Monday, March 23, 2020

Last Paddle Before Lockdown - Rebel Without A Clue

Snuck out with a friend today for what turns out to be the last paddle until this thing runs its course. I'd figured it would be the last time I would take public transportation for a while - trains and buses have been pretty sparsely populated and I took the chance for a couple of short trips this weekend, after being a model citizen for 3 days, but as of 8:00 tonight NYC's directions have gotten stricter, with instructions to stay off of public transportation unless it's necessary. I thought TQ and I would still be able to go to the club in his car, though, but as it was it turns out that even this paddle was illicit - the Parks Department had sent out an email today saying that marinas were to close immediately, but by the time the directive was forwarded to members, we were already at the club getting ready. Oops.

One of the more experienced club members had shared an article from about paddling using social distancing practices - we actually did that, travelling separately, staying at a distance, handling our own gear and definitely not sharing snacks. Definitely a little odd on land but not a problem.

And it was a beautiful last paddle. Currents were good for a trip out to Dead Horse Bay and back; it was a sparkly blue day, there were kids building a sandcastle under the Paerdegat Basin bridge, horses and riders on the beach to the west, we saw 3 loons pretty close up (sorry no pictures, they dove as I was trying to get my camera), and it was so quiet out there.

And the spring birds I was looking for last week were here this time - plus an amazing bonus! Here was the first oystercatcher of Spring, just outside of the Marine Park Bridge - terrible photo as it took flight just as I was getting but I always love hearing that first shrill "Wheeeet!" of Spring, and I just can't resist sharing even a lousy photo. Click for a better view - there he goes!
We also heard an osprey, they also have a very distinctive call, and I spotted it a moment later - but I didn't get a picture because just as I saw it, there was a bit of a kerfuffle among some nearby gulls and we looked that way just in time to see a bald eagle catch a fish that it had terrorized a poor gull into dropping!

Bald eagles have been seen on the bay within the recent past - there was one hanging out in a park in Broad Channel last Fall, I think it was, and the birder friend with whom I did the Christmas Bird Count last year had seen one perched on an osprey nest platform in the marshes not long before the count (unfortunately we didn't see it the day we went out for the count), and the bay is not that big as the eagle flies - but somehow I just never expected to see a bald eagle right there at Floyd Bennett Field! It actually took a moment for it to actually register what we were seeing, because it just wasn't expected - but I had my camera out and did manage to grab a photo as it flew over our heads! Sorry, crummy picture again, but again, too exciting to not share. Definitely click on this one for a better view!

So that's officially it for paddling (or anything more than toodling about the neighborhood, exercise is considered an essential activity so I do plan to be going out for brisk walks...maybe even trying a little running...I'm glad I live in a fairly scenic neighborhood) until whenever. Glad I got the 4 good paddles in that I did.

Suspect this blog is going to become a blog about trips I did a while ago but never got around to blogging - I have some Florida left, and hey, did I ever share any pictures from the whitewater class that was part of my 50th birthday celebration in Colorado?

Note the following Tuesday - I shared this with friends at Sebago. "Renegade!" one of them responded, to which I answered "Yep, rebel without a clue!". I liked that enough to add it to the title of this post.

That's it for this writeup, here are more photos - click on any photo for a slideshow view.


songbird's crazy world said...

Great photos. Birds don’t care about lockdown, do they?

We will get through this.

bonnie said...

Not a bit!

bad cab driver said...

Can I share this beautiful story with my kayak club?

bonnie said...


bonnie said...

I should've asked - where's your kayak club?

Rebecca Olkowski said...

it looks pretty isolating to me and so calming. Water is healing. I was hoping to do a hike in a park but they're closed in Los Angeles too.

bonnie said...

I was really thinking that paddling could keep being a good escape - taking public transportation was already getting sketchy but TQ has a car so I was figuring we could go on Saturdays, and I was also looking rather speculatively at his bicycle - I've never quite had the nerve to ride in NYC because of the traffic, but traffic's way down now and the club's about a 20 minute ride. And cycling and kayaking are the perfect complement exercise-wise. And exercise is considered an essential activity and one of the reasons you can still go outside.

But I guess marinas are places where people congregate & maybe can come and go a little too freely.

We do have our city parks so far but Cuomo's fuming because people are using them without social distance practices, so we'll see how much longer that lasts. So sorry LA parks were closed for you - hiking also seems like a good thing to do.