In the late 1980's a group of enthusiasts from The Virginia Canals and Navigations Society, more familiar with the James and the Appomattox Rivers than the Staunton, brought their batteaux to Long Island for a demonstration run to Brookneal. In the photo above, crews are seen checking out their boats in preparation for the difficult 11 mile journey to take place the next day.

Navigating this section of the Staunton River requires a lot of skill as well as a bit of luck. A knowledge of the precise location of the channels and sluices is essential to the safe passage of the batteaux - as many a present day paddler can attest.

Citing damage and undue wear and tear on their boats, the event was discontinued by the Society after several yearly excursions.

Now that the boats are ready, it's time to make camp for the night.
Limited berthing space at Long Island leads to innovative solutions - as well as an opportunity to check out the "competition".
The Lord Chesterfield effectively fills the Long Island ramp as unloading begins.
The lead batteau enters the first channel at Long Island as the crew realize there is no turning back now!
Now free of Long Island's confining channels and hazards, it's "smooth poling ahead". Not for long though - Fishtrap's just ahead.

Site content contributed by D.K. Barnes - December 9, 2003.
Visitors to this site are welcome to submit their photos and other batteau links to the Webmaster.

Related Links: James River Batteau Festival
Virginia Canals & Navigations Society
Dan River Basin Association
Roanoke River Basin Association
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