Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween - Fairport NY style!

I was out and about in the East Village tonight, but unfortunately forgot to take my camera, one should always have a camera when strolling about about in the Village on Halloween. Fortunately or unfortunately, there weren't really any costumes that made me really regret that foolish oversight, I think the really crazy costumes were probably more in the West Village, where they have the big Halloween parade. The dance class that I was headed to turned out to be cancelled tonight, and I initially thought I would come home and talk more about that great little cruiser that was our home-away-from-home for a week, but it is still Halloween for a little while so I've decided to go a little out-of-order and switch to Wednesday night in Fairport.

Fairport was the westernmost point suggested in the one-week itineraries, and Dave and Lenore, who were among the Kinja crew in that fabulous USVI sail in January of last year, and they were able to join us for dinner on our night there. Before dinner, they took us for a little local sightseeing, which was really nice, that was really our only sightseeing away from the canal (bikes would definitely have been a good addition to our setup, although I'm not sure where you would put bikes on a Nimble Nomad), and they took us to Powers Farm Market, a local favorite pre-Halloween destination with a gazillion pumpkins and spooooky cornstalk-thatched teepees! They also had a haunted hayride, but we skipped that (too scary? I'm not telling!). The weather didn't feel very Halloweenish, but the atmosphere sure did. Good fun, and if we hadn't already had more food on board than we were possibly going to finish in a week, this would've been a great place to re-stock!

Hope everyone had a very happy Halloween! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

J-Bay Weather

I WILL come back to the Erie Canal posts, I have a million pictures, but I did want to share some photos from a short paddle I did in Jamaica Bay today. I almost didn't take my camera, I was just going out for a workout over an area I've paddled hundreds of time before, but I'm glad that I did because the brants are back (sounds like fall out there now, hrrnk hrrrnk hrrrnk) AND there was a spectacular shift in the weather. Forecast had mentioned possible showers and thunderstorms but I wasn't expecting anything this dramatic! I was sticking along the shoreline and I did actually take out at Floyd Bennett Field, put on a jacket, and waited out the blast of the leading edge onshore - the really high winds only lasted for a few minutes and then I was able to carry on. The skies were mesmerizing! Click on first photo for slideshow view. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Doodle du jour - nameless Nimble Nomad

OK, actually it's doodle du two weeks ago, and it IS vacation-related. That's right, TQ and I left our kayaks and our camping gear in Brooklyn and went to the dark side - for part 2 of our western (NY) adventure, we rented a motor vessel And we liked it! I drew this in Fairport, been a while since I broke out the sketchbook but I took it along on this trip in hopes of getting at least a little scribbling in. After a couple of false starts where I just got one thing or another completely messed up, this ended up being my best rendition of the Nimble Nomad that we called home for a week. What a comfy little cruiser she was. Funny thing was, she didn't seem to have a name - we forgot to ask in the hustle of learning everything we needed to know before we set out on Monday afternoon, but the registration card didn't show anything but the registration number and as we motored north toward the canal system, we were singing, "You see I been through Cayuga on a boat with no name..." 

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Western NY Vacation, Part 1 - Back to Cayuga!

Well, it's taken me long enough to get going on this! TQ and I got back on Tuesday from what I'm pretty sure was the longest vacation I've taken since I was in banking (FDIC policy recommends that banks require all employees to take at least 2 consecutive weeks of vacation without computer access each year). I'd left with a couple of things that I knew I would need to attend to pronto when I got back, and surprise surprise, they were still waiting for me when I got back, and surprise surprise, more things requiring attention had come in while I was away, so my 3-day work week was a bit crazy and I actually went in yesterday too. It was a yucky day out yesterday, fall seems to have finally arrived after a run of unseasonably warm weather, if it had been a nice paddling day I would've skipped the office but as it was I feel much more caught up now (although it didn't help the bad case of post-vacation blues I've got - I felt so down today that I reneged on the much-needed cleaning I'd told myself I would do today and went out for a long walk in Prospect Park instead, it was windy out but much nicer than yesterday and I came back in a much better mood). We really lucked out with the weather during our trip, especially for the part where we got up close and personal with Niagara Falls via the Cave of the Winds walkways and the Maid of the Mist, which I can't imagine would be quite as much fun if it was chilly.

This was something of a three-parter, all featuring various waters of Western NY. We started with a visit to my friend Louise, who lives near Cayuga Lake. She runs the Kayak Safety Team for the Women Swimmin' for Hospicare event that I've now gone to help out with 3 times; that event is always in the middle of the summertime, which means TQ is working weekends (he works for NYC parks and weekends are the busy days for them in the summertime), so I can never bring him along. We had come up with a very special plan for our October vacation that was going to start and finish on Cayuga, and she invited us to come stay with her for the weekend before we began that.

We had a bit of a hard time getting the heck outta Dodge on the 8th because of a running race that had a lot of streets shut down, to the point that although we left at 10:30 am, we ended up getting lunch in Park Slope, where I'd asked TQ to stop to let me pick up a hostess present at the Ladybird Bakery, but once we were clear of the race route, traffic was flowing very nicely and we got to Louise's in plenty of time to enjoy a great dinner that she had had made for us (followed by some of the hostess present, which was a LARGE Brooklyn Blackout cake - TQ's been getting these for my birthday for a few years and they are unbelievably good and I thought that would be a good and proper Brooklyn present). Sunday we did some exploring of the area, which is so pretty, visiting the shore of the lake and the beautiful Taughannock Falls State Park. The area had had a hard summer of drought, with the falls actually drying up for some time, but there'd been some rain the week before and Louise was so happy to actually show us a waterfall, even if it wasn't a very big one! After that, we went back to her place, whiled away the rest of the afternoon playing croquet (I swear I'm buying a croquet set for Sebago, it's so much fun), and then went to Maxie's Supper Club for dinner and some good live bluegrass music. It was a great day, and here's a baker's dozen of photos from the hiking part of the day:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Erie Canal moonrise break, anyone?

Clyde and Newark. Newark was actually first but I wanted to put the best shot first. Internet is kind of angsty tonight after presidential debate #3 so I thought I would just share something calm here. Click for slideshow view, as usual. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'm back!

And a lovely little jaunt here and there around the northwest corner of the state we've had! Click on the photo for a better view. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Last Weekend's Fun Part 3 - A Few More Pictures from the Draken Harald

OK, technically it's now weekend before last weekend's fun, oh well! Anyways, this was the third part - just a few more photos that I took during my 2nd visit to Draken Harald HÃ¥rfagre with my friend Louise on Sunday. I was glad I went back, on Thursday I actually went during the work day and needed to get back to finish some things, so I had to rush through a bit - this time I noticed a lot of little details I hadn't before, and although I wasn't as obsessed with getting all the good pictures (it was so funny on Thursday, a couple of my boater friends had gone on Thursday at different times during the day, we didn't actually run into each other there but all the sudden we were all posting very similar pictures on Facebook, you would've thought were were all standing next to each other but it was really just that there were certain things that were particularly eye-catching), I did take a few, and Louise and I took pictures of each other with the handsome ravens that flank the nav station (which I peeked inside to see the modern instrumentation this time, last time I didn't think to do that). Those aren't just any old boids, by the way, those are Huginn and Muninn, the ravens of Odin - and Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir appears on the base of the port side raven. One of my friends had found Sleipnir on Thursday, that was one picture she had that I hadn't duplicated, I'd totally missed him. As I said, good to make the 2nd trip!