a bit of a written reference, I thought I'd put together a
series of pieces describing the various spots of particular interest to
squirtists on the Mighty Ottawa.
McKoy's Rapid (aka McKoy's Chutes)
If there's a better section of whitewater on the planet for squirting than McKoy's Rapid, I've yet to hear about it.
The rapid is formed by several islands in the river, between and around which a huge amount of water is squeezed and strained forming three huge holes and two fantastic, recirculating eddies that equate to the promised land for any aspiring submariners. One of these eddies is the very first feature that one encounters upon entering the rapid. At first glance, it doesn't look like much - a quick look and you'd be tempted pass it over in favour of other options further downstream. A moment's inspection, however, reveals all the telltale signs of a fantastic mystery line - constant, powerful downstream current; big whirlpools shearing off at a steady, predictable rate; a shape that bows out into the downstream flow, and big boils swelling up at the bottom. And fantastic it is - probably the very best spot on the entire river for long, deep, controlled rides. Dubbed "Smoothie", it's aptly named; when you engage the currents, it's like you're just drifting on down into the deep. No turbulence, just serenity as you wing your way into the lower realms. Rides of over 20 seconds are not uncommon, and you hit bottom about 20 feet down. If you get tired of roamin' with the fishes, there's a shelf of rock immediately below the eddy where you can haul your boat out and watch your fellow squirtists get down, or cheer on the rafts as they get munched in Sattler's or Phil's, the two huge holes that give this rapid it's unique character.
Below these holes the rapid divides into three channels as it careens into two small islands halfway down, with 90% of the current slamming off the "judging island" and making an abrupt turn to the right. Most of the remaining current swings into the left shore and back upstream, forming a huge recirculating eddy with elevator-like properties; finish your routine, bounce off the pillow formed by the island, and the eddy carries you right back up to the top to start all over again. Traditionally, this is where the squirt competitions are held for the Ottawa Rodeo,and it serves up TWO potential downtime spots.