Eagleville Dam — also referred to as Eagleville Lake and Eagleville Pond — is an interesting place to go paddling. The boat launch isn’t very nice (it’s steep, making for a difficult start). A rock and sand quarry is on the side, so that’s loud when it’s running, though it’s otherwise a fairly quiet location. There is an unobstructed view of the train tracks. I don’t know the schedules of the trains, but it was neat to see one running along the side of the lake for a ways. There’s also a house on a small island — the house really is the same size as the island! The north end of the lake has some features to paddle around, and I’ve seen a lot of wildlife there including a mother goose with baby goslings trying to get out from the nest to see me, a pair of nesting swans, and several herons.
The Willimantic River feeds the lake and I’ve paddled up that to Plains road/River Park. The water moves a bit quicker there and I didn’t want to fight it any more, so I just turned around. Supposedly a bit north of there is “quick water,” however there isn’t a launch on route 44 to go down that to try it, and if it really is quick I’m not sure I want to fight going up it just to go down it… but I’m sure I’ll try it at some point.
My first time on Eagleville Dam also gave me an unexpected adventure. I wrote on Facebook:
Kayaking was not as relaxing as I hoped. I didn’t take my waterproof camera, so I pulled my phone out to take a photo. No worries: I keep the phone in a nice waterproof bag. I reached into my PFD pocket with my wet hand, pulled the phone out, and it slipped right out and into the water.
But hey, look, it sort of floats in that bag (surprising, given how form fitting it is). Oh, no, it’s not floating, it’s just slow to sink. It’s a little out of reach, though.
No worries: I’m in a pretty shallow spot. I can see the bright orange waterproof case on the bottom of the pond. It’s only about 1-1/2 or 2 feet deep. By the way, there is a very strong current here. I’m working hard to stay in position. In fact, the current is so strong I’m noticing all of the rocks and sand on the bottom of the lake moving — both pushing my phone along and covering it up.
I should have just jumped out right there and grabbed it. I purposefully don’t carry much with me when kayaking, and nothing that can’t get wet. But I didn’t. The current was moving so fast that I lost track of the phone in just a few seconds and despite searching for quite a while I was not able to locate it again. No doubt, it was completely covered by sand at that point. Sigh.
If anybody happens to discover an iPhone 4S in a nice SealLine orange drybag for a phone, that’s mine.