The summer of 2013 was full of adventure. I was lucky to spend the duration of the summer on the West Branch of the Penobscot while helping Jeremy Cass get his business off the ground. It was a great year for Maine whitewater kayakers, with early season high water, consistent flows and some spectacular summer weather towards the end, we couldn’t have asked for much more. This was the second summer producing a Maine whitewater film for the Maine Outdoor Film Festival and it was a fantastic experience yet again. I was able to compile a film that represented many aspects of Maine’s whitewater scene. I owe that to all the dedicated paddlers that were willing to share their footage and to them I would like to extend a huge thank you. I was truly inspired by the community this year and we have set our sights high for next years film. Hopefully we will be able to bring you the details on that soon. In the mean time please take a moment to enjoy this years film and catch it one last time on the big screen at Empire in the Old Port. The MOFF awards ceremony and screening will be taking place on December 5th and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone there. Thanks again!
With the Maine Outdoor Film Festival coming up in late August we’ve begun compiling and editing footage. Mitch through together a little teaser edit of himself which came out pretty awesome. We’ll have a lot more footage of Mitch, and many others in our film at the film fest. Don’t miss out, it’s a fun evening of good beers and outdoor films in the field across from Three Rivers Whitewater in The Forks, Maine.
Mike McVey is at it again. Just over a week after Huckfest Mike took to the rivers to show us that the Anvil isn’t just for hucking. We ventured to Sandy Stream, a classic and popular class IV-V run in Lexington Township, Maine. Mike fired up every rapid, styled the whole run and walked away only slightly battered and bruised… Killin’ it bud
Recently a river boarding website featured a few articles about this Mike McVey character. Who is he they ask… It’s hard to truly understand Mike until you’ve met him, to some he seems crazy, reckless, out of control… I mean what else would you think about someone body boarding off a 40′ waterfall. But in reality, Mike is the opposite. He is talented, calculated, meticulous and driven by a passion for the river that few people understand. Long before Mike took on the challenge of river boarding he was turning heads in his whitewater kayak. Growing up in the small town of Millinocket, just a short drive from the world class West Branch of the Penobscot, Mike was one of the few “townies” that made his way up to the river. Kayaking took over Mike’s life and his passion for the sport showed quickly in his abilities. Known around Maine as one of the most talented boaters in the area, he’s now turning heads on a river board. Mike’s passion for the river extends beyond his own personal sending however. He is dedicated to the whitewater community and constantly brainstorming ideas, shooting video, and coming up with ways to promote the places he truly loves, the rivers of Maine. Mike has been an important person on my journey into the world of whitewater and his passion for the river shines when he’s leading you through the “meat piles.” Still not sure who this Mike McVey character is? Come on up to West Branch, spend a few a days, you’ll meet him. I hope Mike’s adventures will continue to take him to new places, around the world and back. Way to go buddy, get them meat piles and put Maine on the map! Mike McVey SENDS
Some of Mike’s kayaking is featured in “Mainely Boating.” He is also one of the principal cinematographers of the film.
These photos are actually about a week old now. Right before it really got warm last weekend and the creeks started to rise Mitch Noddin and myself were desperate for some whitewater kayaking. The only thing running in the area was the Carrabassett River. We headed to North Anson because the S-Turns section up by Sugarloaf was still too low. To our surprise North Anson actually had some pretty good whitewater in it. We were a little hesitant at first even though we had run it in the past, this section of river is all sharp blasted rock and nasty unnatural pour-overs created during the log drives. The water was also extremely cold. We decided to give’er after much route planning and discussion. When running something with just two people you are taking some pretty big risks and safety is limited. We had several game plans for any situation that could have come to be on the water but in reality we really needed to be on our A game and stay on our lines. We stopped strategically several times throughout the run in eddies to re-group and plan the next stretch. The pictures without a kayak in them don’t really do justice to how big and intimidating the water was. Definitely a fun run, also a bit terrifying. After running the North Anson Gorge we headed up to where the Katies Crotch Road crosses the river and ran the section under the bridge there too. That section is much tamer and less stressful, next time we’ll warm up there first. Whitewater kayaking is just too much fun…
For perspective, here’s a shot of Paul from several seasons ago just below the 3rd big island up from the bottom of photo 4 above
Spring is just around the bend and we figured why not get everyone together for a run down the Kennebec to kick off the Maine whitewater season. We’re hoping rafters, body boarders, kayakers and anyone else will join us for an early season run on April 7th. We’ll be meeting at the put-in around 10. To prepare for the chilly day on the river we’ll be partying at The Marshalls in The Forks the night before, April 6th. Chris and Karen have graciously invited the Maine whitewater community and anyone else that would like to join us to come together for drinks, music and whitewater films. We’ll be playing a random assortment of whatever films people show up with all night. Bring some whitewater footage if you have any, also an instrument if you like to play music. There’s sure to be lots of jamming. The Marshalls has hotel rooms and so does the Inn next door. There might not be snow in the campground by then either. We hope to see everyone there! Jeremy and I will be giving away a free spot in one of our Swiftwater Rescue Clinics www.senditwhitewater.com
At 7pm tonight in the Unity College Performing Arts Center, Unity Maine, there will be a re-screening of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. The first screening was hosted in the field at Three Rivers Whitewater in the Forks Maine this past summer. If you couldn’t make it come to Unity tonight and check out the films. Mainely Boating will be playing again on the big screen and you can check it out online here! See you tonight!
Jan. 4-5 the town of Westbrook is hosting a winter festival in the same area of the Presumpscot River where Rob Mitchell has proposed a whitewater park. Sappi, a paper company owns and operates a dam at Sacarappa Falls. If you haven’t been following along, Rob is proposing that Sappi installs a whitewater park instead of a concrete fish ladder. The park will act as a natural fish ladder. Sappi must install a fish ladder to comply with re-licensing agreements, it’s simply a matter of convincing them to consider paddlers and community recreation when they do it by creating a whitewater park and natural fish ladder.
To rally some support and show the town that people are excited about the idea Rob is looking for whitewater kayakers to attend the Westbrook Winter Fest and run Sacarappa Falls (flow permitting). Make sure you show up with all your boats on the roof so people see lots of kayaks. Bring cameras, friends and lets send it. Sounds like people are meeting West side of Riverbank Park at the AMVETs Hall (Dunn st) a little before noon. Be there! This is a great opportunity to promote whitewater kayaking in Maine and get the ball rolling on whitewater parks!
Here’s a great shot of a bunch of kayakers running Sacarappa Falls at the Westbrook Together Days event. Not sure who took this photo, if it was you leave a comment! Great shot.
Digging through old files I turned up a few shots from Madison sometime in the summer of 2008. The huge air shot of the yellow Pyranha is Tim Norton, who actually doesn’t really paddle anymore… something about being a dad and all? The female shredder is Sarah Pine, who’s basement I actually live in now and of course Chris Hull in the orange Pyranha bringing style to the wave sesh as always. Just good old whitewater kayaking in Maine.