Hello from the Gray Crew,
We have recently started our whitewater training. We paddled originally out at basecamp to refresh our paddling skills. After 1-2 years of not paddling, it was a little rough and we realized how hard it is again (but fun:)))) We then moved to the classroom where we talked about the different things we would find in the river that would cause problems, or would be causing the rapids. Some things that we may find in the river are strainers, pillows and ledges.
It was then time for us to hit the rivers. We first paddled from Beaver Island Trail to McStop where we practiced on some rapids and learned a few techniques in whitewater such as ferrying. We then moved on to the Sauk River where we got more of an experience in rapids and were forced to maneuver around rocks. We started at CentraCare and paddled to Wilson Park. There were some parts that were a little scary as we were just beginning to figure out what we need to do. Some scary parts include getting too close to tipping for comfort and losing a paddle in fast water (whoops :\) but were able to recover it. With each time we go, we are improving! We have practiced being in bow and stern so that we get experience in both and are able to see which position we like the most.
Currently we have boats stored at Stocker’s house and we were able to go on Tuesday night to portage the canoes down by the Sauk Rapids River to work on eddy turns in and out of the eddy line. After a while of practice with eddy turns, we shot some rapids and continued on to the end.
Thanks to Ann, Peter and Austin for paddling with us to show us the ropes!!