Sunday, October 01, 2006


Electra Run, Mokelumne River, kayaking class II, Sept 30, 2006

BruceH, CarolynD, KenyaO, MasaO and I kayaked the Electra Run on the Mokelumne River (Amador County, California, USA) at a flow of 800 cfs (CA DWR CDEC Interface).

BruceH paddled a Dagger Crossfire, Carolyn had her Dagger RPM, KenyaO paddled an inflatable kayak, MasaO paddled his Eskimo Kendo and I paddled BobL's Dagger SuperEgo. Due to a gear packing error we had two "open boaters" (and only one of them had a self-bailing boat). So we kept a close eye on our two open boaters. KenyaO had a great day in the IK, including some surfing on little playspots, and our other open boater did a lot of bailing the boat on shore.

California fuchisas were blooming in blazing red, and a composite species was blooming with white petals and a yellow center. We saw lots of little fish swimming upstream in the eddies and occasionally jumping up into the air. The kokanee salmon had not yet come up from the reservoir downstream, so this will be something we can look forward to later in October.

Waters of the Many Dozen Playspots

As September draws to a close we finally have gotten down to typical July/August flows. At 800 cfs we still found lots of playspots on the run, but not quite as many as we had on previous trips at slightly higher flow rates. BUT finally we could surf on Green Wave. Entering from river-left I ferried across just below the hole and then powered into the wave right next to the hole. MasaO & I got onto the wave on almost every try, but other boaters got on the wave occasionally or not at all. There was a 4 foot slot where the SuperEgo provided breathtaking high speed surfing, but any farther out the wave was not steep enough for the SuperEgo to avoid washing out the backside.

At S Curve rapid I caught the little eddy on the left in the middle of the rapid. The eddy flow was quite a few inches higher than the downstream flow, so even with all of my downstream momentum the SuperEgo barely punched into the eddy. Then the eddy line just gobbled me up as I tried to paddle out of the eddy. I got into a good setup position, but the roll didn't feel right and ended in failure. My second roll attempt also felt wrong and also failed. I foolishly didn't even get the breath of air that I needed on the failed rolls, so there was no third roll attempt. Suddenly there I was swimming at takeout. Later Carolyn told me that I was on the eddy line for both of my roll attempts, so that explains why the rolls failed. The offside roll that I haven't practiced for many years might have worked under these circumstances, but I didn't even think to try it at the time. I really need to practice that offside roll so its ready when needed!!

More about: Kayaking Trip Reports.

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