Lower Deel River
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Brief River DescriptionIt depends on the water levels as with any river in Ireland but generally you can expect a nice grade two with some grade three and fairly long stretch of river. All lines are easy to scout and easy read and run for the intermediate paddler. Watch out for fences that go into the water low hanging trees and sharp bed rock at some of the drops especially the last rapid because it been blasted can be nasty if you take a swim or decided to do a head rudder.
Directions to the Put-in
Sorry a bit shady on how to get there.
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From the take out in Crossmolina head out past the church. From the church clock your speedo. About 2kms out the road turns 90 degrees right, make sure you follow that and not straight on. At 4km(approx) you will come to a 90 degree left hand turn. On this bend there is a turn off at 1 o Clock. Take this road (if you get to Rake Street you have missed the turn). This is an even narrower road than the one you just left. Continue up here for another 1km the road now takes a 90 degree turn to the right (towards Richmond NS) but you want to take the road going straight on. Continue on this road for about another 1 km and it will lead you to another junction with the right hand turn leading to a bridge over the Deel. The put is in is at the bridge river left.
Directions to the Take-out
Get out in Crossmolina at the bridge or just up stream.
Start off at the bridge have about 500m of flat section then you come to a easy rapid with a big eddy on river left, this leads into another flat section after about 200m the next rapid starts take a left line or centre watch out for the fence that goes into the water on the river right there is a big eddy on the left at the bottom. The next rapid is pretty close to this one and is formed by a drop in the bed rock and the rapid can be unsighted you have to get up close to it if your are scouting from your boat the best line in low water is river right again there is a big eddy on the left in higher water other line open up and in really hight water it becomes a river wide stopper (but thats really high water). The river continues on like that easy rapids with big eddies it mostly centre line or the line should be obvious.
Then it under the bridge near the school (Richmond NS) and into more easy grade 2 rapids another bit of a flat section and then it leads into a nice grade 3 section this section of rapid has some standing waves small stoppers nothing too serious about half way down maybe 50m there is a horizon line there is a rock in the middle of the river a couple of meters in width pretty hard to miss the is an eddy just above this on river right or one behind it depending on the water level. If you have not been on the river before it is best to catch the eddy on the right before the rock get out an have a look whats coming next.
This is one of the bigger rapids on the river there is a big rock in the middle of the river that breaks the river into two the river left channel is tight technical and has got some over hanging trees the river right channel is the main channel and is where all the action is, it is not technically difficult stay in the middle of the channel and paddle hard and you will have no problem this rapid is worth running a few times and this is easily done there are a couple of lines to explore and a few mirco eddies to catch.
After that rapid the river flattens out for a while and goes thought some easy rapids again. i this section I'm not sure exactly where the is a ford a place where vehicle's can cross the river it is marked by two poles in the middle of the river stay to the right in the middle in between the two poles there is under water pipes (depending on water level) and they create a syphon (sorry about the spelling) and i have seen somebody getting stuck there so its best to stay well away from it go river right.
just around the coner is the last major drop again it is from by a change in the level of the bed rock this is a nice rapid the line is done the middle and paddle hard there is a big eddy on the left. this rapid has a few tricks up it sleeve one it has been blasted so the bed rock is sharp, there is a low hanging tree on river right the if you go into will flip you over this can be nasty, so it best to go slightly left of center for the best lines and take in the roosters tail that is a the bottom of the rapid
then it is a straight paddle to the get out there is a few grade two rapids but shouldn't even cause the beginner any problems
this river is a good river, best to get it when its high this is when the play features get going and its really good when it gets really high I mean when you have to go out into the field to catch the eddy then it has some really big standing waves and some good stoppers to play in but that doesn't happen all that often.
Be mind full this is a farming area so don't block any gates and some times farmers come and get water out of the river at the put in so be careful of where you put your car. There is fishing on the river but it usually pretty civil among kayakers and fishermen. There is plenty of space to park at the take out not so at the put in so try to arrange the ferry so that only one car is left at the put in.
River level gauge
The main bridge in Crossmolina if its showing five blocks or more on the bridge uprights then you're out of luck 3 or above is a good level.
Low hanging trees in some areas. fences coming in to the river. blasted rock river bed in some areas nasty it you take a swim.
Watch out for the under water pipe its purpose, as far as I know, is to prevent the river going underground and drying out completely in summer. So its dam big but yet you can't see it. In fact my old club paddled this river many many times and never knew it was there. Until one day a club member got sucked though it and got the fright of his life! As did the rest of the group.
The underwater pipe is clearly marked by 4 poles that look like football posts(6 foot metal poles with pink cylinderical buoys on top) when you approach. There will be a road either side of the river running down into the river like a slipway. River right is best way through.
Author(s)Original Author: aidan doran
Latest Author: Declan Mc Gowan
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