Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You know it's been a rainy time...

when people from NY City go to a city famous for fog & end up commenting on the sun instead!

HRGF 2009 050(taken Friday night at the Hudson River Greenland Festival)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice Animals in Michigan And A Nice Trip Report.

Sorry no time for real posts this week, got back from Michigan to an unexpectedly crazy situation at work. Mostly wrapped up now but now I've got a lot of catching up to do on the work I'd actually planned to do this week that didn't happen.

In lieu of a real post, here are some nice animals in Michigan:

Peacock and sheep.

Sheepdog and sheep. More specifically, Shetland sheepdog seeing sheep for the first time. By pure coincidence, the sheep are also Shetland. Now if we'd only had a pony, we'd have had the complete Shetland barnyard scene. The dog did seem quite interested in the sheep, but a little bit later he was nose to nose with a very tense kitty looking about the same...

Dog and very tense kitty. Don't worry, nothing bad happened to either of them, actually dog was displaying the exact same sort of friendly interest as dog was giving to sheep - he's a very mild-mannered, sweet-natured little guy, pretty much greets everyone he meets with the same sniff sniff sniff & a gently wagging tail. Kitty wasn't interested at all but stood his ground - he loves people & there were enough people around that he was not gonna leave the party on account of some visiting dog.

Baby robin (fell out of nest).

Fortunately there is somebody out there in the paddling & rowing world who did something fun last weekend & actually had time to write about it!. Sounds like the Village Community Boathouse (including their sommelier...dang, is that a classy club or what?) had a good time despite the downpour. Oh, man, I made it out to my garden for the first time in 2 weeks this morning (needed to get my PFD mostly) & I wish I had had my camera - I've got sugar snap peas & they have gone so completely bonkers with this cool & rainy weather that they overwhelmed the bamboo I use for a climbing trellis & fell down. Entire garden is going crazy, could really use some intensive weeding thinning & staking. Too bad it's not getting any of that for quite some time - it was a dreadful week at work, but part of dreadfulness was having to get 5 days worth of work done in 4 so I could head off to Croton Point myself tomorrow for the Hudson River Greenland Festival, and then next weekend I'm heading off to see TQ. Garden will just have to fend for itself. I just hope it doesn't start actively snaring clubmates or anything in the meantime.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hana hou with those Waves of Waikiki...

One mo' time:

Been away in Michigan for a few days, didn't realize that Weather Channel video links are somewhat impermanent until yesterday. But the Honolulu Advertiser has the story - which included this photo of the aforementioned poor Laser.

The general rule is "Stay with your boat", but most rules have their exceptions!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Red Hook Pie Quest.

This wasn't why I was in Red Hook on Sunday but since I was there...

it seemed like a good time for my first visit to Steve's.

Won't be my last. Oh no.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Perspective check time.

I just complained about the stress of my job.

To a midwife.


Bingbong machine

Kinetic sculpture by artist George Rhoads, on display outside the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beautiful Things At Sebago



Antique Danish K-1!

The racing committee got a display grant to refurbish the boat & it's been on display at the Sean John store on 5th Avenue. The race committee chair was about to take it out for a spin - I was sorry I was sort of rushing to leave & didn't get any pictures of the launch!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blessing #2 - Jamaica Bay Blessing of the Fleet, Saturday, 6/5/09

So after going to the New York Harbor blessing of the fleet on Friday night, I went to the more low-key feeling but long-running Jamaica Bay Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday. This was the 55th; it's run by the United Inter-Yacht Club, which was founded when the boating clubs that lined the bay in the day of Robert Moses found their treasured bay access directly in the line of fire of some of the "Master Builder's" big plans for the bay*. He'd thought it would make a wonderful Marine Transfer Station, I believe it was. Fortunately the Bay was at least partially spared, although I was looking at an antique map of the bay recently & was amazed at how completely the shoreline has been altered - but then, that's true of a lot of the NYC shoreline.

For this one, I was actually in a boat!

Much nicer day than Friday, I thought we'd have a whole troop, but it seems like an unusually small group for this - I hear that usually there's a whole crew that turns up, and they bring out the war canoe & all. Not enough this year, just this set.

We got there a bit early - there were a few of the officials who were in attendance.

Special message for the audience...

Andy was kind enough to play camera guy for this one - the Optio screen is really hard to see in broad daylight, but you get the general idea.

We were sort of the warm-up act - they had us go first, the priest wasn't ready so we had to do it again. We'd kinda forgotten to warn the CG auxiliary folks who were on the water that we were going to roll - they were a bit freaked out but "Sebago" (Phil Giller, former commodore & still one of the leaders of the club) knows 'em & managed to talk them into letting us do it again.

After that, the yacht clubs start through. I referred to this event as "low key", and from the canoe-club member's point of view, it was - no tall ships or marching band or governor making a speech - but I'm told this is a pretty serious event for them, the presentation of each club is actually judged based on even spacing, proper attire, proper demeanor (no waving, and the folks on the pier try to mess with the boaters by calling out names of people they know to try to get them to look) - the winner gets to lead next year's blessing. Sebago got a special award one year when almost everyone in the club turned out - that sure didn't happen this year!

A couple of people went back to the club; the rest of us decided to paddle on to the Mill Basin Basin Bridge.

Paerdegat to Canarsie Pier & back just doesn't count as a paddle!

Lots of people & animals out enjoying the day.

Canada goose family:

A fortunate horse with a kind rider - earlier, I'd enjoyed watching them doing some nice dressage-y exercises on the beach, figure 8's & serpentines at a collected canter, quite graceful, horse & rider nicely balanced & looking happy to be out there on the beach on a beautiful day. The workout ended & the rider slipped from the horse's back & then proceeded to just take her horse for a walk on the the beach. The horse wasn't lame or anything - it just looked like he'd done a good job & it was time for a nice long cool-down walk by the bay. So rare to see horses on that beach without people on their backs. Big day for trail rides, Saturday, I think at one point I counted about 20 horses on the beach.

A bunch of kids doing a beach clean-up at Floyd Bennett Field. Hooray for the kids!

I'll just close with a few more shots of our "club banner" & the participants -

Thanks Minh -

And Phil -

for being game enough (Minh was "Canoe") -

to take me up on my silly idea (I was "Club")!

*I never did find a website for the United Inter-Yacht Club, but the nutshell history I offered here was gleaned from a very interesting article I found on the Gotham Gazette".

cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club Blog

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New York Harbor Blessing of the Fleet 2009

Wasn't sure right up 'til the last minute, but I did escape my cubicle on time to get down to Friday night's NY Harbor Blessing of the Fleet.

It wasn't a pretty night, but I'm so glad I made it!
NY Harbor Blessing of the Fleet 2009 071

More pictures on my Flickr page!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Surf's Up (And Lots of Other Stuff Too!)

Memorial Day Weekend 2009 - "Dumbo Cove" in the Brooklyn Bridge Park

Almost too tired to post tonight, but I have just got to put up some links - it's going to be quite a weekend in around New York Harbor!

It all starts on Friday evening with the New York Harbor Blessing of the Fleet. There are going to be some fancy people there, but I'm mostly looking forward to seeing some fancy boats, particularly the one who's making her grand debut! Of course I'll have my camera. It's still year-end close at work this week and it is quite possible I'll get stuck, but I've been working my tail off & doing some crazy late hours in hopes of being able to make it. The boats & ships will be gathering near the Statue of Liberty at 6:15, heading north up to around North Cove at 6:30 & then traveling south down the Battery. Looks like anywhere from North Cove down to the Staten Island Ferry terminal should offer good views. Full details can be found here on the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation's website.

BTW I was a little dissappointed to hear that although that page clearly says "all vessels are welcome", the organizers were originally somewhat reluctant to allow some of my NY harbor kayaking friends to join in, but apparently they were able to work something out in the end, hooray!

Saturday is both Opening Day for the sailors of New York Harbor and the beginning of the Great River Day Flotilla, which will include the Onrust (just mentioned) and other replicas of historic vessels and which will be traveling north along the Hudson to Albany from Saturday morning until the following Saturday. It's part of the celebrations of the Quadricentennial of Henry Hudson's voyage along the same route, and the flagship of the flotilla is the Half Moon, a replica of Henry Hudson's vessel. All in all, it should be a spectacular Saturday on NY Harbor.

Information about Opening Day can also be found on the New York Harbor Sailing site, and the Flotilla's full schedule from upper NY Harbor to Albany is available on www.ny400.org (LOVELY shot of the Half Moon there btw - first time I saw that ship I thought she was from Narnia).

In an interesting bit of scheduling, the 6th is also going to be the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. The swimmers start at the Battery at 7 am & will be swimming counterclockwise around Manhattan for the next seven and a half or more hours. If you happen to see any of 'em & you think you're in earshot, give 'em a good hearty cheer - they might not hear you but if they do, they'll love it (and of course their kayakers & boat crews will enjoy it too).

I'll be missing all the fun around Manhattan & the upper harbor on Saturday to go to a much lower-key Blessing of the Fleet in Jamaica Bay, starting at 11 a.m. at Canarsie Pier in Brooklyn. It's so very low-key that I can't even find a website for the sponsoring United Inter-Yacht Clubs (although the Google searching did come up with a good post on the Sebago blog), but this will be the 55th annual blessing, Sebago always attends this but I haven't made it yet & I'm looking forward to it, should be lots of fun.

Going to be a full weekend on the water for me too - Sunday's a workshop for the club's trip leaders & although I think last year I was bad & blew it off to go sailing, this year I'm being good & going.

If I wasn't going though, I'd be going to the Sunday half of yet another really great-sounding event that I heard about through the busy busy kayak grapevine - the Red Hook Waterfront Arts Festival! The Red Hook Boaters will of course be offering free kayaking - just one of several of the free kayaking programs I mentioned in the big list last week that are in full swing now!

Oh...and there's one more event which I'll mention even though it's next weekend & right now I can hardly see past this weekend. PortSide NY is having a fundraiser to help raise money for a permanent home next weekend. It's a good cause. Even if you can't make it, you can still bid on some really interesting auction items. Now, I used to actually like buying stuff, but a few years of living in a situation where my entire private living quarters consisted of a ten by ten foot room with a single small closet pretty much cured me of that, I'd thought permanently. However, I just looked at the auction items & suddenly found myself stricken with moment of that long-dormant acquisitiveness! Full info about the auction & fundraiser over on PortSideNY.org!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday Wave...

Probably not the kind of wave you'd expect to find here, but wotthehell, archy! :D

(Sunday 5/31)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sebago Snowstorm, Open House 2009

Incredible but true!

Drifts piling up in the lee of the containers -

The Vice-Commodore left his windows open & look what happened!

OK, OK, as most of you easterners have probably already guessed -

It was a cottonwood snowstorm we had on Saturday. Not an H20-snow-storm. Aside from a little fluff in noses & eyes, it didn't slow things down a bit.

Funny thing - I don't think I'd ever seen this spectacle until after I'd moved to New York, and the first time I saw it, I was so confused! It was a fine, sunny, early-summer day, and yet there they were, big fluffy snowflakes, dancing lightly in the air in a perfectly natural snowflakey way. I'm serious, my first thought was "Snow? But how could it possibly be snowing?".

I don't think they had cottonwood in the two mainland states we lived in that I remember clearly (California and Washington). We certainly didn't have it in Hawaii.

Special thank-you to John for playing Director of Photography - the only video that came out was the one from the spot where he told me it would work! :D

cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club blog

Monday, June 01, 2009

Phil Bolger in the NY Times

One more quick thing here while I'm taking a short lunch break -

Phil Bolger's name has been coming up a lot on the boat blogs. I didn't know as much about him as some of the people who've been posting, but I'm adding this today because there is an obituary for him in today's New York Times that I thought well worth a link.

A sad ending - but what a marvelous life.

Free Public Kayaking in Yonkers!

Well shoot. I knew I was gonna leave somebody out of my big list last week & it turns out that I left out some old friends. Boo! So here, they get their own post:

The Yonkers Paddling & Rowing offers free public kayaking at the Kennedy Marina in Yonkers. Various weeknights from 3:30 to 8:00. For full details, click here!

This really was an oversight of the most inadvertent sort - Yonkers is one of my favorite clubs, and I'd actually thought about mentioning them, but I was doing very quick browses of websites to get links for the list. I looked at the YPRC site, because I did know that they'd been doing something like that for a while, I didn't see info about that happening this year. I did think of emailing but that got lost in the shuffle of other stuff I'm wrapped up in - but their commodore checked in & left a comment over the weekend. Turns out the public program info was in the "Kennedy Marina" link, which I'd thought was going to be about storage & boatbuilding (Yonkers does have an accomplished boatbuilder, Jack Gilman, on the roster - he's guided a lot of club members through the process of building kayaks & although the official club boatbuilding had been on hiatus due to lack of a workshop for a while, I think there was a possibility that that would resume in the new space at Kennedy Marina). Fortunately their commodore happened to check in over the weekend & gave me the proper link in comments. Thanks, Bob!

BTW, the comments on the original list took on a life of their own & there are a number of very good clubs in there that I hadn't mentioned because I was just listing stuff that anybody with a couple of hours (and maybe a little money) to spare could do. There's a whole next level of options for people who are ready to get a little more committed - many (although still not all) of those got mentioned in the comments.