Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sponge Spotting

Check this out. These are red beard sponges (thank you City Birder for the identification, found via Google). Did you ever imagine that the waters of New York City could harbor a living organism of such vivid hue?

Me neither. Only reason I know better now is because my trip planning for the Paddle Off the Turkey Paddle I like to do after Thanksgiving was a little on the loosey-goosey side. All I cared about was getting a few miles in at a good clip.

Three of us set out from the club today for a Paddle Off the Turkey Paddle. We set out at 11 with vague plans of grabbing a slice in Broad Channel. However, as is sometimes the case in less-than-thoroughly planned paddles in Jamaica Bay, there simply wasn't enough water for us to get to Broad Channel using the route we thought we were going to use, and there wasn't enough time to use the route that was available (it's getting chilly enough that I'm not terribly interested in being out after dark now). So we switched to pizza in Howard Beach instead.

The absence of water issue was caused by the fact that our paddling time spanned low water, and if that wasn't a full moon tonight, it was pretty darned close. Full moon means spring tide, which means low water's EXTRA low.

Getting to Howard Beach took us under Cross Bay Boulevard. Note the high-water mark, and look at the paddlers for scale. I've paddled under this bridge several times before but never with the water low enough to see these sponges. As you can see, they're doing quite nicely.


Also doing quite nicely is this lovely 1930 motor yacht. The owner was on board getting her all tucked in against the winter's insults. Lucky boat to have such a good caretaker. It shows, doesn't it?

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