Friday, July 03, 2020

Skywatch Friday - Sebago Paddle to Fresh Creek, with float break!

Skywatch Friday again - look at that dramatic sky and gently sparkling slate water in Jamaica Bay today. Looks a little ominous but it was actually a very placid morning out there. As usual, click on the photo for a better view.

And what a nice surprise it was to find myself leading a full-on Sebago paddle today! As I've mentioned before, we're pretty limited on what we are able to do at the club right now - but I'm so glad the board (and especially our Commodore Beth, seen masked and pointing out our dock regulations in the photo below - "MAX CAPACITY 4" is one of our coronavirus customizations & allows for proper distancing on the dock) was at least able to work out arrangements with the NYC Parks (of whom we are a tenant) allowing for use of club boats. The original arrangement was "No shared equipment", which meant only of us with our own boats could go, which was nice for us but sucked for the rest of the members; the new arrangement is better for a lot more of the gang.

I'm still on a 12-day furlough from my job and have gotten a couple of nice paddles in; got to feeling like getting out on the water again yesterday and asked a few friends if anyone wanted to paddle either late in the afternoon or fairly early this morning, to beat both the heat and the 50% chance of thunderstorms today's forecast had starting at noon. Beth was up for this morning, and with the forecast looking pretty placid as long as we got of the water before the thunderstorms, we decided to go ahead and open it up to the rest of the members.

I didn't actually think it was going to fly because I didn't get the invitation out until after 6 pm, and usually people need a little more time to plan - but we ended up with a crew of 11 paddlers, including me and Beth!

And it was a lovely paddle. I'd specifically billed it as a "Friday Morning Relaxed Paddle" because of the need to be off the water by noon and because it's just too darned hot for distance or speed shenanigans right now. I'd promised 6 to 8 miles and we did just over 6 and a half, paddling to the Fresh Creek Nature Preserve and back. Fresh Creek was FULL of herons, egrets and gulls, so that was fun. I hadn't really planned on a break for such a short paddle, but it seemed like folks were ready for a leg stretch once we came back out into the bay, so we found a nice quiet stretch of beach where we weren't going to be invading other people's space and took out there.

I'd pictured this as just being a quick stop and a chance to touch base and see if any of the more experienced paddlers wanted to break off and keep going instead of just going back to the club. The forecast had changed overnight with the thunderstorm risk being pushed back to 4 pm, and this was a generally experienced group with several trip leaders, so I was thinking some might want to stay out longer -- but it was really pleasant there on the beach and next thing I knew people were pulling out sandwiches and Laurie B was floating in the water (she does that, that's just one of the things I love about her!) - and then as soon as I saw Laurie floating in the water, I had to float too, and then all of the sudden half of the group was floating around while the other half ate their socially distanced sandwiches on the beach. This wasn't what I had planned but it was so nice - why fight it? This was the perfect thing to be doing.

And with the temperature going up and the wind dying down, by the time we were ready to move on, my unambitious little trip was enough for everyone, so we all went back to the club together.

What an excellent morning.

All pix after this, click for a slideshow view.

And thanks again to my ramblin' friend Am for the intro to Skywatch!  


songbird's crazy world said...

Sounds like you had a great time

bonnie said...

It was great. Sometimes unambitious is just what's right!

Alana said...

Thank you for the shoutout. Those pictures so express your joy. I'm happy for you - you are doing what you love, circumstances be (bleeped).

Spare Parts and Pics said...

I think I would enjoy kayaking. Unfortunately, lakes are few and far between here in S CA, so not sure I'll ever get a chance to do much. Beautiful skies!

Cloudia said...

Super cool! You can take the girl out of Hawaii, but you can't take the paddler out of the girl! I'm now a fan!

Jim said...

Great shots.

Cloudia said...

Added you to my blog-roll