Thursday, June 28, 2012

Up the upper Missiquoi, new skills required

Unlike the previously slow moving section, further upriver the Missiquoi drops more quickly which means more challenging travel in my upstream direction.  Strength, form and coordination in paddling become essential. 

Improved reading of the water and river conditions results in more efficient use of energy and power.  Why paddle in a fast moving section when a slower moving part of the river is available?  Depth of water is a consideration since getting a full blade in the water is more efficient.   If there are obstacles in the water, typically rocks, there is sometimes an eddy area below and often it is possible to "eddy hop", going from below one rock to below another upstream, saving lots of time and energy.

Often unavoidable, there are many situations where getting in and out of the boat is required.   Considering the current, gravel bars, sand bars, slippery rocks and sometimes manmade obstacles like metal bars beneath the water, this is a challenging, time consuming and tiring exercise.  Tracking the boat (pulling it upstream with a rope tied to the bow) is often the only way to continue onward. 

My skills have developed quickly in this demanding environment.

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