Jet Boats on the Niagara River

Happening to be in the right place… at the right time… with the right gear… can yield benefits. During a recent trip to the Niagara Gorge area I hiked down to the shoreline adjacent to the Niagara Whirlpool. I happened to be there when a jet boat circled the area. Later that morning I had the opportunity to photograph two more jet boats from a different vantage point along the Niagara River.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-560

I had seen jet boats on the Niagara River before, but never this close up, or at this angle. Earlier that morning when deciding which cameras to bring, my ‘little voice’ told me to pack my birding kit just in case.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-500

As the jet boat roared around the whirlpool I was able to fill the frame with it. It was amazing to be this close to action and to be able to capture the expression on the face of one of the riders. The jet boat soon looped around and was gone.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 275 mm, efov 743 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-220

Later that morning I was at a higher elevation trying my hand at a few landscape images of the Niagara River Gorge when I noticed a jet boat blasting along the river approaching me. I was able to capture a couple of images shown below.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-720
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 261 mm, efov 705 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-160

I looked upstream and noticed two more jet boats circling in the whirlpool. Anticipating more action to come, I waited patiently for the jet boats to blast their way back downstream.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-800

The captain of the first jet boat to make the journey downstream was obviously incredibly skilled. I had never witnessed a jet boat hitting the turbulent waters at these angles and kicking up as much spray. It was spectacular.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-560
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-450
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-450

The second of the jet boats made a more conventional return trip downstream… although it did come in pretty close to the side of the gorge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 270 mm, efov 729 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-800

In retrospect, I don’t remember if I even saw any birds that morning or not. I’m glad I listened to my ‘little voice’ and had my Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm lens with me!

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images for this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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4 thoughts on “Jet Boats on the Niagara River”

      1. Use new Jet Suds for the cleanest duds! Works great in cold water. For the fastest clean you’ve ever seen, use Jet Suds in your machine.
        Maybe I should get a job in advertising?

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