took my annual swim

yesterday, it happens at least once a year. Millers Folley on the New River Gorge got me. I was coaching a friend on raft lines when we collided with a rock. When I reemerged on the surface the raft was long gone. So I ditched the paddle by chucking it as far as I could in the main current and stroked into an eddy. Caught a ride down with my son who was in the next raft and retrieved my paddle from a kayakin’ buddy at the bottom. All in all pretty painless but I was kind of hoping this would be my year of no swims.

I’ve got a kayakin’ buddy who as over 1,000 runs on the New River Gorge (from cunard to fayette station) and the last time he swam was 1994. Now that’s some skill!

Question from a kayaker
who’s had it pounded into her head to hold on to the boat and paddle:

Why did you toss your paddle into the main current?

self preservation!

– Last Updated: Oct-16-16 11:05 PM EST –

millers folley at this water level is pretty rocky, its the longest rapid on the new river and we came out at the top- three swimmers in all but the others popped up close to the boat. I wasn't sure I could stroke into the eddy while holding the paddle and I wanted the paddle to flush through without getting snagged. Paddles ain't cheap but bumpin' over and off of rocks can be even more expensive if you end up in the emergency room.
Lots of good rules like hang on to your paddle or don't stand up in ww. Sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where it makes sense to break the rules.

here's a commercially made video of the New (not my trip). We collided with the rock you see at 3:45

One thing I learned about Pnet
You gotta figure out if paddlers are talking about whitewater or open water. Some of the rules are different.

Hold on to your paddle
In general the rule is to hold on to your paddle - especially in a remote area if you don’t have a spare. As Tony said, it is a lot tougher to swim with a paddle, so for a long swim in big water I’d probably chuck the paddle too and focus on getting to shore. Nice thing about an open boat is that there is always room for a spare - assuming you ever get back to the boat.

We are all between swims
For some they are just more frequent than others. My first swim of the year was January 1st, second was January 17th and third was September 3rd. I did hold on to my paddle all three times, but two of those swims involved long walks downstream to find my boat :wink:

Rocks? More like boulders!
Those rafts look difficult to steer through that frothing maze without bouncing off something.

Why were they using their paddles upside down? Short poles?

Good to get re-baptized now and then.
Not only to reaffirm one’s standing in “The Church of the Paddle” but to use the handy phrase “I meant to do that!” while standing soaking wet in front of others;-

In the Church of the Paddle
In the Church of the Paddle,

we’re all between swims,

till our undertow trials,

come callin’ us in,

and some try to take stands,

in irreverent doubt,

till baptisms come callin’,

on aggressive stepout,

so throw up your paddles,

swim frantic in frosh,

it’s a new education,

for once righteous awash.

Thanks TD. Like the Steve Forbert/Tony Joe White tunes medley music, too, in the video. Watch out for those, “Chomp…Chomp” rocks…

“…ferried it home inna poked sack! Poked rafted paddler, the river ate your straddler.”

The raft guide just had them being silly. you’ll notice that he had his blade in the water.

Think I’ll nominate you
for the Nobel Prize in Literature. :slight_smile:

Why, thank you for your kindness.

– Last Updated: Oct-18-16 11:27 AM EST –

Whilst Mr. Robert A. Zimmerman has apparently opened the doors, what with his lyrically poetic constructions appeasing the Oslo audience, I'm still hard at work try'n to crack the Raystown Fireside Judgement at Numbingberg Panel (an oddly erudite assemblage of libated learneds, if 'er there be) for more than thirty-seconds of approving appraisal, for any of the many aurally ostentatious librettos I've delivered over the years, though I ply the judges copiously beforehand with Kentucky corn constructs.

Well, till then, I'll just have to remain somewhat disturbingly satisfied in the notion that I did one time gain acceptance by a late, great certain Norbert Thompson (N.T., to some followers of this board, in its more arcane days - I do try to keep up the tradition) into the You People Ain't Right Bad Folk Heritage Triple XXX (although I'm more of a PG-60 fella, myself) Singer Society, which had me singing odd Burl Ives dulcet diddy derivatives in duet with the late, great James Saulters (aka, JSaults).

So, again I thank you, and, per a quite Frank fella in Miami, I'll prattle on.


Please do
keep on prattling.

Poetry and paddling make a good combination, especially when well done.

I’m born again…
Was baptized again on Saturday the 15th.

My Mad River Flashback (old school slalom racer), is squirrely at best…

One hour of practice in it, was nowhere near the seat

time I needed before putting in on moving water.

No big deal; I hadn’t done a “fish count” in about 4

years. I was long overdue. A good way to keep your ego in check.


You mean I missed that?

And I was already kind of bummed out about missing so much of the Rendezvous.

If I thought my short swim would have made you feel better; I’d have had someone video me.

Knew it was going to happen as soon as I committed to the route I chose.

Came to a rather abrupt stop, after I caught a sawed off tree trunk in the middle of my chest. Cold water was worse than tree trunk encounter.


That would have been only fair considering how much glee I provided for you that time I fell out of your SRT.

Isn’t it funny how…
…those boat-or-bankside observer friends giggling to chortling and heckling and whatnot the loudest, as you and your boat and constituent pieces go semi-submersive, usually do so out of an extra dose of empathy?

I’ve always suspected there’s a sadomasochistic underpinning to this Church of the Paddle baptismal thing (as well as with other denominational proceedings).

Well, at least they’ll throw ya a line or two…on occasion. (Course, with McCrea, it’s liable to have a 5-lb. lead sinker attached.)

If I remember correctly

– Last Updated: Oct-19-16 10:33 AM EST –

Bob was neither giggling or chortling, but standing on the gravel bar bellowing "My boat, my boat!".

Worried about Pete?
I wasn’t worried about Pete!

He was younger, no medical issues, a good swimmer, and wearing a pfd; no danger at all.

I “was” worried about my Hemlock SRT!

Should have never sold that boat.

Regret selling it; what a beauty.