Monday, February 16, 2009

Margarita Monday! Plus - Two Outta Three Ain't Bad.

Hey, look! Brian and Karen (from A Movable Bridge are in Florida, heading for Key West, and they sent me margaritas from Islamorada!

Thanks guys! Cheers!

Speaking of Cheers, although there will be no more moveable bridges while the good boat Puffin is on the hard for the winter, there has been an update - I'll link to that at the end!

In the meantime, boy those margaritas look delicious & the current Islamorada temperature of 70 degrees at 9 pm is pretty mouthwatering too - but I do have to say that for all I only got 2 days of my 3 day weekend, the 2 that were left were pretty action-packed!


Pool session Saturday. That's Laurie trying to hang onto my bow. She knew I was trying to take a picture but she didn't realize that the idea was stop to take the picture while we were upside down, or she would've opened her eyes & waved hello!

Meanwhile, the Inuit invasion of Queens continues apace...

That was Sunday.

Today was President's Day, and the weather forecasts had looked pretty darned splendid - high of 38 degrees, partly sunny, winds 8 to 10 kts, picking up a bit in the late afternoon.

Of course as Holly the Sailing Chair told me once, you can automatically knock about 5 kts off the marine forecasts for our area due to the sheltered nature of Jamaica Bay...

I'd started agitating for something to happen today earlier in the week, and we ended up having a fantastic paddle to the Wharf Bar & Grill. I was joined by 5-years-around-L.I. companion Minh, and we were joined by Kevin, the new camp chairman at Lake Sebago (the original location of the Sebago Canoe Club, the Canarsie site came about in the 70's but we still have, and love, the Sebago cabin at the American Canoe Association camp - this is in Harriman State Park in NY, btw, we're not talking about the Sebago in Maine!). There was a bit of a scare with the lake last year where all the sudden it was sounding like the American Canoe Association was feeling like the place was just an insurance nightmare waiting to happen & they wanted to divest themselves of that risk. That got turned around after some emergency meetings requested by people who care a lot about the place, including Kevin & a bunch of our Sebago board members (yay!). He's been turning up at a lot of the pool sessions (actually he's the "Inuit invader" shown above) and when he heard about the Wharf trip planned for today, he asked to come along. Great addition to our group!

It was a glorious day. Incredibly clear! Here's Kevin launching after lunch. We're on the bay side of the Rockaway Peninsula & if you click on the picture to see the full size picture, you'll see the Jersey City (left clump of distant tall buildings) and Manhattan (right clump of distant tall buildings). You should even be able to see the Empire State Building - that's the tall pointy one that's sort of on its own in the Manhattan clump.

Minh hadn't been doing much winter paddling, but he's a runner & has been keeping himself very fit through the winter. This picture was coming back, and he'd slowed down a bit (earlier in the paddle, the picture would've been of his back), but my gosh, he got in his big red racing boat & took off like a waterborne Man O' War (ok, actually the boat is red & yellow but Man O'War's nickname wasn't "Big Red & Yellow", so I am taking artistic license).

He has definitely not lost it after a couple of months off the water! I did my February rolls today. It wasn't a sacrifice at all. I had worked up such a sweat trying to hold Minh's pace that I needed a cooldown! We made it to the Wharf in about an hour flat - and I'd steered us too far to the west & probably added a half-mile more than necessary. Got to be some kind of record for Sebago sea kayakers!
Stevie & Adele met us for lunch, boy did that cheeseburger taste good, and then we headed back. We went east of Ruffle Bar this time - saw seals in the same spot as TQ and I saw one last time, we gave it a much wider berth this time but even so one big one went in the water - think that after seeing seals in the same place 2 weeks in a row we can now assume that's become a standard haul-out & try to be a little more alert to veering off when they are there (seals need that sun time, even with the blubber they are not immune to hypothermia & the haul-out is very important to their health & well-being).

We went around Canarsie Pol for a little extra distance; even with a bit of a headwind kicking up (no rolls necessary on the return leg) we made good time & were coming back into the Paerdegat well before sunset.

Not terribly long before sunset, though - the parakeets got home for the evening as we were putting our boats away!

OOPS! Almost forgot the link! Brian and Karen participated in PortSide New York's Operation Christmas Cheer 2, delivering Christmas cookies to tugboat crews until they needed a tow themselves (oops!). They've got a nice slideshow of the event here.

They also have some excellent pictures of the serious ice that formed on the Hudson this year - they made a special trip up to the Hudson Highlands (the most astoundingly beautiful section of the Hudson & never un-scenic, that's where a lot of your Hudson River School paintings were done) just to see the ice & take some pictures.

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