Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Graeme, Nora, and I headed North to Sturgeon Falls in Eastern Manitoba. Once there, we met up with Craig E. and Tommy. We ran into Natalie and Mike J the next day, then Bill, Brian J, and Marie came up that night. Sturgeon (and nearby Whitemud) is known for huge waves, deep water, and safe wash outs. These factors make it one of the best playboating spots in the world. The water was relatively low this weekend (about 40,000 cfs), so the features were not as big as they could be, but were still really fun.
At Sturgeon, Chameleon was 4-5' tall and playing more like a wave than a hole. Craige was able to hit some loops, Graeme nailed an entry loop, I managed a few cartwheel ends, and just about everybody got some spins and bounces on it. Surfers was bigger (approx 7'), with an extremely steep foam pile. Despite it's thrashy and intimidating appearance, I found it to be a very smooth and controlled surf. It instantly became my favorite feature there. Huge bounces, fast water, and you had the added bonus of surfing in a trough that was about 4' below the surrounding water. It was quite a trip to be surfing the wave and watch someone drop into Chameleon above you. It did give Graeme a slight trashing on one ride, but otherwise proved to be pretty harmless. There were two other good surf spots (Triple S and Learners) that provided some great surfs and spins. All in all it was a very fun level.
Whitemud was slightly bigger and much faster. The water flowing into the rapids was as fast as any I've seen and made for some challenging ferries. The couch was great - just over head high, fairly retentive, and very bouncy. I nailed my first true blunt there, but then got a bit to excited about it and got flipped immediately after. At one point we had Craige, Tommy, Graeme, and myself on it at the same time with room for more. Craige and Tommy also spent lots of time on Scary Wave hitting huge air blunts and bounces. Scary was somewhere in the 8-10' tall range and when it glassed up the boys were going huge. Fun to watch.
The weather was warm and Sunny on Friday and Saturday, then we got an inch of rain Sat night and things turned cool and cloudy. Thunderstorms Sunday afternoon/evening and cold temps convinced us to forgoe the leaky tents and rent Yurts that night. The Yurts were amazing - electricity, heat, 2 beds, a futon, and a table and chairs inside sitting on nice hardwood floors. Beat the heck out of standing around in the rain.
We also got some cool Wildlife encounters. We saw fox pups playing, lots of eagles, watched an otter fishing, drove right past a black bear, and lots of others. Good times.
I'll need a couple days to get the pics up. I loaded them onto my computer last night but haven't even started sorting them. I did manage to get a couple of videos up on YouTube, so hit the link on the right side of this page. I'll get more vids up in the next couple of days too.