Saturday, April 16, 2016

4/16/16 - Paddle to Dead Horse Bay

Dock? We don't need no stinking dock!

Today's forecast had been showing that today would be an absolutely glorious Spring day in NYC, and I'm having a second operation in late April that's going to take me off the water for a month, so when the official Hudson River club trip that was supposed to happen got cancelled, I decided I wanted to go out anyways.

With the dock replacement just getting underway and launching still involving a small scramble, I didn't send out a general invitation, just asked more experienced friends. Ended up heading out at 11 am with two friends with lovely hand-made skin-on-frame boats. It was warm enough that they did some rolling; having decided to leave my hood and noseclip at home, I decided to stay mostly rightside-up, but I did do some sculling bracing to get my hair wet - the water's still cold enough that it made for some bracing bracing all, but it felt very good.

We paddled out to the entrance to Dead Horse Bay, then backtracked and took out on the sandy beach just to the west of the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, where we had a leisurely lunch. SO nice when the weather warms up enough to actually enjoy a sandwich on the beach in the sun!

Floyd Bennett Field was well populated with people enjoying the day, the water was surprisingly quiet when we set out, but the motorboats started coming out in the afternoon. We saw a couple of loons, including one who was close enough for Milton to notice that he'd changed out the quiet gray of the winter plumage for the striking black and white of summer (sorry, still not close enough for a photo). The terns are back, and Louis spotted an egret flying towards Canarsie Pol. Winter might be done! Click here for more photos!

Just around 10 miles, and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting it back together again.   

6 comments:

FeetonRock said...

Have you circumnavigated Manhattan? We are scheduled for 4/30; a BCU*5, a BCU*5 aspirant and lowly me. Start/Ending a Inwood Hill Park, The Bronx. Do you have any local info for for us....please? �� We have pulled.permits with the City.

FeetonRock said...

Have you circumnavigated Manhattan? We are scheduled for 4/30; a BCU*5, a BCU*5 aspirant and lowly me. Start/Ending a Inwood Hill Park, The Bronx. Do you have any local info for for us....please? �� We have pulled.permits with the City.

Haralee Sleepwear said...

Glad the weather is permitting you to hit the water! You go!!

LauraEhlers said...

Sounds like a wonderful day. Except for that rolling...brrrr!

Rena McDaniel said...

I'm so glad you got a chance to get out on the water. Very thankful that the weather is warming up over here as well hopefully I can get back out with my canoe soon.

bonnie said...

Hi, Feeton Rock - I have circumnavigated Manhattan lots of times - what did you need to know?

The key thing is to make sure you've got your launch timed to the currents.

Radios are extremely helpful. http://www.iboatnyharbor.com/CommunicationsInNYHarbor.html

Channel 13 is the general harbor channel.

That iboatnyharbor is full of good info, btw. Mostly aimed at larger vessels but a useful site even for smaller boats.

Cruise ships go out of terminals on the west side in midtown (street numbers in the 40's) - you can look up the schedule for cruises out of NYC online.

Watch for ferries. Google maps has them all - zoom in on Manhattan and the ferry routes are marked in blue dashed lines. Staten Island Ferry Terminal is the simplest one, 2 ferries going back and forth all day. They always blow their horns before they pull out, and I think they're responsive to hails on VHF, so if you get there and you're not sure whether you have time to go or not, you can ask. The smaller ferries are less reliable about blowing their horns, keep your eyes open. There are a lot more of those than there were when I was guiding trips around, so I don't have the best advice there, but I suspect that again the radios might be helpful if you are having an bad time getting a clear space to pass. Also, just give them a wide berth - the smaller ferries are quite manueverable but if you're too close to the pier when they're coming out they might not see you.

The little cove on the north side of Mill Rock is a sort of fun & secluded place for a lunch break, especially if you're running ahead of schedule and need to wait for the current to switch (the current splits there so when the Harlem River is running south, the East River is running north, and vice versa - your goal is to hit Hell Gate at slack). For a more civilized lunch break, there are spots you can get out along Ward's and Randall's Islands (both parks), and then farther up the Harlem River you've got Swindler's Cove - that's an idyllic spot now but practically just around the corner from Inwood.