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Share the River

One of the great things about the Cumberland River is that it is a working river. We see barges and pleasure boats and paddlers and JetSkis every day. But that also means there are risks. The Cumberland River CompactPhoto Apr 29, 11 44 26 AM and Ingram Barge Company invited us to join a group of local outfitters on a barge ride today so we could see things from their point of view. Or not see, as the case may be. Just because you can see them when you paddle, doesn’t mean they can see you. As you can see in our photo here to the left, there’s a big blind spot in the front of the barge.

In addition to sightlines, the barge pilots think about getting a big boat through small spaces, like this bridge, about wake, wind and current. The last thing they need to worry about is a kayaker or paddleboarder not watching where he or she is going. It was a great reminder to stay close to shore (20 feet or so) when you paddle on the river, and pay attention to water traffic and to boat signals.

We’ll share more of what we learned all summer long. Thanks, Ingram and the Compact, for the invite and for helping us all share the waterway.

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