I had a bit of an embarrassing moment yesterday paddling one of our local streams. I put in for a nice workout paddle on a tributary of the Missouri, which has absolutely no current. I was maintaining a pretty decent speed in the Murky water when I felt the first bump, and then a few more and the boat came up out of the water. I was high centered on some sort of retaining wall or dyke just under the surface. After about five minutes of struggling I was able to use my hands to lift the boat up enough to back up off the dyke that I had hit, leaving a few gashes on the bottom.
I’ve kayaked this stream close to a hundred times without issue, but due to the ongoing drought this creek is the lowest I have seen, dropping the depth from about 6 feet to now abut 2-3 feet. The water is so murky that even though the rocks where just a few inches below the surface, they were not visible until I was right on them. With no current there were no ripples or dividing water to know these obstacles where there.
Question #1: Do any of you have any tips on how to judge hidden obstacles in stagnant water?
Question #2: The gash in my boat is about 1/4 inch wide and about half the depth of the hull thickness, does it need repair or should I just consider it cosmetic?
Thanks in advance for you info!
*Below is a pic of the creek in case anyone is interested