Friday -- August 11, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 78

Warning, no one has volunteered to run the ferry tomorrow afternoon, so if you come down be prepared to pitch in.

It turns out that I was wrong and it wasn't Rembrandt Builders that cut the tree on the trail. My next best guess is that it was cut by the park service. It's nice to have a Club Captain with connections to the park service.

Monday -- August 7, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.1     Water Temperature: 80

Busy day on the Island yesterday. After a very slow start, the ferry had to kick into overdrive to get through the afternoon and evening. It was a fun day though, and we were entertained by the members of the Outta Scope Band, fiddle, bass and drum. We also had more fun with the aquarium. Young Caleb had the good fortune to catch a tiny catfish and we kept it alive in the aquarium all day for other kids, and adults, to look at. It looked exactly like an adult catfish but it was only an inch long! I know that certain members thought that my aquariums were just junk lying around, but I'm so glad that I resisted the push to have them thrown away.

The story today is RAIN. It seems rather unusual to have this kind of rain at this time of year. This day totally reminds me of an early Autumn day in September. The rain will mess up the swimming and fishing but it doesn't look like it will flood the river and cause the ferry to close.

Sunday -- August 6, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.5     Water Temperature: 78

It is a wonderfully quiet Sunday morning. It's cool(I'm wearing a fleece in August), cloudy, and no trace of the strong winds that we've had to endure recently. The river is calm and low too, compared with last Sunday's volatility, and we're back down to normal summer water levels. There is a Club member hosting an all-day board meeting in the Clubhouse but other than that the bell has been quiet too. What a difference a week makes.

But I'm afraid it won't last. Soon everyone will catch on that this is the nicest weather that we've ever had here in D.C. in August and they will be marching down the hill in droves.

We had fun here last Thursday. One of the new waitlist members brought his extended family down for the first time and they really made an afternoon of it. One of the fun things they did was to catch minnows from the captain's dock and put them into one of the aquariums that I have stash here. I was glad to have an excuse to bring out the aquarium again and the kids really enjoyed watching the minnows up close. I decided to leave the aquarium out there so that we'll be ready to use it during the Fishing Derby, which is only three weeks away.

I repaired the toilet in the ladies room. It was leaking at the bowl so I removed it and installed a new wax ring to seal up the leak. Then, with the help of waitlister Chris M., I reinstalled the toilet. I think it's good now.

Wednesday -- August 2, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 78

The river is muddy and running fast but that didn't keep people from coming down here for a swim yesterday. It has been surprisingly busy for the last two week days, considering how ugly the river looks right now. The river has been going up and down like a roller coaster but thankfully it never flooded or even reached five feet from all of that rain from last week. It's very rare to have the river this high during what is normally the season for drought.

The giant tree that had fallen across the trail has now been cut and the path is no longer blocked. We're not sure yet who was responsible for cutting the tree. I called the county and Stan called the park service but I have a feeling that it may have been our friends and neighbors from Rembrandt Builders that live at the Sycamore Store. Those guys can do anything.

Important River News!

Small victory for paddlers. The Coast Guard shelves plan to shut down Potomac near Trump resort. Story in NY Times.

Thursday -- July 25, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.1     Water Temperature: 84

There is a very large tree that has fallen across the trail up by the old trolley trestle. The trail is passable but just barely. You might have to crawl or you could probably limbo your way under the tree. It's the same giant oak that fell a couple of years ago. We have been able to walk under it all this time but now it is squarely in the way. I'm going to try to clear a path around it.

Important River News!

The Coast Guard wants to close a popular section of our Potomac River for security reasons. Get the details at the link below.

Please visit the Canoe Cruisers website at
for information about how to submit your comments.

Thursday -- July 20, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 2.9     Water Temperature: 88

It may be hot but it's always cooler on the Island! The river is warming up too, but it's nice and low and perfect for swimming.

We're down to three working Club kayaks. One of the red ones that we tried to patch last fall is leaking again and I had to take it out of service. Maybe someone in the Club can figure out how to patch these plastic boats. We also have a Club canoe that has been broken for a few years. It has a hole that needs patching as well. On the up side, some of the older members are forfeiting their canoe racks and donating their old canoes to the Club. So, no shortage of boats by any means.

We've been attracting a lot of birds with the new humming bird feeders and the sunflower seeds. The other thing that we have that is attracting the birds is a stead source of water. It seems that the water coming from our heat pump/air conditioner has become a favorite of our resident birds. It is so cute to watch the humming birds take a little shower as the water flows from the gutter and splashes off of the bushes below. I have also witnessed the chicadees drinking water from the broken stalks of the jewel weed. It seems that after I cut the weeds, a bit of water collects in the chamber at the top and the birds can perch there and take a drink. Amazing.

Thursday -- July 13, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.2     Water Temperature: 84

We had the monthly meeting here on the Island last night. We did not have a quorum but 9 of us all sat around the picnic table and had the meeting anyway. John Noble ran the meeting in Richard's absence and when he asked me for a caretaker's report I was sort of at a loss for words. I wasn't sure how much detail about my duties the member's wanted to hear and I certainly didn't want to bring up a subject that might extended the meeting any more than necessary. What I didn't say then, that I want to say now is that, generally speaking, the Club buildings and facilities are in good working order and there is nothing urgent that we need to deal with. The things that are less than great, and that will need to be addressed, are the eight screen doors on the deck and the railings on the ferry.

Thanks to Larry for his nice words about the trails being clear and thanks to Meredith for being so concerned about me working too hard pulling the ferry all day.

I restocked the first-aid kit. After I was stung by the bees last week I went to reach for some benedryl and there was none to be had. I also noticed that we were low on band-aids and advil. I bought some more toilet paper too, it's important that we not run out of TP. And for the record, we have never run out of TP in my 14 years 11 months as caretaker.

The corner where we store the canoe and kayak paddles was total chaos yesterday, with paddles stuck everywhere and every which way. I decided to install a new rack for the kayak paddles. It's a horizontal rack under the window there and hopefully it will help to keep the paddles organized.

Monday -- July 10, 2017
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.6     Water Temperature: 82

Well the Club certainly got their money's worth out of me yesterday. There was a steady flow of revelers on the ferry all day, right up until dark. We had swimmers, fishermen, a group of play readers, a group of ukulele players, Bannockburn pool board members, and their families, and lots of kids. It was great to see all of those kids out in canoes, scattered all over the river and having a good time.

I went up on the roof to clean the gutters and I found a black snake curled up in the gutter above my living room. Then I went to clean the gutters over the deck and I got stung by a wasp, right on the tip of my nose! Then I went to cut the grass and I got stung twice by the ground-nesting bees that I ran over with the mower. Holy Cow it must be summer.