Wednesday, June 03, 2020

May 31st 2020 - Paddling with the Sebago crew!

Sunday was looking like the best paddling day last weekend, and when one of the regulars suggested a noon launch, I jumped in on it.

This paddle featured a first for me - I actually biked to the club for this one! I'd done a dry run on Memorial Day and was VERY annoyed with myself for not taking a camera along. When I say dry run I meant that literally, I just wanted to find out how long it took, so I just rode there, and then I rode on out to Canarsie Park just to see what I could see. It turn
s out that of course there's access to the Brooklyn Greenway biking and walking trail from the park, and I suddenly found myself riding over the bridge that I've paddled under about ten million times. And of course the view was glorious, and one of the Sebago fisherfolk was just on her way out, and there I was without a camera, sigh. Have to go back to get the view at least sometime.

Anyways, biking to the club works great, it takes me about half an hour to get there riding at a moderate pace (pretty much the only pace this inexperienced biker can manage at this point), which is actually less time than it takes on the bus unless my timing is absolutely perfect, which it never, never is. As far as I know, public transportation is still technically reserved for essential travel (not enforced but I've stayed off the buses and subways except for my essential doctor visits), and biking is also excellent cross-training with kayaking, so as long as the traffic stays unintimidating, I'm looking forward to doing this more.

This was the first time I'd actually biked and paddled, and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to sort out the bag, gear, and keys to do both (I came awfully close to leaving without my Sebago keys) but it doesn't take me too long to get ready to get on the water, so I didn't hold things up too badly.
Getting ready!

The forecast was for pretty gusty conditions, so Lori, our trip leader du jour, decided on Four Sparrows Marsh in Mill Basin. That would keep us mostly out of the wind, and that's a nice destination with opportunities for good birdwatching. It's actually named for four species of sparrow who nest there, Sharptailed, Seaside, Swamp, and Song Sparrows. Didn't see sparrows but there were red winged blackbirds a-plenty, a hawk of some sort (possibly a harrier, aka marsh hawk) being harassed by some smaller birds, a great blue heron, and an osprey, all good to see. 
Entering Four Sparrow Marsh

We went as far into the marsh as we could, then headed back out of Mill Basin, where we stopped for a socially distanced lunch.

After lunch, we headed back to the club; at around 6 miles, this is actually a pretty short paddle for this crew, but the wind really kicked up right in our faces as we turned the corner from Mill Basin and headed back for the Paerdegat, so we got some good exercise - Chris and I got a bit out ahead and we were howling with glee as the endorphins got going from the workout! Plus the bike ride ends up being about 7.25 miles, and I had a headwind for that, too - I slept so well that night!

BTW, this was such a pretty day that I took about a million pictures; I shared a few here, but there were lots more and so I've put together a 
Flickr album with 2 dozen.

Now one of the things I was trying to get a good picture of was Steve the Paddling Chef's new boat! He ran a boatbuilding workshop last year and his came out beautiful - he likes to decorate his boats and this one features black skimmers and terns, some of his favorite Jamaica Bay birds. He did a lovely job on them and the boat itself practically glows as the sun shines through the translucent skin. The Flickr album includes details of the art - really a thing of beauty. Also fun - we had 4 Romanys out and we all happened to park side by side for our lunch break. There's something so photogenic about a row of Romanys, so of course there's a picture of that over on Flickr, too. Just couldn't have asked for a prettier day! 

Oh, and one more fun thing from the paddle - clubmate Dotty took some photos of me in the marsh! I'm usually the one behind the camera, but I loved these -  aside from looking as happy as I was to be out there with my friends, I like my spring plumage of blue and gold, after spending the winter looking like a banana all in yellow. In fact, I liked the photos so much that if we're Facebook friends, you'll recognize this as being from the same series as my new profile shot.
I've got another 2-week furlough coming up at the end of June - fingers crossed that the weather is nice and I can get in some good biking and boating!


songbird's crazy world said...

Glad you got to go out!

bonnie said...

Thanks, me too! It was a long dry spell for a time of year when things are usually just gearing up and up and up at the club.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

What a glorious day! Your expression says it all!
Your Canadian geese babies are much, much bigger than ours. Ours are still little puff balls!