General News

Why do Rivers Curve?
Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Looking at curvy rivers on topographic maps or Google Earth has always been really interesting to me and for the longest time I’ve wondered how that snake like shape came to be. You would think that since a straight line is technically the shortest and easiest route to the ocean that nature would like straight lines. Nope. After stumbling upon the video below about why rivers curve, I discovered that all it takes is a little bit of disturbance and a lot of time. Take for example a tree falls over and into the water. The current is diverted slightly allowing the riverbank to slowly erode on the opposite side. The slight change in current direction then bounces off that bank and gets diverted back over to the other side causing more erosion and eventually a curve in the river. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight and that is where time is the key factor. Check out this time lapse of a river Peru to how much the river chances even over that short number of years. Here is a final fun-fact for your next boring office party. It doesn’t matter how wide or big the river is, if it is flowing over soft ground, the length of an s-bend curve will be roughly six times the width of a river. So that means while a narrow river will look wigglier when comparing to a large wide river the ratio of length/width of the wiggles will always be the same no matter which river it is. Hydrodynamics are amazing.
My buddy Erik and I were out for a short paddle in Toronto this morning and had a funny experience.   The plan was to go out the Toronto Harbour via the Western Gap then out and around Ontario Place (8.6km).   Paddling just south of Ontario Place one of the marine police boats went by us on a regular patrol. After it went by we did a bit of surfing from catching the waves from the boats wake. Just then the boat did a 180 and came back our way. The cop sticks his head out of the boats cab, "hey, you guys want us to make some waves?"   So we spent the next 15 minutes playing around while the police boat drove around us. Pretty sure they loved it as much as we did.
Check out this super succinct whitewater rolling instructional video posted by Dane Jackson. Five phases from zero to hero roller.
Did you know it's possible to navigate your way to every single NFL stadium in the US by kayak? It's true. A couple of days ago Reddit user, /Bhockzer posted the routes to every single one. And while he did have to be "navigationally creative" for a couple, it's possible to paddle to your next big game even if it's via a storm creek. Here is part of the full post: Take St. Lawrence Seaway to access the Atlantic Ocean from the Great Lakes. Be on the lookout for sea monsters, vikings, wayward Pilgrims, and Explorers. Gillette Stadium (NE) > Neponset River > Atlantic Ocean MetLife Stadium (Jets & Giants) > Upper Bay > Newark Bay > Hudson River > Atlantic Ocean Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles) > Delaware River > Atlantic Ocean M & T Bank Stadium (Bal.) > Chesapeake Bay > Atlantic Ocean FedEx Field (Wash.) > Cattail Branch > Beaverdam Creek > Anacostia River > Potomac River > Atlantic Ocean Everbank Field (Jax) > St. Johns River > Atlantic Ocean SunLife Stadium (Miami) > Royal Glades Canal > Atlantic Ocean Bank of America Stadium (Panthers) > Irwin Creek > Sugar Creek > Catawabe River > Fishing Creek Lake > Wateree Lake > Wateree River > Lake Marion > Lake Moultrie > Cooper River > Charleston Harbon > Atlantic Ocean Photo credit: Heinz Field HDR | Flickr by Jacob Caddy Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC 2.0
Sea Kayak explorer, Justine Curgenven just posted a new trailer of her most recent expectation where she joined Sarah Outen and set-out to paddle the 2,500 kilometer length of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Judging by the trailer, it looks like one of the craziest adventures either of them has been on in quite a while.
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