More prep for the ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring class I'm teaching this weekend.
Good trip-planning and general-info websites:
www.noaa.gov – weather. Pick a zip code or city for basic forecast - click on water section of map for marine forecast (for Jamaica Bay, just outside the inlet - inside the bay gives land info).
www.iwindsurf.com – great for winds. JFK station is available for unregistered users and is probably the closest & most accurate info for Jamaica Bay specifically. Out there on a windy day and want to see what you were dealing with? This is the place!
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.shtml? – Tides and currents.
www.saltwatertides.com – another good one for tides - also has sunrise and sunset info
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/beach/beach.shtml Water quality info – check here if it’s been raining a lot and you want to know whether you should maybe not practice rescues.
www.iboatnyharbor.com – all sorts of good information for recreational boaters in NY Harbor
www.thesafeharbor.us – more good info for NY Harbor
www.uscgboating.org/ - Rules, regs, and recommendations from the Coast Guard. Certainly not kayak specific, but it’s a good place to learn about what the other boats out there should be doing so you can share the water responsibly.
www.nycwatertrail.org - the website of the New York City Watertrail Association. News section frequently covers channel closures, water quality issues, and other special notices.
http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/kayak - New York City Watertrail Map – check here for launches throughout the NYC area.
www.hrwa.org - the website of the Hudson River Watertrail Association. Includes instructions for joining the nyckayaker email list that the HRWA sponsors, ordering info for the Hudson River Watertrail Guide (info about campsites and launches from Albany to NYC), an events calendar, and more.
http://www.atlantickayaktours.com – AKT’s “Expert Center” is one of the best general kayak info sites on the web. Strokes, gear, safety, everything ‘s there.
http://hudson.dl.stevens-tech.edu/maritimeforecast/ - New York Harbor Observations and Predictions – a really interesting site maintained by the Stevens Institute of Technology. Best practical application (or at least the one I use it for the most) is water temperatures but there are all sorts of interesting parameters to play with.