Sunday, January 07, 2007

1/7/2007 - 1/6, minus lunch, plus barge

Paddled again today, as it was too perfect to not paddle. Temperature wasn't as ludicrously unseasonal as yesterday, but still extremely pleasant - mid 50's, I'd say. Very little wind - mirror-calm when we set out (we ended up rolling to cool off), picking up very slightly in the afternoon, but never getting up to anything that made me think "Boy, this would be great sailing".

Another club member & I launched around 12:30. It was semi-coordinated, although I'd told him not to wait for me as I was taking public transport & had no idea how long it was going to take. It ended up taking a full hour, including waiting for the train, waiting for the bus, and the final hike (next time I have to remember to use either a backpack or a luggage cart, that half-mile walk with the winter gear in an unbalanced dufflebag was boring). Doable, but I really do have to consider springing for a bike, as I think that would be faster. He was on the dock all ready to go when I got there, but he was kind enough to wait for me (I tend to wear fleece under my drysuit, and I've taken to putting that on so that all I have to do when I get to the club is throw on the drysuit).

We paddled straight out past Canarsie Pol, hung a left at the Pumpkin Patch Channel & headed east. We spotted a barge we hadn't seen before over by the spit of land where they have the visitor center for the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - curious, we decided to paddle over & take a look, thinking it was part of the marsh reclamation project in the bay.

Well, it wasn't - it was a big piece of equipment of some sort - L. was guessing possibly a section of a bridge. But it was in a very weird location, and check out the parking job...

I have a feeling that wasn't done on purpose, either. For starters, look how shallow the water is. The barge clearly ended up where it is at high water, and was left beached as the water ebbed out from beneath it - but even at maximum high water, it seriously doesn't look like there's enough water ANYWHERE around here for a tug to operate - unless it's a special Jamaica Bay shallow-draft tug -

And secondly - as I looked at this barge, it seemed to me that I had, after all, seen it before. I had noticed the "Skip" marking & wondering if that was the barge's name, or if that was the type of barge it was. And that was yesterday, and it was moored with a couple of other barges at the old landfill...waaaaaaaaay over there (see the little orange smudge? That's a big construction crane on a barge and I think this one was right in the same vicinity.

It got awfully windy last night - as I'd mentioned, Stevie & I fought a serious headwind coming back from Howard Beach in the afternoon, and from the thrashing of the tree branches outside last night, it sounded like it got even stronger.

I wonder if it's going to be a rough Monday morning for the guys at that construction site...

The rest of the paddle was lovely & uneventful - we went to Howard Beach (didn't get out that time, L. just hadn't been there by water & I was interested in going the rest of the way up the basin), then back to the club. We were treated to a nice light show in the clouds - there was a pair of very bright sundogs (little rainbow patches that show on either side of the sun when it shines through clouds containing ice crystals that refract the light just so), and there were also some pretty pink & green colors in some of the other clouds - my sunglasses aren't polarized, but the colors were stronger when I had them on, don't know if I would've noticed the more subtle refraction effects if I hadn't.

Great weekend. Think I'm ready for the week now.

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