Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Going Down the Mattoponi

Two weeksago a fellow Watertribe member, WaterDog and I did the Mattoponi and York rivers of Virginia. It just happens that we picked the rainiest and coldest two days of November.

The Mattoponi River has some of the largest tidal differential on the Chesapeake. The four foot tides generate 2-3 knot currents going up stream. We fought the current most of the first day often doing only one knot down river.

The fog lasted way past noon often accompanied  with rain squalls. Even with a dry suit on it felt like we were swimming all day. The upper Mattoponi is very remote. We launched from Aylett the furthest reach of the tides. This is a very historic region with several homes from the 1700's. Before the day of steamers and propellers the settlers used the tidal currents to their advantage pushing supply boats far up the river.

 There even was a cabin from "Deliverance". The fog gave everything the special effect. The visibility was limited so each bend in the river held a new surprise.

Around 5 PM cold front came through dropping the temperature into the 30's. Along with the front came  more rain, lightning and wind. We needed the wind. A lot of miles were lost fighting the current. We were way behind schedule. The river has no navigational aids with few houses to mark the way. Once it turned dark I depended heavily on the GPS keeping to the center of the river.

I made two videos of the Mattoponi River: Enjoy...working on the York River part of the trip...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

AI Bulkhead

This is a picture of my Adventure Island foam bulkhead. You will notice that the rudder cable turning blocks are missing. I moved them further back to make the bulkhead 100% water tight. I used Goop Plumbing Glue to seal any gaps.