May 4, 2011

Plenty of water in Seneca Lake for boating this year - plenty

VALOIS, New York, USA - The daily rains (even if only for an hour or two) have been adding up since I arrived April 2.

The creeks and streams have kept flowing (great for trout fishing, of course) and even the secondary springs are pouring out enough water to give most California water officials wet dreams.

The Valois Point YC rowboats are safe, unless it keeps raining
But a by-product of all of this precipitation has been that the level of Seneca Lake has been inching up - higher for this time of the year than normal. Way higher, it seems. When I arrived, I thought the lake was out-of-control high. It was six inches lower then.

Lots of water is a good thing, in one way. It means our waterfront might be really clean, as the high water could be carrying off all the debris and sending it to some other person's lakefront. Or, I suppose, it could be dumping it squarely on our little stretch of the lake where I will have to rake it up and burn it - if it ever dries out.

All of the lakes in Central New York are filled to overflowing. Nearby Cayuga Lake (which has the city of Ithaca at its southern end) actually has a flood warning all along the shore. Many of the lake house there are built closer than Seneca.

And the rivers?

Well, the kayaking right now would be whitewater work in many places. Hmmm, whitewater might not be the right term. Brownwater rafting would be closer, given that the streams and rivers are as muddy as an upstate New York kindergartener's boots.

Lots of dock repairs when the water recedes - if the docks are still there

Rain or shine, boaters are getting their rigs ready for the water, no matter how high the lake level is. At the marina in Watkins Glen, dozens of sailboats are already uncovered, masts rigged for sailing and probably in the next few weeks, the slips will fill up.

So when is the first sailboat race?

This morning a well-maintained old woodie was being launched by Guy Schamel at the marina. The water in the launch channel was so high it could have almost been slid off a trailer.

It didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the owner though.

No sailing today, but soon

Valois Point Yacht Club dock

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