Sunday, August 04, 2019

Quintessential Summer Paddle

We ended up having some scheduling issues at the club this weekend that meant a last minute change of plans for me today - but with an absolutely beautiful forecast today I did know that one way or another I wanted to get out on the water. Swimming and getting out the surfski were both under consideration, but in the end I invited a couple of new members who were clearly also really interested in getting out to join me, and another clubmate who turned up looking to launch around the same time joined us.

Without much of a plan beyond "See you at the club at noon, we'll do something", we ended up having kind of the perfect summer paddle. Everything was green and blue, the water was a smooth as a lake at times, and the clouds were the perfect marshmallow puffs in the sky. The new members were interested in seeing some birds, so we went to the marsh in Ruffle Bar, saw lots of good birds, joined the sailors for a little break on the sandbar (sailing would've been fun too but that'll have to wait for another weekend) and then headed on back to the club. It was a really nice low-key afternoon, with great visibility and the city skyline showing clearly, and I enjoyed it very much. My only disappointment was that I was sort of hoping to see the unseasonal seals that have been seen by Ruffle Bar this summer. At one point I got very excited because I saw a little round head pop up out of the water -- but as we got closer we started to see that it was bright purple, so nope, not a seal.

Lots of birds, though, and even some horseshoe crabs still hanging around (mating season around here is May through June, but nobody told these guys). I had a second moment when I thought I saw a seal but this time it was a piling - TQ and I have a running joke about all the seal-shaped things you realize are out there when you're looking for seals, funny to be thinking "Seal-shaped piling!" in August!

Pix from the day - click on any photo for a better view.

Not a seal. Grrr. I picked it up.
Patrick D. and company in his Goat Island Skiff, I Am Zenia, Pterodactyl (IAZ,P for short) - Manhattan in the distance

In the marsh at Ruffle Bar
Possibly a juvenile Great Blue Heron

Just outside the marsh, watching oystercatchers and terns fly by

Rest break on the sandbar 

Sailors a-swimming

I joined the sailors in a refreshing dip
Horseshoe crabs who didn't read the Critters of North America guidebook page where it says they mate in May and June (animals don't always read those books)

Sailors setting out again
Hey, is that a - oops, nope, seal-shaped piling 

Canarsie Pol Daymark with osprey nest
Trash haul - purple balloon, plastic bag, and a straw

Post-paddle non-adult refreshing beverage back at home - root-beer float yum!

And I did laundry and I think I will sleep very well. 


Diane Stringam Tolley said...

This sounds soooo heavenly! Husby and I used to canoe a lot. Of course only on lakes and quiet streams. (In land-locked Alberta, those are the choices!) Mostly to paddle quietly and visit or just enjoy the scenery. This little paddle sounds absolutely idyllic. And to have a Manhatten backdrop. It's like something out of a dream!

bonnie said...

Glad you enjoyed the post! I'm so grateful that this bay is part of the National Park Service's Gateway Recreation Area. It's so wonderful to have a place like this so close by - makes city life a little easier.

1010ParkPlace said...

What a fun way to spend such a gorgeous day! Thanks for sharing!

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