Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Mutant Flower Weirdness (for my Gardening Guru) plus a few more normal flahrs.

Summer Flowers At Sebago...

Bee balm (note arriving & departing namesakes).

Black-eyed Susan:

Bastard child? (whoops, there goes my G-rating...)

Adele the Gardening Chair had asked me to take a picture of the funky mutant that she & Jen the Other Gardening Chair found one day. Strange, isn't it? Jen was going to take a bunch more, so I wandered on to my overdue appointment with the hammock - that afternoon nap was actually a crucial part of the weekend's plan.

7/31 update: A Google search under "mutant black-eyed susan" led me to this page about aster yellow disease. Bummer.

The rest of the following flower pictures were taken the next day, early on Sunday morning 2 weeks ago & the fact that I was taking pictures of flowers at 7 am instead of schlepping around on a bus was due to another pretty good call - last weekend's good call was to not get electrocuted in a dinghy on Sunday; weekend before was to be clever enough to simply go out & spend the 2 hottest yuckiest days of the heat wave on or by the bay. Here are some of the results:

1st three in my garden.

Ageratum (oooh fluffy!

A small poppyish thing?

OK, um, these & the poppy are all out of a mixed-flower seed packet. I have no idea what they are, but it was a nice mix!

Here are some wild ones -


Queen Anne's Lace

Dandelion (a weed, but a cheerful one)

Clover, with another bee...

Finally, an unidentified small white flower that sprinkles the lawn. The fly was much prettier in real life - a shining bronze color, looked like something a jeweler might like to recreate. I'm quite bummed that the one that almost caught the shine was out of focus, while the in-focus one didn't catch the metallic gleam at all.

And then, it was time to go for the 3rd paddle of the 2 day weekend. Ambitious, eh?

I was so glad I'd just stayed out there. What I bought with that decision was the hammock-napping, and the flower-picture-taking, and sitting with Prof. M. eating breakfast by the dock watching a skimmer fishing for it's own breakfast.

Just the sort of thing I reallyreallyreally need more of this summer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Possible Sebago Flyer...

Another thought for a Sebago advertising flyer...

Sebago Canoe Club...

membership has its privileges.

(or maybe, "Be here, or be somewhere else")

Ask Your NY Waterfront Questions on the NYTimes CityRoom BLOG!

Anyone out there have any questions about the NYC waterfront?

I talk about it a lot, but largely through my hat, or at least from the limited perspective of one individual recreational boating hobbyist.

Y'know the Waterfront Alliance, the group that was behind the City of Water Day I had to miss in the end?

Well, their president, Roland Lewis? He knows about a million times more about the state of the waterfront than me, and this week, he's is taking questions about the use of New York City's waterfront this week in the New York Times' CityRoom blog. Ask away!

BTW I'm going to be scarce for a bit - tons of work, plus (yikes) it's this weekend & next I'm off to AKT in pursuit (cross fingers for me please) of my L1 coaching certification under the new BCU scheme, Thursday & Friday night I take CPR (pre-requisite for the coach certification, nothing like leaving it 'til literally the night before...), that means tonight & tomorrow for attempting to get my act & my gear together. Fortunately since I guided last weekend, and then chose against getting myself electrocuted in a dinghy on Sunday, all that stuff's already at home. Just a bit disorganized.

Wish me luck & a couple of full nights' sleeps...

Monday, July 28, 2008

And speaking of paddlers in major media -

Check this out!

I'd heard rumors about this folk musician who'd taken to touring by canoe after the rising price of gas caused touring by Corolla to no longer be a break-even proposition.

Pete Seeger should adopt this guy.

And as gas keeps rising, and I swear I see fewer & fewer motorboats out on the bay, and more and more people just hanging out on their boats in their slips in the Paerdegat, I keep thinking we should do a promotion for Sebago where we print up flyers -

Marine diesel prices got you down?

Why not try a kayak?

Come paddle your blues away with your neighbors at the

Sebago Canoe Club!

Then we get a bunch of paddlers together for a 2 am mission to leave one of these on the windscreen of every powerboat in the Paerdegat.


P.S. - Y'know that City of Water Day that I missed? Great review this morning on the Sebago Canoe Club blog, by Shari-without-the-blue-hat.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paddling On the Air

So that was too cool - there I was getting ready for work, turned on my radio & the first thing I hear is two old friends from my Hudson River days introducing themselves!

Very cool.

I, unfortunately, managed to do myself out of participating in the City of Water Day. Too many balls in the air & that's the one I dropped. I'm sorry to be missing it but it's my own darned fault. My alternative's a good one, I'll be guiding in CT, that'll be fun too, plus I actually get paid (I'm enough of a mercenary that that's something I generally consider a plus), but hearing that piece did make me wish that I'd been just a teensy bit more together.

Basically, originally I was going to do this. Then I was going to be up in Lake Champlain trying to get my disorganized self certified as an L-1 coach under the NEW BCU scheme like I'm supposed to try to do to hold up my end of the deal for the great free training the club gave me last year. The course ran Tuesday through today but trying to do both would've been biting off way too much - the J-bay to Gov's I contigent launches at 5 am, I was just going to stay up there an extra day.

Then something very sad happened to someone very close that made me want to get back some vacation days to spend with that person, and serendipitously, it turned out that Atlantic Kayak Tours was running the same class broken out into 2 weekends, yay, so I signed up for that. Last weekend it hit me that that meant that I was free for City of Water after all - yay - except that it turned out the signup deadline for paddlers & rowers was last friday - boo - I was dissappointed enough that in a moment of jerkitude I tried to see if people would pull strings for me because, well, because awww, come on guys, it's me!!! - then I instantly felt bad for asking people to pull strings because they are doing this right, with coast guard approvals & guidelines & all & asking them to make an exception to their careful planning was really really LAME - so I said never mind - and then for about 5 minutes I thought I would still go on the ferry (like anyone can, follow the link!), just to hang out, and then I got the offer of guide work & being a moneygrubbing sellout at heart, I decided to do that instead.

Of course the funny part is now I'm getting all the instructions so, er, it would seem that somehow I am on the list after all...but of course I've already accepted the work, that's the commitment I'm sticking with & it will be fun, too.


(patented Frogma kayak smiley, bracing the wrong way...well could YOU keep all that straight?)

Hope a great time & a fun, safe & joyous day is had by all!

What I was doing at South Street instead of Soho

Totally playing tourist, that's what!

Lots of fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Ad - Bad Ad

Seen in Soho, morning of Thursday, July 24th. I thought this was about the cutest publicity stunt I've ever seen. It's Shark Week! *TWEET TWEET!* "Miss, Sir, be careful! There are sharks in the crosswalk! TWEEEET! Watch out, strong rip tide this week! Please swim quickly through the crosswalk! Look out for the sharks!" Pure enthusiastic silliness. Nice to have a good giggle on the way to work!

On the other hand - how's this for a bad ad???? :D

The tag on the waist says "24.99". Sorry, it could be twenty-four CENTS. I'm not buyin' it! Spotted Wednesday, July 23rd, at the South Street Seaport. More on what I was doing there, instead of at work in Soho, later (if I get home early enough)!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

City of Water Day - Saturday, 7/26/08

I didn't post about it when I first started hearing about it because Saturday, July 26th seemed SOOOOOOO far away then.

Now...holy cow...that's this Saturday.

Busy day, no time to explain the whole shindig myself but you can read all about this celebration of our city's relationship with her waterways here!. In town & looking for something to do on Saturday? Come on out to Governor's Island and join the fun!

(I just wish Harry was going to be there again)

Me, there's a good chance I will be paddling there from Jamaica Bay. The club's taking a trailer of boats there for members to paddle from Valentino Pier, which means that those of us who want to go from the club only have to go one way - which means that we can hang out & enjoy the festivities a lot longer, without worrying about catching the current for the ride back home. Pretty fancy, huh?

I can't quite believe that in all my time on the water in NYC, I've STILL never been to Governor's Island. Just somehow has always been one of those things I think would be fun, but never have time. I swear, I get myself so overbooked sometimes that if I tried to carpe diem, I'd just end up with a dislocated shoulder.

Well, at least I'm never bored!

Thanks to the Waterfront Alliance for putting this on!

"The Horse Beach", Jamaica Bay, 7/19/08

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bug Juice Anyone? (actually - HELP!)

Naaah, that's not real bug juice (if there's been any real bug juice around, I would've drunk it too fast to get a picture - wow was it hot!), just me practicing a little organic pest control. At least I think they are pests - can anyone confirm that?

Here's the story behind my summary judgement on those as-of-yet unidentified beetles:

My cucumbers grew very nicely this year - I think I had the first cuke of summer a couple of weeks ago, 4 or 5 more since then. This is one of a couple that are maturing now - small pickle size & coming along nicely.

But there aren't any smaller ones coming along after this because all the sudden all the flowers are dying!

I'd noticed a couple of these brightly-colored bugs a couple of weeks ago,

right around the same time I started to see the wilting flowers. I have no proof but it's hard not to see cause & effect - especially when the wilt's been getting worse as the bugs proliferate.

When there was one, it was a cool-looking bug. When there are as many as I picked off today (and the leaf bits have eggs, some of which were just hatching), they start looking sinister.

Can anyone tell me if my suspicions are correct? What the heck are they? Is this a cucumber pest, or some beneficial creature (I sure wouldn't pick off a swarm of ladybugs)? Nobody at the club, even experienced gardeners, knew, although they all agreed that it didn't look good, whatever they are, it was probably a good idea to call them "fish food" (I threw them in the Paerdegat).

7/21/08 update - a big Brooklyn shoutout & a warm mahalo (maybe not as good as a warm malasada, but almost) to Tillerwoman, who identified these guys as Harlequin Cabbage Bugs, aka HARLEQUIN BUGS (what a perfect name). My suspicions were not misplaced, these are definitely bad guys. It's good that I acted on the impulse to clear them out because although they're very pretty, they SUCK!

Specifically - they suck your plants' sap - if the plants are young, they die; grown plants (like my cukes) may not die, but fail to thrive.

The funny thing is that the cucumber is the one plant that doesn't seem to be included on the list of things they'll eat in the absence of cruciform veggies. Bugs don't read the internet, though. Maybe they don't know. I'm going to keep drowning them, though - if I try to reason with them & show them what the internet says about them, they'll just see the things they ARE supposed to like in the absence of cabbage & family include at least 4 things that I'm growing right next to the cukes - beets, turnips (just planted in place of a row of beets), beans (planted & growing where the sugarsnap peas had been) and tomatoes (ripening now).

Speaking of perfect names - Tillerwoman is the nom de blog of Tillerman's wife - by felicitous coincidence, the name is totally apropos - he is Tillerman as in a man who steers a boat using a tiller, she is Tillerwoman as in a woman who tills the earth. Thanks

happier gardening moments...

The first "crop" of beets continues to provide some beauties. I'm replanting where I pull the beets with more beets, and also some turnips.

And the tomatoes are coming! The first cherry tomatoes (volunteers from last year) are ripe; the full sized ones are coming along nicely.

Trip reports from the 3 trips to come, if I can find the time this week!

Friday, July 18, 2008

International Space Station Flyovers

One of the regulars on the NYC Kayaker list publicizes a series of non-organized Full Moon Paddles that happen out of Foundry Cove in Cold Springs, NY. They're completely informal, there's no leader, you bring your own boat & you're responsible for your own safety - all W. does is announce what time you'll likely find a bunch of paddlers there getting ready to enjoy an evening on the river.

I'm not sure exactly what night the Cold Springs Full Moon Paddle is this weekend, but W. posted another interesting event today. I'm trip leading at Sebago in the morning, so I'm not going to try to get myself out to somewhere with a good view of the correct patch of sky (aside from having stuff to organize & needing to get a good night's sleep, I'm also not sure how good a view I'd get, being a resident of the glowing megalopolis itself). But it does sound neat, so post it, I will.

Out on the Hudson River tonight, a most wonderful thing awaits: a flyby of the International Space Station! If you haven't witnessed this before make a point of it for it's an experience you won't soon forget. It is, save for the moon, the brightest thing in the night sky and even small binoculars will give you some hint as to its size and shape.

At 9:49 PM tonight, head on out to a place with a wide view of the sky, especially to the south southwest. While it's unfortunate this puts the sky into the glow of the megalopolis to our south, the ISS will quickly rise in the sky to about 54º above the horizon at 9:51PM and then take another two minutes to pass into the northern horizon. It will be the really bright "star" moving silently through the sky.

If you're out in the early morning hours, the ISS will repeat it's crossing of our skies beginning at 4:11 AM tomorrow morning coming out of the west northwest and will reach an elevation of 85º, almost directly overhead.

If you miss this evening's flyby or cannot get up in the morning, you can repeat this tomorrow night starting at 10:12PM looking a bit further to the west than tonight. The ISS will reach 44º elevation at 10:15PM.

Interested in finding out more about flyovers visible in your area? NASA can help you out!

Interested in getting (and participating in) a lot of the latest NYC area paddler info, discussions, debate, gossip, and other kay-yaketty-yak? Join NYCKayaker!

Aloha, Aiea!

Wow, funny how the funny name of my hometown leaps off the sitemeter. Somebody in Aiea was reading my blog last night. Aloha, Aiea. I miss you.

Amazing how homesick I can sometimes be for a place I haven't lived for 25 years.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What Else Is Green?

Basil. Basil is green! Yep, it's pesto time again. Fun thing about having blogged some of the significant moments in the year of the garden last year, I can now say "Hmm, I wonder when I made my first pesto last year?", and go back & find it. Seems that July is the Pesto Month - it was in early July I first made pesto last year, and I'm running a little late this year but it was a couple of weeks ago I first started looking at the basil & thinking "Hmmm".

And the seasons, they go round and round...

And Greenpeace. Greenpeace is pretty darned green, right? Well, Greenpeace is in some local maritime news that non-New York residents may find amusing (the New York set already heard about it, read about it, watched it on the news or some combination thereof) -

If your round-the-world cruise ship has to spring a leak at some point in your year-long dream-trip-of-a-lifetime, could you ask for it to happen than in a better place than New York City?

Gotta say, sounds like some good work by the Coast Guard.

whadda tomato...

Continuing in the construction-worker catcall theme.

And speaking of green, I HATE* ED! BOOO! I will be maintaining my membership in Club Envy by following along here.

*nah, not really...actually I'm really glad a blogger I read a lot is blogging about sailing to Hawaii. And to quote an ancient Hawaiian chant** - GO, GO, GEEV'UM!

**oh, ok, maybe it was actually a not-so-ancient local-kine football cheer...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

yo, dollface

Canarsie, Brooklyn, NYC

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sodeb'o did it!

Enough serious stuff - quick news flash!

Remember the enormous trimaran I mentioned seeing weekend before last?

Well, that was the boat on which the singlehanded trans-atlantic record just got broken!

Less than 6 days. WOW.

Wonder how long it's going to take to figure out that there was no "and crew". How'd that get past the fact-checkers? I know, I know, I make mistakes a-plenty here, but I'm just some nobody blogger, y'know.

Anyways. Very very cool to have seen the beast with my own two eyes!

And in the meantime, the captain and crew of the schooner Issuma continue their far more leisurely trip the other way - taking their time with a solid shakedown cruise before they head out to sea.

NYC Waterfalls - Daily Glimpse & oh yeah, about that accident

One of the waterfalls in Olafur Eliasson's NYC Waterfalls public art installation. This is daily view during my morning commute, riding the B train across the Manhattan Bridge.

I do like that my workday is at least always bookended with a view of the East River and the harbor.

BTW, this is not the one the kayakers got stuck under. Not really going to comment on that because I wasn't there, I didn't see what happened, but I do know that I've been involved in a couple of tours where things went wrong & the scenario outlined in the post-problem trip review & discussions the guides had sounded an awful lot like that. Just didn't happen in the vicinity of a $15.5 million dollar public art installation with the harbor charlies on the spot.

OK...maybe I do have one point to make after all. 'Scuse me while I go all serious for a minute here.

(stepping up onto soapbox)

Those post-accident discussions can be painful - especially as a trip leader - because you had people you were responsible for & they ended up at risk while under your care. Done right, though, they can be an invaluable tool for any organization that's running regular tours. If it all degenerates to finger-pointing, that's not so valuable - but if everyone who was in charge can sit down & analyze the event as calmly as possible (not always easy, the leaders may be quite shaken) with an eye to really identifying what went wrong, when it went wrong, and if there was anything the leaders could have done to forestall it going wrong, good can come from bad. Hindsight being 20/20, you usually are able to find a point where if you'd done a instead of b, things would not have gone wrong, or the intensity of the event could have been lessened.

You learn from your mistakes, and you end up being a better guide.

Most sea kayakers are already familiar with this book, but it seems like a good time to plug it anyways. For some great examples of some excellent post-accident analyses involving some incidents FAR more serious than Saturday's, get your hands on a copy of Matt Broze's Sea Kayaker's Deep Trouble.

It is infinitely more pleasant to learn from other people's mistakes than from your own. You have to admire the people who consented to share their stories (with a few particularly chilling exceptions, I believe the articles are all based on the paddler or group of paddlers giving Matt Broze their firsthand accounts, which he then analyzes) for the magazine columns compiled in that book - very generous & brave of them to do so.

I'd say that even if I didn't know one of them. He's probably one of the better watermen I know, too.

evening note - I have a very nice neighbor who passes on kayak articles to me. Came home tonight to find a couple more about this incident. The interesting bit that I thought I'd mention - the Daily News mentions that the NYPD's taking a closer look at THEIR security plan. I didn't even think of that, but of course it makes so much sense - they've got responsibilities for people's safety out there too, and of COURSE they would look at this incident with the same "How did it happen, and how can we make sure it doesn't happen again?" eye as the trip leaders themselves may be doing.

Unfortunately there's doubtless something of a "How do we keep the same thing from happening to some other idiot in a kayak..." tone to the discussion - but I do still find it interesting that that a review of the plan was the response for them, too.

ACA Camp, Lake Sebago, Harriman State Park

Evening, July 13th, 2008. I was up for the weekend helping out with Sebago's "Star-2 Classic" class. As always, lots of fun, lots I could have done better. I need to get in a weekend up here where it's just for fun. Go mess around in one-a them-there K-1 racing kayaks, or take a canoe sailing lesson. Or just paddle n' swim. Go look for otters in the morning.

Left a bag with 9 years' worth of accumulated random interesting kayak handouts up there. Maybe subconciously I felt like I needed to set myself up with a good excuse to get back up there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sunday, 7/6/08 - Around Canarsie Pol & out to Ruffle Bar

The original weekend plan - Thursday evening & Friday up with TQ in CT. Saturday, a longer paddle. Sunday, I'd been asking around for somebody to go sailing with - until an email popped up from a clubmate J., looking for a trip leader who would be interested in paddling with her & her friend M., who was interested in seeing the bay.

She had me when she mentioned that M. works for the Bronx River Alliance. I've thought that was the most amazing group ever since being totally amazed at the amazingly well-named Amazing Bronx River Flotilla. Those people are all too cool. Didn't think twice, said "I'd LOVE to!". Prof. M decided to join us. J. was the officer of the day in the morning (our agreement with the parks department states that the grounds must be open to the public during summer weekends, so someone has to be there to answer questions & generally keep an eye on things), so our launch time was a civilized 2-ish.

Sunday was one of those quiet gray days out there. There was a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. There's always a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. If you only paddled when there wasn't, you'd never paddle at all in the summertime.

You do have to respect that "chance of", though. Right before we launched, we checked. I pulled out my VHF. Prof. M. pulled out her Treo. OK, the moderner technology won, I was still listening to conditions in Central Park as she wrapped up her update & put the Treo away. Still just chances of thunderstorms for the next few hours - good, it's a go. We all had something to wrap up in if we had to wait something out, and we agreed that sticking close to shore was a good idea.

We decided to start out around Canarsie Pol. Prof. M's great to paddle with, she's an avid birder & can actually tell you which kind of tern or gull or other shorebird you're watching - going around the Pol with her is an extra treat, since the islands in the bay are all favorite hangouts for all sorts of birds.

It was quiet out there. Not a lot of boats. We traveled the north shore of Canarsie Pol, watching the weather as we went. Not a rumble. The sky was gloomy but stable. We passed the osprey's nest, rounded the tip of the Pol, and aw, there's Ruffle Bar. Let's go to Ruffle Bar.

We went to Ruffle Bar. It had rained hard the night before. We passed through the foulest-smelling murky plume of sewage outfall as we crossed the Pumpkin Patch Channel - no idea where it came from out there in the middle of the bay but it was awful. Ugh. Well, our guest might as well see the bad with the good. I hadn't planned to roll anyways since there are always water quality issues after heavy rains. I was glad I'd stuck with it.

We got through it quickly, though, and by the time we got to the bar, the water & air had cleared. So strange how localized that thing was - probably following the ebb out the channel.

We landed on the north side. I said that the best beachcombing was on the other side of the island (there used to be a casino, I think it was, on Ruffle Bar - that's gone but there's all sorts of old bottles & stuff), but we were having a nice leisurely paddle & I think by this point the Prof. had us focused more on birds than bottles - so we stopped, and went for a nice long stroll on the beach, birdwatching all the way.

We saw birds & the tiny black snails that pepper the shorelines, we watched tiny fish scrambling to not be left high & dry as the water ebbed fast from the beach. We wondered about discolored upwellings in the sand. I startled a large & handsome garter snake. We watched hermit crabs. I told about playing a mildly mean child's game with them in Hawaii -- I loved taking them out of their tidepool homes, setting them down a short distance away, and watching them unerringly find their way home.

And as usual, we watched the horseshoe crabs.

I can't remember which of the other 3 finally made the connection between the discolored upwellings and the horseshoe crabs.

It seems that when they are trapped on shore by the outgoing tide - they dig in to wait for the water's return.

Many don't make it. Their domed remains litter the sands.

The tiny black snails are carnivorous. Clamshells and crab shells that the seagulls had abandoned as picked clean were thick with them, for whom the leavings of the gulls must have been a feast.

Other things buried in the sand -

An old boat or barge, just stubs of ribs now.

And for all I had dismissed the side on which we landed as having sparse beachcombing pickings, I found the best bottle I've found yet.

We paddled home after that, working up a good appetite keeping our boats tracking straight in a following sea. J. told a story about a man she once saw eating plate after plate of mussels at Nick's Lobster and Fish Market Dock, a Brooklyn classic in Mill Basin.

Of course that was where we ended up having dinner. Even though we had to finish paddling & drive there. 'Cause guess what -

Nick's Lobster and Fish Market Dock has lobster. Nick's Lobster and Fish Market Dock has a fish market.

What Nick's Lobster and Fish Market Dock does not have is a dock!

They used to - but for some reason, not any more. They should. The kayakers would come in droves.

But they had beer, and fantastic calamari, and steamed littleneck clams & lobster sandwiches, and there's something to be said for dining in clean dry clothes with your boat-washing-and-putting-away all finished. A perfect end to a perfect day.

cross posted at the Sebago Canoe Club blog


Feeling like eating lightly tonight after having had a hearty lunch & a deskbound day, I decided to just have some some cottage cheese & then steam some of the pickings from my garden for tonight's dinner. Usually I'd have mixed greens, but looking in the big bag I'd picked this weekend I decided to just have lamb's quarters for a change.

A "lamb's quarter" google search turns up plenty of articles referring to how thoroughly edible this stuff is. I agree, having been enjoying the spinach-like flavor ever since one of the Sebago garden gurus told me what it was & I recognized the name as being that of something I'd heard of as being quite tasty.

Still, that didn't keep me from laughing tonight when I filled up my steamer with rinsed lamb's quarters. I just looked at it & thought "Doesn't that just look like some kid's playing at cooking with a potful of weeds?"

Looks a lot less dubious after a quick steaming

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Oh, yeah, about those waterfalls.

Y'know that scene in Raising Arizona where it's a dark & stormy night, and the camera is focused on some mud, and then a hand comes clawing up out of the mud followed by the rest of a howling John Goodman?

Well, that's about what work feels like right now, except that I'm still deep in the mud. Close enough to the surface that I think I can do a linky lunch post, yay!

Y'know those NYC Waterfalls, the ones that are NY's biggest public arts project since Christo & Jean-Claude's The Gates?

Well, the water's now a-falling. Personally, I'm rather enjoying it - I see one on the old Manhattan banana pier just north of the Manhattan Bridge every day on my way to work, and the one under the Brooklyn Bridge every day on my way home (when I'm not leaving the dark, that is, grumble grumble). They are fun to look at & it's also interesting to watch how totally oblivious most people are of them - 99% of my fellow commuters don't even glance. Sorry, Olafur.

The critics are gushing (sorry, couldn't resist).

But what do the paddlers think?

Well, of course we'd all discussed it over the winter & we came up with a much better idea - instead of all the waterfalls being in the same part of New York Harbor as you always see on the picture postcards, how about making a treasure hunt of it, hiding them further afield so that seeing them all went from being a standard short round on a Circle Line to something more of a quest? Maybe one at the 160 year old High Bridge on the Harlem River, one up around Spuyten Duyvil, you get the idea.

The actual response to the actual waterfalls among the paddling community, though, has been pretty ho-hum. Here's a link to a local kayak/knit blogger's review. Two flippers down, pretty much

Thanks to Erik at Nature Calendar for posting that to the NYCKayaker list.

That was pretty par for the Waterfalls reviews by the local paddlers. One big "Meh".

Not terribly surprising, though. We're not his target audience. With us, he's not just preaching to the choir, he's preaching to the preachers. His basic premise was New Yorkers look at the East River as a flat surface & by putting something flashy & splashy out there, he'll draw the attention of the oblivious.

For all of us boaters of all sorts who are already hypnotized by the whirl and life of New York City's waterways, that's totally superfluous. If you asked a hundred local boaters to tell you the first words that spring to mind when you say "East River", I bet you a bottle of Balvenie that the word "flat" doesn't get a single mention (unless it's in relation to a shallow area). It's sort of like somebody saying that they will draw our attention to some magnificent, powerful animal by garlanding it with tinsel.

Could be a pretty effect, but we were already amazed. And I can't stop wondering what sort of boating programs could be run for fifteen and a half million bucks.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Gotta get my camera fixed...

I have to get my camera fixed. It's working fine, it's just not waterproof following a slight mishap with the battery compartment door.

Went out on my surfski to get my week's 10 miles in. still been managing to achieve that - almost let myself off the hook this week because it's just been a very rough week and last weekend was very active even if I wasn't paddling myself. But then I decided that the fact that I really just wanted to go home & be a lump after a couple hours of gardening was probably a really good indicator that I needed to get my okole out there. I was slow but I'm glad I went.

And what does that have to do with the camera?

Well, the last time I wasn't packing my camera, I finally saw the elusive Norwalk Harbor Trans-Atlantic Rowboat.

Sure enough, this time, being on my surfski & paddling a stretch I've already taken a million pictures, I didn't even think twice about leaving the camera behind. Naturally, I then saw this li'l number. Just sitting at a dock waiting, but still fun to see.

Plus there a rainbow, and another very fine sunset. But eh, everybody knows what THOSE look like.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hudson River Sunset

Croton Point Park, Friday, 6/27/08

Week's turned rough in several ways, minor & major. Blog at you later when I've caught up with things. In the meantime, enjoy the sunset. T'ain't Hawaii, but not bad as these things go, right?