Sit. Rep #52: Dams and Troubles

More Canoe hints:

1- Before you go on a water trip, get a map, survey the section that you plan to go on.  Talk to folks who have transversed that section.  Local tour providers and guides, white water clubs, canoe groups, fishing buddies all know about the water.  Also talk to the Army Corps of Engineers, State Wildlife, or Natural Resources departments.  The power company may also be a good resource for information, especially about dam releases.  (They usually own the dam)  This is part of GETTING PREPARED.

The SOLID black line across the river is a low water dam. The angled portion feeds a sluiceway to the power plant down river.

2- One of the more insidious obstacles on the water is a Low Water Dam.  When I think of water dams, I think of large concrete structures or earthen berms with rip rap on the face to discourage wave erosion.
     A low water dam is very, Very, VERY hard to see from a canoe.  It looks like a straight line across the water.  It is also very hard to hear because the sound sneaks up on you from miles away so very slowly.
    The only good way to canoe a low water dam is to portage around it!
    It may look like it is only a few feet tall but it creates a multiple threat to the sportsperson.

3- The water coming over the top of the dam is at it’s “crest.”  The water then flows down the backside of the dam.  The water is then called the “overflow jet.”  The jet is flowing faster than the downstream water.
     When the jet hits the downstream water, it creates foam and splits into 2 streams.  The lower stream continues to flow downstream under the foam.  The upper stream rises at the downstream “boil point”.  From the boil point, the water flows back upstream creating a reverse flow.  This reverse flow is called the “entrapment zone.”
    The entrapment zone is also called the “hydraulic.”  It is extremely powerful and dangerous!  The air in the water creating the foam also lowers the density of the water.   That lower density of the water means that you do not float as easily.
    The only way I know out of an entrapment zone is to go down as far as possible and try to catch the downstream flowing current.
    However, the best way to survive this deadly zone is to portage the dam completely!

3B- Water moving at 10 mph has the same force on your body as an F1 Tornado.  Because water is more massive hence has more energy to impart – just in case you were interested.

I- Did you hear that NASA has started testing cows in space.
J- It is called “The Herd Shot Around The World.”

4- Another good classic book is “The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane.

5- Canoe paddle strokes you will need to know: Draw, Push, J-stroke, Forward, Forward Sweep, Reverse Sweep.  How will the canoe act & react if you are canoeing alone, in the bow, or in the stern?

6- How do you recover from a swamped canoe?  Did you pack the carved milk jug for bailing out water?

7- How do you get someone back aboard a canoe without swamping?

K- Why do cowboys put bells on bulls?
L- Because their horns don’t work.

Read the weather, read the water, read the maps, read the signs,

Youth Skits for Girls by Thomas Mercaldo

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