The Paddler Tattler – May 2021

May 2021 – Volume 53

The Paddler
May 2021

Paddle School Instructors &
Support Boaters
Desperately Needed!

The long awaited time has come – Paddle School Student Registration is OPEN!
All of the links are on the Paddle School Page on our website.
Here’s what you need to know:
Haven’t signed up yet? We need you now!
There are still a large number of students on the waitlist, and we can’t let them in until we have instructors and support for those classes.
Other family members who will be camping need to use the Non-Paddlers & Extras Form.
This can also be used to buy more shirts and stickers.
All Payments Must Be Handled Online
You can only register for paddle school and remit payments online this year. You do not need to be an ACA member or pay for ACA insurance this year to participate in paddle school. Paddle school is only open to TVCC members who are in good standing at the time of registration and at the time of the event.
All Paddle School Questions should be addressed to Cat Vogel (

On the Waitlist?
CHOTA Paddle School Has Space

CHOTA, our friendly Knoxville-based neighbors, have openings for students at their Paddle School, which is June 11th to 13th. This is the weekend after TVCC Paddle School.
If you are on the TVCC Waitlist and are free the following weekend, signing up for CHOTA’s Paddle School may be a good option for you. More info is available on the CHOTA website:

Update Your Membership

When your membership expires this year, you’ll need to do things a little bit differently to renew – You will need to update your membership level to the new model.
To change your membership type go to then login to your account, then click “My Account” in the top right corner. On the my account page there is a section that says “Membership Level”, click the change level button underneath that section and change your membership type to the appropriate level and complete the form. For detailed visual instructions on how to do this please click this link:
Click Here for Detailed Instructions
When renewing please take care to note what a “family membership” includes. A family membership includes a couple and their children which are under the age of 18 who reside in the same household. This includes married couples and domestic partnerships only.
Meryl Stark ( can help you with membership-related questions.

Paddling for Paws with the
Humane Educational Society

This isn’t an official TVCC Event, but several of our members wanted to spread the word!
May 22, 10:00 AM
Humane Educational Society, Waconda Bay TWRA Boat Launch
More Info on the HES Website.
On Saturday, May 22nd at 10:00 am the Humane Educational Society is hosting our first Paddling for Paws event to raise money for HES and bring awareness to the foster program! Check in begins at 9:00 (Tickets must be bought online before event) . The event takes place at the Waconda Bay Boat Ramp. Paddlers will partake in a 2.5 mile paddle around Harrison Bay. Course includes three waypoints where paddlers will receive bracelets. At the end of the course, they will turn them in for raffle tickets and have the chance to win prizes. Paddlers must bring their own kayak, canoe, or paddle board to participate. Entry fee is $40 a person and includes a t-shirt and goodie bag.

Ironman Volunteers Needed:
Sunday, May 23rd

The Ironman Races are coming back after the 2020 hiatus, starting with the Half Ironman on Sunday, 5/23.
TVCC needs volunteers for on-water support! Help this race maintain its distinction of having the best on-water support of all the Ironman Race, and help TVCC retain its financial support from the Ironman foundation.
This year’s race is expected to be the largest ever held, with over 3,000 registered. TVCC will support the athletes as they swim from the rowing club dock to Ross’s Landing. In return, the Ironman Foundation supports TVCC monetarily, contributing to projects the club supports such as TRR. Our participation is crucial to the safety of the swimmers, who by and large are runners or bikers first, and are in the water swimming so they can get to what they really prefer. We need about 80 volunteers in canoes/kayaks/SUPs to be on the water, each in a relatively fixed location along the swim course, to be available for whatever is needed to assist a swimmer. Typically this takes the form of allowing the swimmer to hold on to the bow of your watercraft, while they resolve their issue. The most common issues are anxiety, muscle cramps and just needing to rest. While easy to resolve for a biker or runner, who can stop and sit on the edge of the road, we are needed to provide the “edge of the road” while they are in the water, allowing them the opportunity to finish the swim and head off to the bike ride.
No special medical training is required to volunteer. You do not need to be an EMT, pass a first aid or CPR test, or have any specific credential to participate. You do need to have your own watercraft/equipment, and feel confident in handling your canoe/kayak/SUP in the kind of minimal moving water which is typical of mid-summer on the Tennessee River. TVA will throttle back the outflow from the dam, making it easier to keep your boat positioned. Watch the sunrise (yes, the swim is early) and then marvel as thousands of flailing arms approach you from upriver. Once the first swimmers come past you, it will be non-stop action for the next hour or so. It’s really impressive.
Yes, you will receive a t-shirt for your efforts, and a safety whistle for communication. There’s food after we get off the water. Best of all, we will all be socially distanced on the water, minimizing the threat of COVID.
Join the team for HIMCHOO (code for Half Ironman Chattanooga) at
TVCC membership is not required to volunteer. If you are a TVCC member, your skills, experience and training will be a welcome asset to the water safety team. For additional information or if you have any questions, please contact Buck Meyer at
Mark your calendar – May 23 is the Half Ironman race. September 26 is the Full Ironman race.
Thank you for your support of this event and the athletes who are competing.

North Chickamauga
Creek Closure (FW Section)

From the City of Chattanooga, concerning the flatwater section of North Chickamauga Creek:
Click for a PDF of the Announcement with Maps.
The City of Chattanooga, along with federal partners and Thomas Brothers Construction, is planning to construct a stream bank stabilization project on Chickamauga Creek which will affect boat passage for a portion of the creek during construction. The project is set to take place from approximately May 15 – June 20, 2021 and will stretch approximately 400 feet along the south/east side of the streambank (See next page(s) for exact location). To ensure everyone’s safety, kayakers, canoers, and boaters should not attempt passage of this portion of the creek during construction. Anyone planning paddle or boat trips on the creek should avoid this area during the construction window or plan portaging around the area on the opposite side of the creek. Construction activities will include the felling of large trees, use of overhead cranes, large earth moving equipment, and placement of large boulders/rocks. We apologize for any disruptions this may cause to activities on the waterway.

Intro to Paddling
Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park

We had some very talented member volunteers donate their time and skills to host a paddling 101 course in partnership with the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park this past weekend. The course was an incredible success, the first of its kind for the club! This is what it is all about people!!!! imparting essential paddling skills and safety knowledge on folks new to the paddling community.
This was a course designed for recreational boaters, folks brand new paddling that are excited to get out there and want some basic knowledge and skills to do so safely. I think the participants came away from this course excited about their new sport and with much wisdom on how to do it safely.
Special thanks to the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park for teaming up with us on this effort! This was such a success we are holding a second course on May 15th, and it’s already filled up!
If you are interested in teaching, mentoring and supporting others there are countless opportunities to do so with the TVCC, you know how to reach us! Some pictures below.
Photo Credit to: Southern Addictions Photography

Upcoming Flatwater Trips

Saturday, 5/15: West Chickamauga Creek at the Mill to O’Charley’s
This is a 10-mile, technical paddle in Class I water with a couple waterfalls. There will be a lunch stop. This trip has a shuttle. BG Smith will be the trip leader.
Sunday, 5/23: Half-Ironman
On water volunteers are needed for the half Iron Man on Sunday May 23rd. See earlier section in the newsletter for a sign up link. Buck Meyer is coordinating.

Harrison Ruins Trip Report
April 24, 2021

by Susan Carroll, Flatwater Cruisemaster
Eight hardy and determined paddlers gathered on the cold and rainy morning of April 24th for a paddle to the Harrison Ruins. The weather forecast had mentioned clearing, but this didn’t happen until much later in the day. It was a short paddle to the ruins, complete with wind and choppy water. I had checked on the water levels when rescheduling the paddle, and was assured they would not be releasing until sometime in May. However, we found the release had started early and much of the area was already under water. A few of the ruins were still viewable. After a paddle around the area, all voted to forego the lunch break, and paddle back to vehicles and warm dry clothes.
Overall, it was a good outing, with a hardy group, even though conditions were not ideal.
David Pond provided us with some great photos. I’ve previewed a couple; more are available here.

South Chick Trip Report
May 8, 2021
by BG Smith

The South Chick never disappoints! 27 paddlers met up at the Graysville ramp on a mild Spring day (some people actually thought it was chilly!! — Whaaa?). Lots of familiar faces getting reacquainted after the long Winter break. Better yet were the many new paddlers joining the group. More than half the group were making their first TVCC trip. Welcome aboard and hope to see everyone on future trips!
After unloading boats and running shuttle the group headed across the Graysville dam head to the jump off point on the tailwater side. This required the always fun portage over the dam hill! No injuries this year! Good start!
Once on the other side, everyone got back in their boats and we headed downriver for the fun 6.5 mile trip. The S. Chick was running with higher volume, about 600 cfs and a gage height of about 6 ft due to the recent rains. These are slightly high, but made for great paddling conditions. One large red hawk was spotted and a couple great blue herons.
The group stopped for lunch along the bank at Audubon Acres before continuing down to Camp Jordan.
I want to personally thank the boat wranglers that made this trip look so effortless – like a well-oiled machine! Both the put-in, due to the portage over the island to get below the dam, and the CJ2 steeply inclined take out ramp, make this run challenging. To pull it off safely and smoothly required great teamwork by the wranglers involved. It was awesome to watch and I thank all of you. Thanks to all the shuttle drivers that provide pre-and post-trip support. Again, without your willingness to help out, these trips do not happen.
Photos below are from Judy Norton and Eric Fleming.

Are you into Social Media?
Are you creative?

TVCC is looking for a special person who loves to post on Social Media!
This individual would need to be good at writing, design and photo editing. If this is you and you would like to help TVCC get the word out to members, please read on.
TVCC needs the right person to get news such as upcoming events and reports out to members on a regular basis. In the past we have used Facebook, our website and a newsletter primarily for outreach platforms. However, it is possible these are not the only, best ways to keep members informed. With the new year, perhaps it is time for a very forward looking person to move TVCC into better and more effective information delivery. If you would like this challenge, we need you. Please contact Darren Caputo ( for more information.

Check out the official
TVCC website

for all the latest news plus details on all upcoming events.
Follow TVCC Facebook Page (Events) for list and details on upcoming events.
Check out Photos and stories about recent club activities.