Saturday May 7th & Sunday May 8th the GCA coordinated a First Timers/ Beginners Nantahala Trip. It was a huge success! On Saturday we had a total of 20 boaters!!!! We had 12 looking to work on skills & 8 support boaters. We divided our Saturday crew into three groups & several sub-groups allowing us to work the river without utter chaos. Sunday we had a hardcore group of boaters numbering 11.


I really want to commend all of the newer boaters, they all pushed themselves to their limits, working hard on ferries, catching & leaving eddies & rolling. Swims were at a minimum & most of those occurred at the falls. Robert Weddle shared his “secret” play spots with all of us. We surfed, flipped, rolled & surfed some more. We began both of our days putting in above Patton’s Run, everyone aced it. I felt like a proud papa. J


Our newer boaters consisted of:

Catharine Cato                  Kayak                           Jay Davis                    Kayak

Susan Locke                    Kayak                           Steve Courtney               Kayak

Brian Kelleher                  Kayak                           Ronnie Courtney              Kayak

Bobby Batchelor                Kayak                           William Bridges              Kayak

Daniel McCay                    Kayak                           James McCay                Solo Canoe

Chris Thompson                 Kayak                           Rosemary Alvares            Solo Canoe


I appreciate these guys participating, being willing to push their limits & making a fun day of it. I think everyone gained something from this.


Our support boaters were:

Steve Reach                    Kayak                         Gretchen Mallins           Kayak

Nic Winchester                 Kayak                         Robert Weddle            Kayak

Tom Bishop                     Kayak                          Allen Hedden              Solo Canoe

Todd McGinnis                  Kayak                         Edward Stockman          Solo Canoe

Pauline Thynne                  Kayak


A special thanks to all of the support boaters for their time & patience. Without you this trip would not have been possible. I especially appreciate boating with people I can rely upon. This is what the GCA is all about!!


I’d also like to suggest that all of our trip coordinators offer a slot or two to first timers on their river trips.


Mike Winchester
May 11, 2011