Daytrip: 1st attempt at Poling Moving Water - Big East River, Ontario

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Thought I'd post about my poling attempt last summer. Believe some folks on other forums might have seen these before. Apologies for the duplication but the poling section here seemed so empty. Much of Ontario had record low water levels last season, so figured it would be a good learning opportunity to try some very modest moving water. The middle stretches of the Big East River in Muskoka, Ontario have some shallows ripples that seemed suitable to a novice. Locals typically park a car at the Williamsport Bridge and then, once past a set of easy C1 rapids and some other shallows, lazily meander rapid-free until they hit Lake Vernon about 4-5 hours away. Very few people ever go upstream at this point since there really is no "destination" as such and there are more rapids and shallows to contend with upstream. As a trial run, I brought along my pack loaded as if I was heading off for a few days of camping to see if poling a loaded canoe was any more difficult than my usual empty boat practice. The plan for 2013 is to pole up as far as I can and camp on some crown land before heading back down negating the need for a shuttle on a river trip

Launch point looking downstream...
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Paddling upsteam...
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Huge sandy cliffs along the way...
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Looking upstream to some prime poling territory...
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Poling up the shallows in still water...
PolingPic1.jpg




Further upstream was a small island where I pulled up to take a break in the heat. The place was covered in animal tracks. Seems it is being used as a deer crossing site...
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Eventually got to some rocky swifts and spent quite some time attempting to climb against the increasingly strong current. Set up the camera to take some video and timed photos of attempts. Lots of rocks under those ripples...
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Finding the rock free channel...
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Trying to pole and take a photo - not reccommended!
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One particular stretch was a fun area to practice. Spent quite a while going upstream and then turning around to snub down.
PolingPic4.jpg



Snubbing downstream in the same place
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Overall a fun time on the river. Here's a short, 3 minute Youtube video of the some of the day's action...

 
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Murat, I really enjoyed the pictures and the video..What canoe were you using? I recommend all take a gander at Murat's Blog..and remember to take a napkin.

I have one of Craig Johnson's curly maple Northwoods paddles. I paid an "insane" price for it at the WCHA auction. To me it was worth every buck. To my husband..not so much, but he's tolerant. I will bring it back for others to try at the 2013 Assembly.
 
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That was awesome, I'e got to try some poling this summer. It's a lost art, but used to be a staple for moving around up here. Sure would open up a lot of new potential routes for me.
 
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Thanks everyone. Poling sure is a neat way to explore your area.

YellowCanoe: I was using a 15footer picked up as part of a trade. I was told by the last owner that he thought it was a Chestnut Chum but this isn't the case. Looks to be the work an amateur builder / restorer. Stems have been previously repaired and there is an inwale scarf joint near the bow plus it has had some of its original ribs & planking replaced. At least it was completely water-worthy when I picked it up with intact canvas. Original seat frames have their caning holes but now the seats are just plywood planks. Rib tops will need to be repaired in the near future. The builder used some narrow red cedar planking which seemed different to me. Folks over on the WCHA forums mentioned it has some features of a late model Richardson / Rilco with the narrow planking but overall, it is still a mystery boat. Not the perfect canoe for poling since it has a deeper hull and came with keel, but at least I don't feel that bad scraping this one on the river bottom.

Some pics of the original condition...
New%2BChum%2B009.jpg


New%2BChum%2B022.jpg


It had layers of teal green, yellow, and red paint, but to get my 4year old son interested in the canoe, I let him choose a new color. He ended up choosing that mossy color which he calls "froggie green".

A few months after posting on my site, someone took one of my images and posted an ad in some local classifieds regarding their own canoe dated to 1926. Guess they couldn't take a pic of their own boat so they simply pulled the 1st red canoe image they found on the net. Here's their strange ad..
1926%2BKijiji%2BCanoe.jpg


I responded and directed them to the WCHA forums but never really followed up...

Hoping to make it to the WCHA assembly this year. Getting a chance to see Craig's Tiger Maple Paddle is an added incentive!
 
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It is 11.5" feet. Started off with a 12 foot board but there was some cracking on the ends so needed to cut those parts off.
 
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Thanks. Is that a wrap of some sort in the middle or a joint for a 2 piece pole? I have never poled but am fascinated by this.
 
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It's a one-piece pole. Just that when I was shaping it down with a crooked knife, I ended up creating a bit of a gouge in that area. Used some leather lacing to whip the area and "hide" my mistake - so it's more for decoration then anything. Don't think I've ever come across a two piece wood pole before - not sure if it could handle all the stress at a joint.
 
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Enjoyed your video again, Murat. Wish I had the patience to do more video myself. I'm going to try to do better this year. ;)
 
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I am using a two piece home made poll. I bought metal joints that would be used on a kayak handle. Not sure how strong it is because my polling is nothing too strenuous. Just some shallow sections on river day trips, and usually down stream. I pack it along when the river is low. If it was one piece I would be less likely to bring it. Dave
 
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Thanks Murat, I enjoyed that, poling and a wood canoe with a hand made pole, with some weight to be better prepared for the trip. Some real quality stuff showing up here in the poling forum, Thanks
 
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So we so far have the guys who stand tall and carry a big rod.

I wish I was a chick with a stick. Lisa teaches Chicks with Sticks at Maine Canoe Symposium

Here she is. Her son Eli (he is six) is cheering from shore. Often he is the bow person while Mom poles but I can't find that on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAnjZ3SxBHA

Here is Lisa at the styles demo at Maine Canoe Symposium

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqYm9m4q1JI
 
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