Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's the Safe Boating Bears (and a pretty schooner!)

Here, courtesy of my friend Brian, is a way-too-cute shot of a couple of wise young teddy bears enjoying a little safe boating on Fourth of July. See those PFD's? Smart bears. There was just the wildest debate over PFD's on the NYCKayaker list serve of which I'm a member -- came down to the safety squad vs. the personal freedom squad - it got heated enough that I was reminded of the good old bad old days when I first thought up the word "frogma"! Our list manager totally cracked me up today - things got fervent, but pretty much stayed within the bounds of acceptable behavior, so he'd let the whole thing play itself out & today said something along the lines of "Well, that was inspirational - it inspired a whole bunch of people to unsubscribe".

We've had a couple of these lately - the other really weird one was over how the Clearwater Festival would be so much better if it was a free hip-hop concert in Long Island City...OK, I am maybe exaggerating here but there was definitely a weird little flap over that. Think all the rain is giving people a spot of cabin fever - there's definitely a direct correlation between people not getting out & list serve flame wars. Actually part of why I started this blog was to stay out of those!

Anyways. Might elaborate on my thoughts on both of those as they certainly elicited a lot of thoughts. Not tonight though - those are both posts that will require a little consideration. Just for starters, I can't quite claim that I never paddle without a PFD. There was one time,in fact,that I think it made a certain situation I found myself in simpler to get out of (that was when I earned the title "Queen of the Manistee" among the Michigan/Ohio branch of the family - yep, now that's definitely worth a post). Wouldn't catch me without one on the Hudson or anywhere in New York Harbor, though - I'm a good paddler, I know my abilities, I know my turf, I have a solid roll & self & assisted rescue skills, but y'know, if I get hit by a speedboat or something, and am knocked unconcious or worse, rendering all those years of training & practice utterly moot, I want to make darned sure that I at least retain the ability to float.

Back to the Fourth -

The bears are out for a ride on the New York Clipper, the boat from which Brian sent those reports I was posting back in April & May. They had a press sail on the Fourth - I loved this picture, gives a good sense of scale - the Adirondack is one of the bigger sailboats in the harbor & usually appears quite large and stately - well, here, she's still stately, but looking a little smaller than usual!
Yes, this was one of those weekends that we couldn't say that the Adirondack is the fastest sailboat in New York Harbor.

I missed all that though, and the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks - had the nicest offer to go camping in the Norwalk Islands in Connecticut, and as I think I may have mentioned, that's exactly what I did on Monday & Tuesday.

Sailing on Sunday when the wind was good for sailing - paddling on Monday & Tuesday -watching the official fireworks from four towns, and less-official-looking fireworks from all, and fiddler crabs, and plovers and egrets and terns (oh my...), and a class of tiny sailboats practicing getting out of irons (at first glance, out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a regatta but then I actually looked at them & realized that every sail in the fleet was luffing, TQ said it was probably a class, and sure enough, they drifted close by each other for a little while, then started their exercise - one by one, the one who was at the front would back their sail, got underway, sail around to the back of the group & rejoin the queue)- plenty of jumping in the Sound to cool off - racing a thunderstorm back into Norwalk after a stroll around Shea Island - plus a nice lazy day at home on Saturday - it was the most wonderful Independence Day weekend I can remember in a long time!

Somehow didn't get around to taking any pictures...well, I suspect I'll be up there again.

Hope all the U.S. readers had a fabulous Fourth & that everybody else had a happy & safe weekend too!

No comments: