Waterford, 8/11/2014 - Trusty Romany loaded, launched, and ready to go!
***************Day 1, Waterford to Bronck I - beautiful day, but LONG! Going through a lock for the first time was fun. Got a late start due to having accidentally purloined Louise's sprayskirt, when I found out there was a post office nearby I ran over to send it, partly because I felt bad and wanted to get it home, partly 'cause I just didn't have room! Everything just barely fit, had to tie a couple of things on deck (note added while blogging - remember, I ran out of prep time and my first full packing of my kayak for this trip was there in Waterford!). Wish I'd thought to mail the roof rack (foam blocks) home, but oh well (2nd note added while blogging - although it would have been tidier-looking if I'd gotten rid of the roof rack, it occurred to me later that had anything gone wrong and I'd needed to be helped off the river by a person who didn't happen to have a kayak rack on their car, it actually could have come in very handy).
Gorgeous day on the river, lots of blue herons and kingfishers, and a dragonfly hitched a ride with me for a good ten minutes.
Was aiming for Gay's Point, but with the late departure I decided to call it a day at Bronck. Jack said it was hard to find, but I knew to pull in close to shore to look after fixed navigation light 171. Jack was right, it would've been easy to miss, but I didn't, so here I am tonight.
Too tired to cook -- cheese and bread and one of my little squashes (raw) for dinner and dried pineapple for dessert. And I actually took a bit of a bath before I ate - nice camping by fresh water.
That's all for tonight. Tomorrow - Tivoli or bust!
That was all I had energy to write. I launched at 10 and I came off the water with the sun getting quite low in the sky, a little before 7:30, and fortunately still with enough light to see all the sprigs of poison ivy scattered around the campsite proper. I ended up setting up on a sort of plateau of moss-covered tree roots that looked to be above the normal high-water mark. There was a metal cabinet for raccoon-proof gear storage in the same spot so I figured it would work, which it did, was more low and dry at high water than high and dry at high water, but it did stay dry (phew). Woke up in the early morning to hear the water lapping very close by, looked out of the tent to discover my little plateau was now a peninsula, but that was as high as it got and I was fine where I was.
I don't think I got out of my boat all day, I had fruit and Kind Bars for lunch, I'd taken care of those things which sometimes make a person get out of their boat right before I left Waterford, and I knew it was going to be a long haul - that was the price for going through a lock (whee) and I'd accepted it. Ended up being about 28 miles to Bronck Island, would've been a few more to Gay's Point - if I'd gotten the earlier start I'd planned on I might have pulled it off but I was actually really ready to call it a day when I got off the river. I actually didn't feel sore as far as muscles (in fact I never ended up using any painkillers) but I was starting to get blisters. I'd felt good while paddling, but stopping felt good too. Phew.
Google map of Day 1.
Finding Bronck Island - I was actually just about to paddle on when I saw this 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of laminated paper with the oh-so-welcome green and blue flag! I was SO happy to see this!