Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pier 63/Pier 64 Access Restrictions -

Posted this to NYCKayaker today after a rather sternly-worded email from the Hudson River Park Trust was sent to the Pier 63 hold crew. This is the PERFECT demonstration of one of the reasons I tend to be a bit of a bore when I get onto the topics of rules & responsible paddling - you take any given group of paddlers, and 97% of us can behave ourselves like perfect little captains of our own little boats, and then end up getting punished for the 3% who either decide rules aren't for them - or just plain aren't on the grapevine & don't know any better (big sigh). If you are NOT likely to be paddling in the Hudson River Park in the near future, well, I put up the second set of pictures from last week's lovely Robbins Reef Light trip earlier today. Hope you like 'em. OK, anyone still here? Here's my cri du coeur du jour:

Good news & bad news -

1. Good news first: Word on the street is that the Pier 63 grill opens tomorrow!

2. Bad news (actually not really bad, just needs to be mentioned in conjunction with the good news) - As you may know, the Trust has been doing work at Pier 64 & they've banned access to the water surrounding Pier 64, INCLUDING the embayment area between the Pier 63 barge and Pier 64, where the gray plastic-lumber dock that's usually available for use by hand-launched craft is located. That's a very active construction zone now - barges, cranes, tugs, moving around extremely heavy chunks of stuff. Until further notice from the Trust, they've told the Pier 63 gang that
we must launch from the south side of the barge. I thought I'd mention that here as well as the barge makes a nice break, especially when the grill's open.

To get to the dock area that's still open, just paddle in to the embayment on the south side (Chelsea Piers side) of the barge & head in towards the land end of the barge - you'll actually go under the footbridge that leads to the barge & you'll see the dock there. Please be aware that Manhattan Kayak Company does run tours off of that dock - it would be nice to not leave your boat in front of their hold, just move it off to the side & keep the land-side edge clear so others can launch & land.

The Trust originally tried to allow us to continue launching on the north side (much more convenient for the storage hold people) at times when work wasn't being done, but unfortunately some people apparently didn't get the word & have been launching while work has been underway, so the Trust has simply had to extend the ban to all the time. Please, please, please help us Pier 63 people keep the access that's left to us while the construction's under way & respect this temporary rule. I don't know if they'll shut us down entirely if they see any more infractions but I'm afraid that if they do, they just won't have much choice - they're already very concerned about safety on the site. I'm usually still good for at least a little bit of a tussle when water access is threatened (although decidedly past my MKC-partner heyday) but in this case I can totally see where they're coming from.

If you know anyone who paddles in the Hudson River Park & isn't on this list,
please pass it on!

Mahalo nui loa, merci beaucoup, grazie mille, domo arigato, and a good old plain
English "Thank you so much"!

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