Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Paddle 1 - Broad Channel Island Circ, with Subways and a Solar Halo

October's given us some very weird weather, wavering from summer to fall and back again repeatedly. You have to check the weather every day to know what to wear outside (I've generally been failing on the over-dressed side and ending up sweltering outside), and I swear I have gone back and forth from sleeping in flannel pajamas under a blanket to pulling out the summertime nightshirt and turning on the window fan five times. Right now the windows at home are closed, but the window fan is sitting out ready to go again if needed!

Fortunately for me and my paddling friends with the standard business week jobs, the warm swings have been most conveniently running through the weekends, allowing for some really nice post-season activities at the club. We kicked off the month with the October 1st Trash Bash; the following weekend clubmates Lori and Frank led a good trip out around Broad Channel Island, and then last Sunday TQ and took out a cousin of one of our sailing committee friends. That was great because I'd actually worked at the office on Saturday and probably would've given myself a lazy-day-at-home pass on Sunday, but it was a gorgeous day and the cousin was an experienced paddler and a pleasure to paddle with. It's actually really fun to take somebody out on Jamaica Bay for the first time because I get to inflict ALL OF MY J-BAY TRIVIA on them, muahahahaaaa.  Another neat thing was that the cousin was a retired meteorologist and when I asked him about the clouds (we had a beautiful mackerel sky that day), he didn't just give us the proper name for it, he basically gave us a 3-day weather forecast on the spot, which ended up being exactly what happened, too. Jumping ahead a bit here though, I'll have a few pix from that paddle another day.

October 7th was a nice warm day, in the 70's, and I actually went to the club not knowing exactly what the plan for the day was, just knowing that the leaders were two people with whom I always enjoy paddling and that I could expect a pretty nice day out there. We ended up doing a loop out and around Broad Channel Island, with one quick stop at the beach at the northern tip of the island and then a lunch break at an islet/sandbar off of the southern end.

I did some rolling during the first break, rather than stretching my legs - I've been frustratingly slow to really regain my confidence in that manuever after having that mastectomy a little over 2 years ago, it's really stupid because I'm fully recovered and back to doing everything I did before that, but somehow I still have a hint of timidity about the rolling. I need to do it more, that's all, unfortunately practice was a bit limited this summer because we had a lot of rain, which fouls up the water quality, but on the 7th I got a whole good string in with both Greenland and euro paddles. The water was cooling down, but I'd worn wetsuit shorts and top because I wanted to be able to play comfortably, and it ended up feeling very nice. I was a little cool during the lunch break but it was worth it! Have to try to hit more pool sessions this winter, that's a good way to get tuned up when the roll isn't feeling as solid as it once was.

A couple of other fun things -

1. As mentioned in the last post, the brants are back. The first of the brant pictures in that post were from the 7th, as well as the cormorants with the Manhattan skyline in the distance. It was sort of strange hearing the calls of this winter resident on a day that felt pretty summery, but I really do enjoy watching the birds come and go - that's part of the fun of paddling the same area regularly, you get to see the cycles so well, at a level of detail that folks who don't get outside regularly might not get to see, especially here in NYC.
2. There was a solar halo during the first part of the paddle! It's funny, you can see it already in the first picture below, where we're just leaving the Paerdegat, but I didn't notice it until a couple of miles into the paddle, just past Canarsie Pol. Here's a good article about what makes those happen (with a ton of better pictures than mine).
3. For some reason I never cease to be entertained by paddling under a subway trestle in the middle of a national park. Reminds you that yes, you really are still in the middle of New York City.

Beautiful day, fourteen and a half miles or so. More photos on Flickr - solar halo, subway, and a couple of other favorites below. Click for a slideshow view!  


LauraEhlers said...

Always love reading about your paddle adventures. And -WOW- the sola halo is awesome. Off to read up on it now!

bonnie said...

Thanks! Always fun to see one of those halos. I've seen one or two lunar ones too.

Feeling very lucky that fall's been allowing a lot of good paddling - summer wasn't as cooperative!

Alana said...

I LOVED your pictures and here's why: I was born in the Rockaways and lived my first five months of life on Beach 56th Street, in Arverne, a city housing project that saw its best days long ago - but I have never been back to that area. Seeing what I am assuming is the A train going over Broad Channel takes me on a journey I have never been on. Maybe, as the bird flies you weren't that far away from my birthplace. I don't know for sure because I have never been back to the Rockaways since I was that little baby. The quality of the light and water was beautiful.

Alana said...

I showed your pictures to my husband (an amateur meteorologist) and he said right away, "Oh, a solar halo!" We really do need to visit NYC again one day, to see Floyd Bennett Field (another one of your posts) and maybe even ride the train into the Rockaways. One day......

bonnie said...

Wonderful! Yes, that's the A train, heading from Rockaway to Manhattan.

If it weren't so very far away and also so very vulnerable to hurricanes, I would actually love to live out there - there are rough parts but not all of it, and it would be so nice to be so close to the beach. But it would take me hours to get to work, and hurricanes would be terrifying.

bonnie said...

BTW Alana, if you do come back to NYC sometime, let me know if you're going to ride the A train out to Rockaway - I haven't done that in years, not since friends from my Irish dance days Part 1 invited me out to a party at their bungalow. We had set dancing on their back deck - the Irish Riviera lives!