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Lower New Haven

Wednesday May 9, 2012
Participants:
Kayak: Chris Weed; John Atherton; Ken Emery; Rich Reynolds; Jim Poulin; Jamie Dolan
Open Canoe: Eric Bishop
Organizer: Jamie Dolan
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (cfs): 788
Author: Jamie Dolan

Who'd a thunk? Planning a lower New Haven trip for early May that actually went? The water was at a lowish level but definitely runnable. The last rapid above the take out bridge was fairly fluid and the rock dodging wasn't as bad as I expected it would be. (A half dozen people were on the ledges as well.) Our group of seven had an interesting mix of experience both in boating in general, and on the lower New Haven specifically. Which, as it turned out was good.

After the entrance rapid we took a hard left through a tight wood pile to stay in the flow rather then walk to the confluence with Baldwin Creek. Rich R got caught, by the downed tree root on RR, but managed a tasty hand roll out from under. Unfortunately, his paddle remained under the log. With two safety people, Rich was able to retrieve the paddle but not with out some difficulties. That corner can be tricky.

All but Chris and Eric opted for the center line on the South St bridge rapid. Which went well for all of us. Chris styled his line down the RR side really nicely.

There were three swims by some of the old timers (though, I don't think anyone is under 50 in the group, Jim?). One swim was above the South St bridge at the end of the rapid leading to it, one was at the entrance to the South St Bridge rapid and the last was on the last hole at the take out bridge (UGH!). It turns out that rocks can hurt just as much as names, if not more. Jim P was the lead navigator for a couple of the less experienced and did a great job showing the lines to avoid rocks and holes (mostly).

The trip took us about 2 to 2 1/2 hours of river time (including scouting the South St Bridge rapid and boat retrieval) and we finished shortly before it started to rain again and get dark. A good bunch of people on a fun river, at an okay level. That's good.

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