Memorial Day Weekend - 2002

I love sailing and I easily spend over half my weekends sailing or working on my boat. But I my other passion is whitewater boating - usually with the Burned Out Canoe Club.

I've been running whitewater almost as long as I have been sailing. And just like sailing, I'm not too choosy about what kind of boat it is. Just hand me a paddle and off I go. My fleet in current use includes a Slasher C-1 (decked canoe - looks like a kayak), an old Corsica S, and a Redline.

This weekend I ventured down to West Virgina. The Lower Gauley was running about 1200 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is a nice level. We ran it on Saturday and had a great time.

We needed to do a relatively quick trip on Sunday, so we got up early and ran the New River Gorge. The gauge at the put-in showed about 2600 cfs, which again was a pretty good level, although some of the waves seemed a bit larger than I remembered them from last year. If you think a 6-7 ft wave looks big from the cockpit of your sailboat, you should see them from a kayak.

Here is a shot of me running through Lower Keeney. It's probably the toughest combination of big water and technical maneuvering on the river.

Running Lower Keeney - up close and personal.

Running Lower Keeney - the big picture.

Just as in the previous rapid, Middle Keeney, we had two boats flip with one paddler rolling back up and the other swimming. Somehow or another I managed to stay upright all weekend.

Fair winds - and waves,

Eric White, Memorial Day, 2002

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