Terry Anderson’s KLOG
Jul 16, 2006, 2:45 PM-6:05 PM
Raritan River, near New Brunswick, NJ
Launched from Martins Creek (aka Mill Brook) township boat ramp (at the end of Meadow Road, Edison Township) (NSSKA Ref# LSNJ066)
High Tide about 1:30 PM, low tide about 8:00 PM.
Averaged 3.3 knots
This is the same launch site I used on May 7 and Jun 11, 2006. This site has nice approach at low and high tides. The tides today were predicted to be +6 feet and -1 feet and I notice at least 4-5 feet difference from the start to end of my trip.
This trip was the maiden voyage for my new east coast kayak, a Necky Manitou 14. No much compared to my Eddyline Falcon S18 that I keep at our west coast, Puget Sound house, but a lot better than the fat, 10’ Perception that I have been using in the east. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money but have something that had a little more sea kayak a feel, closer to my Eddyline, so that I can develop more skills at stability, bracing and hopefully even rolling in the warmer water and greater time that I have on the east coast.
To get the feel of the kayak, I decided to spend the entire day on the main river. I usually explore the shallow side tributaries, but this time I wanted the open water, work on my stroke form, speed and dealing with the wakes of all the power boats and waverunners on the river. It was a hot summer day and so there were far more boats out than I have encountered previously on the river. And few of them avoided significant wakes as they are supposed to do when passing a paddle craft, but the wakes made good practice for the much larger waves I encounter in the Puget Sound.
With all the traffic I saw far less nature than on previous trips. I did explore one inlet that went few 100 yards (at high tide, on the way back nearer low tide it was dry) and saw a couple of herons and one or two egrets (not sure if the second was distinct or the first again). Later on a small bay of the open river, overhung by some trees I saw another egret. Other than a few fish jumping (the few that had managed to avoid the dozens of fishermen on the banks), I saw little else. But the greatest display of “wild” life that I saw was 12 power boats anchored and rafting to each other having a loud party and launching sorties of wave runners. I gave them a wide berth.
I wanted to monitor my speed but did not have my GPS along, so I just noted the time at various landmarks and measured the distance with mapping software I have. I paddled a total of 5 miles (standard or statute miles, 3.3 nautical miles) up the river to the Rt 18 bridge. This took almost exactly 2 hours, but this was against both a current and wind. I returned in only 75 minutes and paddled no harder (if you are keeping track, I spend 5 min on a phone call from the kayak). So my average speed was about 3.25 mph or 2.8 knots (2.5 mph up and 4 mph back) which would indicate that the current (plus some wind effect) was about 0.75 mph or 0.65 knots. I was pleased that this was not much slower than my paddling speed in my Eddyline – two of my trips with it averaged 3.1 knots. So even though this is a shorter boat (14 rather than 18 feet) the speed is not that much less.
* If you have Google Earth installed, you can double-click on the attached Placemark file and it will fly you to a location. If not, you will need to install Google Earth first (available at http://earth.google.com).