Saturday, October 05, 2013

A few pictures from A Day on Jamaica Bay

Here are some photo's from last Sunday's family fun event at Floyd Bennett Field, "A Day on Jamaica Bay". Our friend -- that's "our" as in "most of us at Sebago", not "our" as in the royal We -- John, one of the head rangers there and the one who started their kayaking program, had planned this event to feature kayaking but because his seasonal staff had already gone back to school, he called on Sebago for volunteers to help him run it. Eight of us (I think) turned up to help out.

Things got off to a little bit of a slow start and I was afraid I was going to regret giving up the dinghy racing that was the original plan for the day, but then John went across the street to the Ryan Center, where the rest of the events were centered, and let people know that kayaking was happening at the Gateway Marina. After that, we had a very nice flow of people for the entire time, there were always people on the water but never too many for us to keep track of and also, I think, never so many that anybody had to wait, which was nice because we didn't end up having to pull anybody off the water to give somebody else a turn. John estimated that we ended up getting about 70 people on the water, and as far as I could see everybody had a great time! Gorgeous day, glad this was able to happen (one weekend later and of course it wouldn't have happened). Nice way to see out September!
John gives a five-minute intro to our first visitors

Waiting to launch early on. We didn't have quite enough boats (especially doubles) on the beach at first but we quickly got more off the trailer when people started turning up in good numbers. The doubles were important, we had a lot of parents who were able to paddle with children who were too small for their own boats. In one or two cases there were tears when the parent decided it was time to go - usually you don't really want to make children cry but crying because they don't want it to end? That's not so bad! 

Paddlers on the water. This was at Gateway Marina and it was a great venue, very sheltered but a fair amount of water for people to paddle around on. The less adventurous stayed near the launch, but we let people go as far as the pier marking the outside of the marina and a lot of people did go down to take a look out at the lower harbor. 

Doubles race!

Fellow volunteer - towards the end of the day, we were wrapping up.

Beach cat people came out to play just as we were putting the Parks boats away. Not part of the event but too pretty to not take a picture!

And again, a happy, wet, and sandy Ranger John. Here's hoping he's able to get back to welcoming people to his park SOON.

Cross-posted to the Sebago Canoe Club blog.

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