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Gull Strainer gone – Finally!

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    Kudos to the guys who rented the crane – not sure of your names, but [u:jsn4ubke]everyone[/u:jsn4ubke] who paddles the Gull should contribute some money to that activity. It has to come out of someone’s pocket, and it should be ours…


    Keith Mac

    There were quite a few people who chipped in their ten bucks actually. I don’t know if they got two dozen to cover the $240 though.

    Ian Colbert

    Who ever paid for it, leave your mailing address and I’d be glad to contribute a few bucks


    It went something like this,;

    On Friday last week I contacted a local crane contractor. They agreed to give it a shot. It just so happens that Colin (Furious) Almeida works for this company so some paddler pull was helpful. Thom (knows everbody) Lambert checked out the legal details with MNR for us. On Sunday Kevin (the smile doctor) Cooke put a little freindly pressure on as he is also good freinds with the company owner.

    About noon Monday we all met at the river with the crane operator and sorted out a plan. The chunk of tree we pulled out was nearing a ton in weight with numerous side branches. It was the top section of a White Pine that was probably 80 to 100 years old. On the first attempt the crane was lifting off the ground on it’s offside. The pressure on that log was huge, this crane had 17 tons of lift power and needed a more stable postion to pull from. After adjusting the crane to a more suitable position and completely blocking Horseshoe Lake Rd. we were able to get the log moving. Chuck the operator was amazing, his approach was to tether the river right end of the log to a large upstream tree. The idea was to prevent the water weight combined with the tree from pulling the crane along with it. Good call, when that tether snapped into play the load was tremendous. I noticed when hooking up the slings (tethers) they were rated for 12,000 lbs. I wonder how close we were to using all their strength.

    So all in all a relatively uneventful extraction. For what it’s worth, I learned that the upper Gull has enough power at normal levels to exert the kind of force that a 17 ton crane found less than easy to deal with.

    Here’s who helped out Kevin Cook, Colin Almeida, Dennis McGee and his paddling buddy John (sorry John I didn’t get your last name). Bobbie from Paddler CO-OP took care of on water safety by running downstream in front of branches that broke off warning folks in the lower river. Wayne (again sorry for not getting your last name) Pete Thompson, Victor Ettel and several other generous paddlers who happened to be present. I guess I should have gotten a list of names together, thanks for your help.

    As for who helped pay for this, I put up the original amount of $240.00 Victor Ettel, Laura Tracy, Mike Kovach, Wayne Huissman, Keith MacDougall and a couple other folks who didn’t leave their name chipped in to cover about half the cost.

    Whitewater Ontario has agreed to cover the balance. They have also agreed to letting Chuck the crane operator come to this weekends intro to kayaking course free of charge. Chuck had expressed interest in trying the sport so hopefully he can find the time to get out with us this weekend.

    I no doubt missed a few names that helped out, apologies for that again Thanks to everyone who lent a hand.

    See you all at Gulpasumcolapolooza Whateverfesteventable


    that was a tear jerking story, I love when a community comes together to solve a common problem

    Peter Karwacki

    What a great example of paddlers solving their own problem through teamwork, commitment, and action.

    You guys rock!


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