Whitewater on a Steamy Summer Day

It has been a while since I’ve been out in my whitewater boat, so I decided to test out my cranky knee and do a run with my buddy Paul on the Fife Brook Section of the Deerfield River. It was Deerfieldfest weekend and the Dryway wasn’t running due to an issue with the dam, so there were crowds everywhere.

The day was hot and the Fife Brook Dam was releasing at a medium level – a nice combination. We put in at around 11:00 and began working our way downstream. The crowds at the first few rapids were huge, but eventually we found some space to ourselves. We worked our way downstream and took a break for lunch before running the biggest rapid on this section of the river – Zoar Gap.

My record running the Gap is mixed - 15 attempts with 7 successful, 6 swims and 2 walks. I pulled over above the Gap to take some pictures before running it myself. Once in the Gap, I caught the eddy on the left below the first pour-over, and then went right of “Oh Shit Rock” though the second drop. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it. In this video Paul goes through first taking the left line, then I go through taking the right line.

So my record in the Gap now stands at 16 attempts with 8 successful, 6 swims and 2 walks. Good news on the sore knee – it felt fine. Nothing a little vitamin “I” can’t handle. But I am still going to do the sea kayak training next weekend.

Few more pictures here:



Nice job on the Gap. :slight_smile: That end section can make or break the entire Deerfield run for some (it shouldn’t) because of one’s expectations.


There are two rapids that have gotten into my head over the years - the Gap and the Funnel on the Lower Millers. If we ever get any rain, I need to give the Lower Millers another try.

Nice eddy turn at top. The rest of it looked pretty OK although I can see you “slapping” the water a couple of times.

So a guess that’s “C”. I’ll take it. There is definitely a slapping brace at the top and a couple of air braces in the drops. Style needs work, but I made it through in one piece, so I’ll take it.

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Hey, you were still in your boat at the bottom of the drop. That’s all that counts.

People sometimes talk about going to the Casino for gambling. My response is that my idea of gambling is whether I’m still in my boat at the end of the day.


I am pretty sure I made it through the Gap more times upright than upside down. What I feel good about is that I have never “swam” through the Gap. At least so far. Knock on wood. :upside_down_face:


Wish I could say that - I’m about 50/50.

If you want to see the absolute picture perfect open boat run through the Gap here it is.

He catches the eddy on the right that I just blow by…

I need to get a Millbrook - maybe that would help :wink:


you OC1 guys really impress me

The guy in the second video is amazing - one of the best open boaters around.

Photos look like a great day! My cell phone is being a bit cranky about the video, but congrats on a successful run. Especially since your OC has more length to catch the Oh Shit rock than my shrimp Innazone 220 did when l got thru erect and in my boat at each end of the Gap. Just a lot less boat to manage than yours.

I just realized that is a heck of a commute for you? I am impressed.

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There is very little whitewater that isn’t a commute for me - one of the reasons to get a sea kayak and get out on the ocean.

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