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Trip Reports

Riley’s Lock to Pennyfield via the GW Canal - 10/8...
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Alan Gale Brought His Friends Today

Having waited until 11:30 to meet to give the sun a chance to warm things up a bit, we set out from Riley's by 12:15. Once on the Potomac we were smacked by 15 mph winds with gusts over 25. Thankfully, the wind blew us upstream away from Seneca Breaks, but it was a bit of a struggle to get turned to point downstream and into the GW Canal. Post paddle, the consensus among those in the canoeist shuttle car was that the waves were between 1 and 1 1/2 feet. Fun waves to ride, but the wind made boat control frustrating to maintain.

Note, the tree that had been lying across the canal after the first turn is gone.

It was interesting to paddle in air temps (58-60) cooler than the water temp (68 on the LF gauge). A few of us even used the water to warm our hands occasionally.

Though the wind was brisk, there was surfing and playing to be had by those brave enough (and smart enough to wear neoprene) to try their hand at it. While Alf did bogart the Surfers Ledge for awhile, others did eventually get an opportunity to play. One swim was had, our sacrifice to the Hole Troll at Surfers Ledge. We thank them for their sacrifice and their service.

All paddlers executed the remaining rapids brilliantly. Upon re-entering the Potomac proper, our paddle back to Pennyfield wasn't quite as eventful as the paddle above Seneca Breaks, despite the increased wind speed (over 20 mph at this point with gusts of 30). The wind certainly, again, tested our boat control skills, making us all quite happy to see Muddy Branch.

Wind speeds sourced from Weather Underground.

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