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Kayaked the Anthony Kill


By jstookey - Posted on 17 October 2011

The weather has been unpredictable lately. Last night, it was as though somebody was turning a switch on and off, flipping between torrential downpours and clear skies. This morning, I took advantage of the new rainfall to kayak down the Anthony Kill.

I started at Coons Crossing in Mechanicville and made my way to the Hudson. The water was several inches higher than it was on my first trip down the Anthony Kill, but it was several feet lower than it was after Irene.

The water on the easier sections of the creek was calm, but moved quickly.

The entire route was nearly obstacle-free, which is great for a creek that is really flowing like the Anthony Kill was today.

A long section of the creek followed a consistently steep decline. The fast-rushing water formed large waves, humbling to a skinny man riding low in the water in a sliver of a boat. From the top of this area, a silent pause was heard before dropping into a slope of watery moguls. Unfortunately, I did not capture any pictures of the more exciting sections. I tried, I really did, but at one point I nearly lost everything as a result. At the top of one of the steeper sections, I tried to pull over to the side and get the camera out. As I did so, the water pulled me into the current, and I entered the wild water backwards and sideways which is totally not ok. Luckily I managed to whip the boat straight and ride down narrowly avoiding a disastrous capsize.

Along the way, there were some old collapsed power lines in the water. Modern-looking power lines towered nearby, indicating that these lines are no longer in service, but this knowledge did not prevent some instinctual concern from creeping in as I ducked underneath.

The Anthony Kill goes out with a bang. The last few hundred feet are more difficult than anything else on the stream. Before I started, I scoped out the area and picked out two possible routes to avoid running into a big log in the middle of the river, followed by another log on the right. I had a plan A (stay right past the first log, then scoot left) and a plan B (stay far to the left the entire time). Plan A was the most obvious route, and plan B seemed like the most conservative. When I arrived in my kayak, I realized that I didn't have a lot of steering control because the water was moving pretty fast, and maybe I should stick with plan B to be safe. I forced myself as far left as I could get, but I couldn't move fast enough. I ended up splitting the difference between plan A and B, and headed directly at the log. Luckily the rushing water helped to carry me around the log, instead of blasting me into it. It was a shaky descent, but I made it down with my head above water. Phew. It would have been a cold swim to gather up my stuff had I lost it.

Distance: 4.5 miles
Time taken:
* 1 hour to kayak from Coons Crossing Road to the Hudson River
Gauge level (Mohawk River at Cohoes): 12,000 cf/s

Links

* Detailed info about the Anthony Kill
* My previous Anthony Kill trip
* Video of the Anthony Kill after Irene