...A mini lesson in hydrology by Emily and Nena! Click "Read More" for sweet movies!
I apologize in advance: This is not a post about kayaking... It is, however, related to the outdoors and water.
Last fall I took a really interesting class called "Watershed Engineering," in which we analyzed and designed water control structures (dams, culverts, channels, etc). One of our projects was to analyze the Virgil Creek earthen dam. For some unknown reason, a few of us fell in love with the dam, and have been back to visit (and camp out...) a few times... The slope of the dam makes a perfect angle for watching meteor showers...
The kayak gods were against us yesterday as Jeff Buchman, Heather Adams, and I embarked to circumnavigate Honeoye Lake. I awoke to birds outside my window and thought, "Wow, it sure is bright outside for being 6:30am... ... CRAP! It's 7:45am!" Already 15 minutes late to meet Rob in Trumansburg (a 25 minute drive from Ithaca). As it turned out, Rob couldn't join us anymore, so I was able to give the Rochesterians a heads-up and meet them a half hour later. No stress.
An hour into the drive I got a call from Heather, who was already at Sandy Bottom Park- our launch spot at the north end of the lake. Apparently there were signs posted near the water warning of hazardous water conditions due to an algal bloom. When Jeff and I arrived, we decided to brave the green and paddle anyway!
Warning, it's a long one. I wanted to be explicit so I would actually remember the things I learned! See previous post for Heather's account of the trip!
Ok, it's taken me about 15 minutes to figure out how to start this post so as to accurately profess my excitement about the past weekend. I guess I'll just start from the beginning! This weekend, Heather Adams (fellow Rough Rider from Rochester) and I headed up to Bracebridge, Canada, for the first annual Ontario Greenland Camp, hosted by LearnToKayak, Kayak Ways, and The Complete Paddler.
Day 1: The Drive Up & First Impressions
After an overwhelmingly stressful week of classes, work, TAing, and homework, I departed Ithaca on Friday morning for Rochester. Upon arrival at Heather's house, we loaded my boat onto her car and started the 6 hour drive to Bracebridge, Canada! The drive up was fairly uneventful, and we made it to Camp Tamarack around 5pm. We were feeling a little daunted about meeting a whole new group of kayakers, but we were very excited to meet so many Greenland enthusiasts and kayak lovers like ourselves! After a warm welcome by some of the camp organizers, we settled into our bunk beds (a strange experience since I never went to camp as a kid) and headed over to the main cabin for dinner.
Day 2 AM: Yoga-for-Kayakers, Greenland Strokes, and Rolling Demo
The next day I got up super early for some yoga-for-kayakers. Cheri had us doing all kinds of funny maneuvers on the ground to mimic rolling in our boats. I can only imagine how goofy we all looked, but she kept a straight face! After breakfast we headed over to the beach where all the kayaks were ready to play!
What a beautiful day for a paddle! Today I helped Rob teach the FAST (Fall All Staff Training for COE) sea kayak seminar. The students were all COE instructors for different sports -- mostly climbers -- so they were a really enthusiastic bunch! We met at East Shore Park and went over the basics (fitting in boats, wet exits, deep water re-entries, and basic paddle strokes) and then went for a short paddle punctuated with mini play-times. Most people were really excited to try t-rescues, and some people even worked on their roll. Dan got his roll on the second try! It was very exciting! Everyone was excited to hear about the tri-weekly pool sessions available to all COE instructors, so hopefully they'll be back for more.
I didn't take any pictures, but we could see Todd (COE director) snapping shots from the shore, so maybe we'll make it into next year's catalog! The strap on my camera snapped a few days ago so I'm trying to find ways to remedy that...
I haven't been a very good blogger lately... or kayaker for that matter. That's what school and working at the kayak shop do to you. At least I can be optimistic that when I graduate and have a 9-5 job I'll have more time to paddle!
Now that I'm back in Ithaca, Ben and I made it out on Monday morning for a solid paddle around the south end of Cayuga. A little under 9 miles. The weather was very eerie, with the sun shining through dark clouds that continuously passed over our heads. The strange lighting made it feel like the world was about to end. But we paddled through the random drizzles anyways...
No pictures... I was lazy. No map because I'd just be reposting one of the previous maps. Sorry, lame post! This weekend I'll be helping Rob teach the COE Fall All Staff Training sea kayaking seminar, so that should be fun.
I found out today that my master's project will have to do with developing a method to calculate stream flow in the inlet channels to Cayuga lake. Right now they have various ways of estimating the flow based on flow measurements upstream, but they want a way to do it more accurately right in the inlet. My adviser even suggested that I might get to take a small boat (i.e. kayak) back and forth across the channel to measure the flow. I'll post more info when I find out more about it!
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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