Whirlpool Jetboat & Seadoo RXP-x 260
Arriving at the Niagara on the Lake Sailing club we once again filled up the thirsty beasts. Refueling before starting the journey back to Toronto is also a must & with the gas bar closing at 4:00PM we had approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes to do a round trip up the river, through the rapids and into the Devils Whirlpool.
Three Amigo's fueling up BEFORE entering the rapids.
The scenery on the Niagara escarpment is usually something you want to take in & enjoy, especially during a season filled with Autumn Colors but with every minute being counted we full throttled down the river under the Lewiston-Queenston bridge, passing the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations on the Canadian side & the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant (built in 1961) on the American side.
Power plants on the river include the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Power Stations on the Canadian side, and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant (built in 1961) on the American side. Together, they generate 4.4 gigawatts of electricity. The International Control Works, built in 1954, regulates the river flow. Ships on the Great Lakes use the Welland Canal, part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, on the Canadian side of the river, to bypass Niagara Falls.
The total drop in elevation along the river is 99 metres (325 ft). The Niagara Gorge extends downstream from the Falls and includes the Niagara Whirlpool and another section of rapids.
As we approach the first set of rapids we give some last minute words of advise to our 3rd member who had yet to experience anything this dangerous on his PWC. - " Slow , Steady & Smooth, go diagonal across the white caps otherwise your risk of getting sucked in will be increased." There is no worry of hitting any rocks as long as you stay away from the shoreline. - The depth of the Whirlpool Rapids is 10.7 meters (35 feet)
Completing the first set of rapids fills your body with adrenaline making it easy to get lost in the moment. Its very important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings on the upper part of the River as the speed of the water at the Whirlpool Rapids is 35.4 km/hr (22 mph). Imagine throttling and feeling like your going somewhere with your gauge reading 40KM/hour yet you are gaining no distance & the man fishing on the shoreline is still beside you, The feeling is surreal. We advise anyone willing to attempt these sections to be safe. The waves morph very quickly and its extremely easy to catch unexpected air or get sucked under. The unexpected air is not fun when you land directly into another rapid either(believe us!).
Getting lost in the moment our third rider got disoriented and was swept into a rapid, Luckily he was able to throttle out before things changed for the worse. It is very easy to become disoriented in these sections of the Niagara River.
Successfully making to the Whirlpool & having some fun it becomes easy to loose track of time. Noticing we only had 12 minutes until the Gas bar closed it turned into an all out race to the pump.
With 30 Seconds to spare we arrived as the pumps were closing. Yet another gas tank was filled and our journey back home began.
Taking advantage of a beautiful sunset in the center of Lake Ontario - 2x Seadoo RXP-x 260's
What was made out to be a PERFECT day quickly took a turn for the worst when one of our 115Hour Seadoo RXP-X 260's experienced drive-shaft failure almost directly in the center of the lake. Unfortunately we did not have a spare hose clamp with us at the time so our only option was to tow slowing to avoid hydro-locking the engine. 25 miles, @ 5MPH = 5 Hours of Towing back to the city. it was a cold, wet, stiff, tow back.
Towing; 5 Hours+
The entire repair was covered under the BRP SEADOO warranty.
Drive-shaft broke off at the splines and damaged impeller & wear ring.
Entering the Niagara Whirlpool on a CALM day. It gets much worse than this! we highly advise against going this far!
TorontoPWC does not recommend any rider of any experience enter these rapids. TorontoPWC INC is not responsible for death or injury that may occur.