Oh what a difference a few feet can make!

Last weekend, I did a paddle on Falls Lake and, as would be expected, the water levels were still very high. Even though we are several weeks out from Florence, the US Army Corps of Engineers didn’t start releasing until last week and the lake is still almost 6 Feet above their preferred level. While here in the Triangle area, I don’t think we generally got as much flooding as we did during Hurricane Mathew, we got a bit more rain and still ended up with very high lake levels.

You can see this when you compare two pictures I took, one from yesterday, 09/30/2018, and another from earlier in the year when the lake was at a more normal level.

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Bald Head Island Circumnavigation

Two buddies and I completed a 41 mile circumnavigation of Bald Head Island last weekend. We started at Carolina Beach State Park, paddling South down the Cape Fear River to reach Bald Head Island. We then paddled around the South facing beach and then traveled ocean side North, passing Fort Fischer, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and then returning to the Carolina State Park through Snow’s Cut. It took us 9 Hours 15 Minutes of paddling, with a total time on the water of just under 13 hours.

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Kayak Review: Dagger Alchemy 14S

After several years of owning my Dagger Alchemy 14.0S, I have finally gotten around to writing up a review on it. When I first got my Alchemy, I had been paddling a Necky Manitou 13 for a year or two and while the Manitou is an awesome boat in its own right, moving to the Alchemy really helped me to skill up, as it feels much more like a proper kayak.

These days, while I don’t use it as much and it wouldn’t be my first choice for use on the ocean or lake, I still use it frequently on the river and have no plans on getting rid of the boat. For a plastic boat, it is still incredibly kayaky and made of rather thick plastic compared to other similar models.

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Finding the Right Water Level for Milburnie Dam Falls

Since the removal of the old Milburnie Dam, a new area of rapids has been added to the Neuse River. Where before, this area offered a couple of minor waves that you could nose your boat into, there are now several nice play spots. However, determining what the water level is at Milburnie Dam and how to know when it is fun to go out there, is not so straightforward. Together with a local paddler, who has largely been the drive behind much of our discoveries, we have been able to figure out a few decent metrics for gauging the neuse river here.

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