
Gorge trip

June 2
New York Rivers
Sheri Larsen 878-6828

June 30
Dead River (ME) M
Mike Fullerton 456-8701

July 1
Dead River (contd)
Mike Fullerton

E Easy /\/\/\/\/\/\ M Moderate /\/\/\/\/\/\ D Difficult /\/\/\/\/\/\ F Frightening!


  1. All trips are subject to change based on water conditions.
  2. Call trip leaders for details
  3. Participants MUST call 2 weeks ahead for the
  4. Dead River trip. Camping arrangements have to be made in advance.

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