Monday, February 12, 2007

The weekend, and why I have said nothing about Andrew

Well, while I'm waiting for this last sales report to run (ok so I got a little obsessed about tracking down a certain number) might as well post a completely disjointed post.

Stevie took this picture during the Saturday paddle that he, Kayak Boy and I went out for. I never knuckle-walked my kayak across ice before. I joke from time to time, when it gets cold, about how I need to get my screwdrivers (I read somewhere once that people who paddle in places where ice is a regular obstacle sometimes carry a pair of those to assist in crossing ice). I don't think I'll be joking any more. Might even get some. As it was, at LEAST I'd had the foresight, temps hovering around freezing, to bring my heavy Stearns gloves. Kept my hands nice and warm. We paddled out with no specific destination - ended up heading towards Ruffle Bar - thought we'd circumnavigate but halfway around, we ran into this giant saltwater Slushee - with way more ice than we wanted to knuckle-walk beyond. Seems the northwest wind had pushed all the ice (except the band across the mouth of the Paerdegat) over to the southeast corner of the bay. Stevie had been talking about pizza in Broad Channel - think we would've needed skates to get there.

More pictures, uh, sometime this week. It was a lot more of a workout than any of us had planned on, but I had fun...

Went to a rolling session on Sunday, 3 hours long so LOTS of time to get loosened up. This session is put on by Elizabeth O'Connor of Sea Kayaking Skills and Adventures of Long Island. One very cool thing about it was that there were canoes rolling there - now I knew that that was possible but I'd never actually seen it done. Sebago's participating in her the Long Island Paddlesports Symposium - I'm actually, er, giving a presentation, I'll be talking about some of the questions a person should ask when buying a paddle so that they have the best chance of ending up with the right one. Remember "Of Paddles & Planes"? Won't get that esoteric but some of the same ideas may come out. Then we all jump in the pool and roll for the nice people - YAY!

Speaking of rolls - Stevie has a friend who'd never been in a kayak before a couple of weeks ago - that was when D. had gone to his first pool session out of curiousity. Strictly as a spectator. Went home fascinated, watched some videos. Stevie put him in a boat the next weekend & started teaching.

D. got his first, second, third, and so on rolls this weekend. Dont'cha hate people like that?

Nah, actually I just love getting to be around when somebody gets their first roll. Don't care how disgustingly fast they got it, it just rocks. The Yonkers sessions there's a bit of a tradition of everybody drumming on their boats when somebody hits their first one. Just part of what makes that such a cool session. Doesn't work quite as well in the bigger pool at Sarah Lawrence - the YMCA pool was so small everybody knew what happened - but a first roll is always worth making a little noise about!

Speaking of rolls, there are a lot more over on my Yahoo videos now. I did more for Adele than I realized! Lots more Sebago-ites a-rolling at, too - plus a few from Jack Gilman, my Cirque du Soleil tryout partner.

Cripes - and speaking of Cirque du Soleil - Nancy, the metropolitan coordinator for the Hudson River Watertrail Association, sent an email to the NYCKayaker mailing list with a description of 2 proposals for Pier 40. Where Randy's New York Kayak Co. is based. You can read them (and see renderings) on the here on the Hudson River Park Trust's website. You'll notice that the word "kayak" doesn't appear once. The Cirque du Soleil is an anchor tenant for one of the two.

Hard to say what's going on behind the scenes but it's really too bad that neither of those proposals seems to involve the kayaking aspect of the current uses at Pier 40. That could explain why Randy all the sudden wants to move to Chelsea. Pier 40 is a big pier. Why isn't there room for a couple of human-powered boating groups?

Well - I think I'm giving up on this report. Maybe it'll run itself by tomorrow morning. NO! It just rang. It's done. So am I. Busy tomorrow, busy Valentine's Day (if the snow doesn't keep TQ from coming down - I told him I'd rather have him stay in CT in one piece than put himself at risk driving down if the promised snow hits)...probably post again on Wednesday. If I'm not such a big ol' mushball that I'm embarrassed to inflict myself on the blogosphere, that is.

OK - hate to close on a sad note - but if you're wondering why I've been heartless enough to not say one word about Andrew McAuley...well, it's because it's too sad for words. Or at least for my words. I have a lot of thoughts about it but none that I would consider sharing right now. Most of them involve brilliant stuff about how very, very big the ocean is.

Not worth the electrons it would take to put it on a screen.

For those of you who aren't kayakers - Andrew McAuley was an Australian adventurer who decided to make the first ever solo kayak crossing of the Tasmanian Sea. The crazy, sad thing is that he was a day from finishing and had survived days of stuff that most of us would have vanished into within hours.

For a rational & caring response, please go visit Kayak Quixotica.

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