May 20, 2015

May 3, 2015

Blue Hole Canoe information

I had some questions about classic Blue Hole Canoe designs and posted them on GDI. Got some great answers and I'm saving them here so I always have the information:

What is the difference between a blue hole starburst and oca?

Kevin H: Starburst has more rocker. I believe it is about 6" longer than the OCA. The Starburst was only in production for 1 or 2 years so they are harder to find.

Kelly M: Kevin is correct. The Blue Hole OCA was renamed the Prowler by Evergreen after they bought the molds from Blue Hole. The original Blue Hole Cumberland was also renamed the Starburst. Two very different boats. The OCA was more of a cross over canoe. You will not find the OCA around as much. You will find the more whitewater specific Cumberland/Starburst. You can see the original design Cumberland/starburst from Steve Scarborough in the Esquif Canyon and the Nova Craft Moisie. Now that Royalex is done Nova Craft is brining the original Cumberland/Starburts back in "Entegra" in the fall.

BBarnett W:  What Kelly Mc indicates as the design intent may be true... but the reality was the OCA was /is a far superior whitewater boat than the big lumbering Starburst. AND there were vastly more OCAs sold than Starburst.

Kelly M:  "Superior" is questionable. It's is just a deferent boat. The starburst is a "lumbering" beast but it is better in really big water. It's deeper and has more volume. Therefore drier and better for bigger water tripping.

Kelly M:  If you want a more performance orientated canoe I agree the OCA is better.

Roy T The Starburst is a great big water tandem canoe. More rocker and deeper than the OCA. I have a Starburst and it is a great boat for taking new paddlers down the Ocoee. I'd rather have a Starburst than an OCA. No ABS boats that size are really "performance" boats. For boats that size, the Mad River Explorer out performs them both.

Ryland GEvergreen made a starburst. I think nova craft made a similar hull.

BBarnett W:  Kelly , I'm not sure what you're calling big water but I've had an OCA on big water (in TN, Colo, N. Mex, Ga, etc) that I would not have tried OR wanted to rely on a Starburst in tough cross go from Pt A to Pt B ... "lumbering" is not a good quality to have in those waters. OCAs could get wet due to lower freeboard (and poor skills) but I'd take wetter over lumbering anyday.
Speercraft, Arkansas Traveler (?) , and one (?) of the big northeastern boat makers also made an "OCA type" boat.

April 29, 2015

Low Head Dams

This innocuous looking low head dam took the lives of two people last Saturday.  One was a recreational kayaker who reportedly did not have on a life vest.  The second was a volunteer member of a rescue unit sent to help.

We paddlers call low head dams "drowning machines".    Here is a presentation about why they are so dangerous:

April 28, 2015

Thinking of Joni Mitchell

I am filled with sadness over her illness.  Here she is in my favorite example of her magnificent, gorgeous voice, her guitar, her lyrics, everything.

Upper Nantahala in my Hyside paddlecat

Upper Nanty in Hyside paddlecat from Dangerjudy on Vimeo

The reported level on the Cascades was 650, and the Lower Nanty was reported as 1400, and the put-in sidewalk was covered with water, so it was plenty, and a good level for the paddlecat.

April 22, 2015

April 20, 2015

Fun Stuff 2015

Jan 1  Mulberry.  Level 2 ft.  Air temps in the 50's. In the Liquid Logic Stomper 80.  With various members of the BCC.  Photos here.

Jan 3 Talladega Creek.  Level 1.5 ft when we put-in, 1 ft. when we took out.  In the Stomper 80. With Joan, David and Amanda, and another David.  I would call this run class II at this level, with the exception of Rob Roy which is an easy III.  Photos here.

Mrs. Steed and I at the scouting rock for Rob Roy rapid on Talladega Creek.
Jan 11 Town Creek.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Air temps 40's, water temp COLD.  Level 386 according to the flowpage tonight.  With members of the BCC.  Photos here.
Jan 18 Mulberry.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Level very low - maybe 6"?  Air temps high 50's-low 60's. With Mark G and David R.


Jan 31 Blowing Saltpeter Cave.  With the B'ham Grotto.   26 of us went to one of the first caves I ever did, great trip.  First time using the Fenix HL55 *with* the Zebra floody.  On the way back, looked in a very decorated IKF found by Donna C. and Jennifer P.  Pics HERE.
Feb 1 War Eagle.  With Ray M, Tim H, Juan F.   Gorgeous gorgeous pit.   Pics HERE.

Feb 8 Ridgewalk/Wyvern Well.  With Dave H. and Andy Z.  Went ridgewalking in the big coon with Dave H and Andy Z yesterday to visit a couple of old leads. We didn't find either lead we were there to explore, but Dave found a new pit lead that needs some vertical exploration, and we found/entered the top area of Wyvern Well, a cave Dave found and added to the survey many years ago. It is a short climbdown to a room that has a window to a drop that I think is around 50 feet, with a skylight. There's another room below that.  Photos HERE.

Feb 14 visit with Miss Iris Ranelli.  Newest member of my family.

Feb 20  Ticks Reunion at the Nick.  First time together since 1997.

Feb 27-March 1  Grotto Getaway.  At the Paint Rock Valley Lodge.  Photos here.

March 7-8 Mulberry Fork Races.   March 8- paddled the Mulberry in the cavers' new raft, then a second time in the Hyside Paddlecat with Chris G.  Photos here.

March 14-16 ALF 2015.  Ain't Louie Fest 2015.  With the Lost Tribe.
March 14- Whites Creek, level was .9 when we put on, and 1 ft. when we took-out. In the LL Stomper 80.  Air temps mid-upper 50's and misty/rain.
March 15 - O.U.T. Race on Tellico river, level 2.6, in the Blackfly Option 92.  Air temps upper 60's/low 70's, sunny gorgeous day.
March 16 - Middle Tellico, level 2.3, in the LL Stomper 80.  Air temps low 70's, another gorgeous day.  Photos here.  Videos of race here.
March 21 Trail tagging at Ruffner Mtn.  With the Birmingham Grotto.  Photos here.

March 22 Mulberry.  In the LL Stomper 80.  Level about .9 on the bridge, 5.33 online,  1.09 using the correlation 0.75 * 5.33 -2.9.  With Lynn, Josh, and other members of the BCC.

March 24-30 Ski trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.   Had 8-12" fresh snow fall our first night, so Wed-Thurs was some powder.  Friday went to Grand Targhee and was ice (Sacajawea!).  Saturday was back to Jackson for some slushy snow.  Warm temps.  Photos here.

April 11 Mulberry.  In the Wave Sport Project X56.  With Rundell C.   Level 1.6 on the bridge, we were surprised to find Training Wheels washed out into a flat (nice) front surfing wave.  Didn't bring the camera.  Air temps in the 70's.

April 12 Talladega Creek, Kymulga Mill Putin.   With members of the Birmingham Grotto.  Brought my camera but the battery was dead.  Level on the gauge at was in the 250 range.  The groundskeeper at the mill charges $3 per boat to park your car there (two of us in one canoe for $3, for instance).  He closes the gate at 5pm.
He, and Damon who lives nearby, predicted a 6 hour float due to the deadfall/strainers, but even with a couple of portages we did the trip in a leisurely 3.5 hours.

April 18 Tumbling Rock Cave.  With the Bham Grotto, Scout trip to the Christmas tree.  Photos here.
April 19 High Water Locust Fork.  With the Bham Grotto rafters and Kyle S.  Level 7.5 and rising on the gauge.  Great day!  Photos here.
April 26  Upper Nanty in the Hyside Paddlecat.  With Jenni H. and Ryland G.  Level 650 on Cascades, 1400 on Lower Nanty, and put-in sidewalk covered.  Temps in the mid to upper 60's. Water was a bit colder than usual Upper Nanty release; I wore a drytop and neoprene shorts. Video here.
May 2 Float The Lazy River.   BCC class on the Cahaba, Grants Mill to Overton, level 180.   Air temp 70ish, water temp chilly.  Sunshine, great day.  Photos here.
May 3 Mulberry.   Level under a foot.  (4.99 ft USGS). Taught a kayak private instruction to Julie L. With Joan S.  In the LL Remix 69.  Air temp up 70's-low 80's, water temp chilly.  Wonderful, wonderful day!  Photos here.
May 9-10 SERA.  With the B'ham Grotto including Kathy K.   Visited Buffalo Cove cave and Pickett rock shelter.  Photos here.
May 23 Hiwassee.  With Ry and Jenni.  In the Project X 56.  Beautiful day.
May 24.  Upper Ocoee.  With Wendy A.  and a slew of other shredders, canoeists, and kayakers.  In the Hyside Paddlecat.  Swam at Mikeys, dumped at Callahans, swam under the bridge.  ugh!  All's well that ends well.   First carnage via paddlecat since I bought it.