Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Sign You May Have Lived In New York City Too Long

You may have lived in New York too long when you are running an errand, and on the way, you pass a guy who's sitting on a unicycle --

wearing a hot pink hooded unitard and a silver scarf --

and you don't even give him a second glance.

I did definitely notice him, though.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Mermaid Musings

I've liked this Coney Island mermaid mural for a long time. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've probably seen her before; she's featured in A Few More Coney Island Pictures back in January & then she also pops up in my Last Day at Astroland Flickr set from September '08.

Funny, though, it wasn't until I sent her along to Mer-meister David at Never Sea Land that I finally figured out what was going on here -

This must be how the mermaids lure the mariners who're stone-deaf from twenty years in the engine room!

(later the same day)

In fact upon further thought, I would bet that this technique predates both the hot dog & the internal combustion engine - the ancient folk of the fin probably went to work on the non-hearing sailor issue immediately after that demoralizing debacle with that Greek guy. I mean, that was in, what 11th or 12th century BCE & we humans are STILL talking about it? Talk about beating a dead (Trojan) horse!

That event really had to be something that had all self-respecting sirenae up in arms (and fins).

(slightly later: oh, ok, one last thought to share before I buckle down & finish the big hairy report that needs to be finished before I go home, ick...)

In fact, a common term we use today may provide a semantic clue supporting my theory.

It would be really hard to concentrate & hold intensive discussions in a place as full of distractions as the ocean, so they probably built a special container that they filled with water and their finest thinkers gathered there to solve the problem at hand.

And thus was the world given the original...


Think Tank!



(Did I mention I'm 2 days out from one of the worst drop-dead deadlines of the year, here?)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Big Tomato

Everybody sing along:

Here comes the tomato
Here comes the tomato
And I say, it's all ripe
(doot doodledy doodledy doodledy doodle deedle)

We escaped the blight!

I'd pretty much abandoned my garden around the end of August because of work & other commitments, but it did OK on it's own & there was a nice surprise when I got to the club yesterday to get a ride to the Alley Pond day (which was lots of fun again). This one was the biggest & would've been the prettiest except it was sort of wrapped up in vines & close to the stakes & I broke the skin in getting it loose. Somebody who was at the club asked me if this was a new kind of tomato and I said, "No, this in an old-school tomato, from back in the days before tomatoes were tamed to be packed in boxes & shipped thousands of miles". Then I gave it to him, it wasn't going to travel well with that gash & he said he'd have it for lunch. I ate another one that was too ripe to travel on the spot (delicious). 3 more that were really ready to be eaten went into the salad at the post-Alley Pond day dinner Rev. Shari threw for us (burp!) & even after that, I still had 5 more plus a bunch of cherry tomatoes to bring home!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Carless in Canarsie

OMG, I think I got the next great heartwarming romantic comedy plot of the year.

At first it was just a title I thought of as various emails are flying around trying to sort out how to get various carless people to various destinations where they've promised to help out.

At first I thought "Carless in Canarsie" was a sequel to "Sleepless in Seattle" which starts with Meg Ryan moving to Brooklyn after the tragic night when Sam gets eaten by an orca after he falls overboard while while wearing a seal costume at a Halloween party on a neighboring houseboat.

But no, it's, even better, it's not a sequel, it's an update. Set in, well the last few years. Heartwarming romantic comedy, bright young man from the Midwest (one of those states with lots of canoes, so he's got a childhood of paddling memories) moves to NY, begins a career with a brokerage house, swallows the whole success/money/get-rich-quick mythos, dating a trophy-wife-in-training, overworked, fun consists of hanging out at trendy bars with fellow young lions from the firm...but then one night after, oh, a fight with the slick Manhattan girlfriend, he's up late flipping through the channels when he sees a program about this scrappy little paddling club in Canarsie. Misty flashback to boyhood paddling memories, canoe trips with Mom and Dad and and Buddy the dog, simpler times...he joins & begins going out to the club once every couple of weekends. Drives his fancy car. Eventually he starts giving rides to a spunky, straight-talking, bighearted Brooklyn girl...

It's actually even kind of reversible, it could just as easily be a nice midwestern girl who moves to NY & falls for the fast track, then meets a straight-talking bighearted Brooklyn boy.

Anybody wanna buy a movie plot?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Extra-Special Extra-Furry Guest Frogma-Blogger

Please welcome today's very special furry guest blogger, Queens resident Paprika the Ferret! Take it away, Mustelidae!

From Estuary Day at Alley Pond Environmental Center

Oh boy! HI!

*poing poing poing!*

It's almost World Rivers Day, and for us in the US it's also National Estuaries Day!

"Estuary" is a funny word and I would look up in the dictionary except that ferrets can't read. But I think it means "big party" because that's what me and all my friends at the Alley Pond Environmental Center throw every year! It's really great, there's music and craft tables and boat rides and kayak skills demonstration and fishing lessons and all kinds of fun stuffs!


Come celebrate National Big Party Day with us! It's this coming Saturday, September 26th, from 11 am to 3 PM. Be there or -- um -- or be some other place!! yeah!

Thanks for letting me blog, Bonnie! Here's your keyboard back now!


You're welcome, Paprika!

A couple of notes to close -

1. Today's Furry Guest Blogger was brought to you as part of Capt. JP's World Rivers Day Group Blogging Project! Thanks for a great idea JP. I'm so sorry about your whale.

2. Although Paprika is a little confused about what "estuary" means (it's really more the rivers meet the seas, fresh and salt waters mingle, wonderful places full of life, etc.), she's right about the great party they throw at APEC - and that's just one of many, many events going in coastal locations all over the country this weekend! I'm looking forward to it this year although I'm terribly bummed out that we accidentally scheduled the annual Carnasie Pol Trash Bash on the same day this year!

3. BTW, the "someplace other place" link Paprika finished off with? That's a whole list of Coastal Cleanup location in the NYC area. Coastal Cleanup Day is officially September 19th but in a big city with as many miles of coastline as NYC has got, the cleaning goes on pretty much every weekend until early October.

4. Anybody else find it interesting that ferrets can't read, but apparently can handle rudimentary HTML?

5. And speaking of ferrets & HTML, I fear that by using a ferret that goes "Poing!" as a guest blogger, I have revealed that I really am a geek (gasp! no!). The great thing is that if you know why use of a poinging ferret in a blog post reveals a level of geekitude above & beyond that revealed by simply being a blogger in the first place, you're just as bad as me!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Go, Alex!

How refreshing!

I took a quick browsing break over my lunch today, and I stumbled across an article about surf ski racing.

And WOW!

It actually mentioned a woman!

And she wasn't one of the dancers in the show at the finish line, either!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TARPTASTIC! Day 1, 5 Years Around Long Island

OK. So my first big post about this year's 5 Years Around Long Island trip did feature a bit of me being cranky about people paddling off & leaving people.

As I was saying to a friend the other day, this spreading-out is maybe endemic to strong paddlers who end up doing a lot of leading trips for less experienced paddlers, as happens in a club situation. They get out with a bunch of strong paddlers & a bit of "Wooohoo, I'm off the leash!" kicks in. Sometimes it just doesn't occur to you that the laggard is doing anything but taking too many pictures.

I say "you" 'cause I've done it myself, in fact even to a couple of the people I got a bit cranky with on our first lunch hour, after a morning when the wind was from the ONE direction that makes my Romany wallow annoyingly (and maybe I was taking too many pictures too).

It's just a bad habit, this running off without checking once in a while. Especially in more open water & rough conditions. I guess being the slow one yourself every now & then is a good reminder for when you're the fast one - even if it's a rock-solid crew you're with.

'Nuff said.

Time to move on & say that if you are ever looking for the right people to take camping in a howling gale -- have I got your crew!

The campsite we stayed at, Hither Hills, has rules about how many tents you can have per campsite. This is a perfectly sensible rule for car camping situations, where people are bringing canvas (ok, nylon, whatever) Taj Mahals along, but when you get a bunch of kayakers, whose tents tend towards the teensy, trying to comply with the rule, things get interesting. So Steve H., our Paddling Chef, brought along a great big old old-school tent, just like the ones I remember my folks renting from MWR (Morale Welfare & Recreation for the non-military) for at least one church retreat at the camp that Aiea United Methodist Church had access to (Camp Erdman?). The non-picky folks shared it, and if we had gotten busted for a tiny tent or two too many, we had somewhere for a couple of us singletons to move.

Steve had a big square tarp for the roof of the tent, which would've been fine if it had been just raining, but we had winds gusting I think it was to 30 kts the first night, and slated to get higher before things calmed down. The square tarp had already been flapping so loudly it was a wonder people in the tent had slept - and we were a little afraid that with a strong enough blast (especially when the tent was empty), the tarp would either rip off, or worse, take the whole tent aloft and away like a kitesurfer. We weren't being paranoid either - that exact thing happened to the folks on the neighboring site. They dissapeared quite abruptly at some point. It turned out that that point was shortly after the great big tent they'd started out with decided it was actually cut out for a life on the rolling sea & bid them adieu.

So with a precedent like that, we definitely knew that something more aerodynamic was in order. We'd seen some very nice tarp arrangements on the campground, so once paddling was crossed off the list of possible activities for the day (unfortunately AFTER I'd stuffed myself with a huge storm-paddle breakfast), the very next move was a visit to the hardware store for the biggest tarp they had in stock -- then back to base camp for a little remodeling!

(click here for bigger slideshow)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ever wish you could just stay asleep?

Beautiful day here in Brooklyn. Unfortunately the plan of the day involves an afternoon of catch-up in the office.

Had the most wonderful dream last night. Very vivid. I'd gotten myself back to Hawaii. I had gone to visit Pearlridge, the neighborhood in Aiea where I grew up, & was walking around when I found a little tiny house tucked away on little lot I'd never noticed before. Nice house, sort of that 50's style, white & boxy-looking with a long wall of glass doors across one side (thinking about it awake, I actually think I was just remembering the house in Manoa where my great aunt & uncle lived for years - just moved & a little scaled down). The place was empty, the small yard unkempt, no one was living there. I tried one of the door, it was open. I went in & looked around. Open living area with that wall of glass, then down a little hallway off the end were a bathroom, a bedroom & a small spare room. Really just the right size for a single person, or a couple with no plans for kids - and somehow (remember, this was a dream) I had a feeling that I might actually be able to afford this place, and I was so excited to have found it.

I think I was standing in the spare room thinking how wonderful it would be to have an entire actual room to use as a library & office, with proper shelves for all my books, when I woke up.

And here it is a lovely day in Brooklyn & I have to go to work and now on top of that even more homesick for Hawaii than usual. Bah.

Oh well. Maybe a trip to L&L & a plate lunch for dinner (and haupia for dessert) will make me feel better.

note later...#@&*!!!...so I haul my okole in to work despite subway shutdown stupidity and here I am with my terminal crashing and crashing and crashing. This takes more that a plate lunch to get over. I need enchantment & wonder. Yep, it's Miyazaki time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

CURSES! Secret Manhattan Circumnavigation Plot FOILED by the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations!

manhattan project 009

Right, how's that for a good NYC kayaking headline?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been organizing a small group circumnavigation of Manhattan.

I haven't mentioned it here because I was finding that I was getting very excited about it & I guess I was being a little superstitious.

I was afraid that getting publicly bubbly about it before it happened was somehow going to curse things.

Everything was looking fine. The weather was OK. The tides were OK. I had a great little group of strong paddlers, I'd invited a few old friends from my Hudson days to join us*, I'd done up a trip outline & a pretty silly Google map to share with the Sebago people, I'd bought a waterproof chart I could carry on deck so people could see where we were, & I was just generally getting almost giddy about my first circumnavigation in several years.

My last circumnavigation was a bit of a disaster. As I wrote to one of my friends as I was organizing this new one,

"I'd set up the last one because somebody I had a crush on (who I thought knew I had a crush on him) wanted to go around. Would've worked out a lot better if he had ever bothered to fill me in on the fact that he'd gotten back together with his long-distance girlfriend. I found that out on our lunch break. And then he was annoyed that I was upset because in his view of the world, EVERYBODY knew that!"

And then he got tired on the southbound leg and I had to stay with him and make sure he got home ok.

Boys. Oy gevalt. Can't live with 'em, can't (quite) let the Waterways ferries run 'em down.

It's all water under the bridge now (and it was all long before TQ, too), and I was really looking forward to going under a few bridges myself.

But then the wheels came off the wagon over a few short hours today after John H. found an article about extra East River closures for the UN General Assembly & sent it along. You can read it here. 2 out of the 3 possible closures are pretty standard & my trip planning had already taken them into account.

But then, there was (insert a bar of the darth vader theme here please)


Zone (3): No commercial or recreational traffic in the East River between East 35th Street and the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge except NYC DEP sludge vessels and commercial passenger vessels with USCG Patrol Commander (PATCOM) approval. Commercial passenger vessels will be escorted through the zone along the eastern shoreline at the discretion of PATCOM.


Now, if you happened to look at the article, you may be thinking "What's the problem? That was in 2008."

Problem is, the U.N. does the same thing every year around this time. So I called the local CG sector at Ft. Wadsworth, Staten Island, to see what the plans were for this year. I spoke to a very nice gentleman there who told me exactly what I needed to know (which I appreciated even though it wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear), and then I sent out the following email to all my friends:

In the immortal words of Homer Simpson...


Thank you John H. for bringing this to my attention.

This was totally not mentioned in the most recent Local Notice to Mariners, but of course, every year there's a General Assembly at the UN & the day I have been looking forward to for my first circumnavigation in several years happens to fall during that period.

There's not really any information up on the internet yet but I just went old-fashioned & called Ft. Wadsworth, where I got confirmation that there will be additional security measures in place during that time.

The gentleman I spoke to said that closures will change on a day to day basis based on what dignitaries are in attendance & that vessels wishing to transit the area should contact the Patrol Commander for an update as they approach the area. We probably wouldn't be able to find out the situation until we're already on the water.

Long story short, a circumnavigation during the General Assembly would involve something of a gamble.

There's a reasonable chance we might go through just fine.

There's also a reasonable chance that we'd get to the East River, get turned away, and have to make our way back around the Battery**, past all the #@$!in' ferry terminals & back up to Pier 40.

I'm VERY dissappointed but I just don't know if it's worth the hassle of getting ourselves to Pier 40 when there's a good chance that we might get turned back & from what the Coast Guard said, no real way to confirm until we're actually approaching the zones around the UN.

Really makes me appreciate how completely simple our lives are out in Jamaica Bay.

*note to old friends on the Hudson - if I didn't ask you, I'm so sorry - it's just that I wanted to keep the group at 10 or under & including myself, I had 5 confirmed & 1 tentative from Sebago!

**Just a bit of additional info for those who aren't NYC paddlers & might still be wondering why turning around would be so bad. Manhattan currents are strong enough that you go with them, or you suffer. The average cruising speed of a trained paddler is 3 kts. Manhattan currents can approach or exceed that. Taken into account, those currents make a lot of really fun trips possible, and paddling against 'em for an hour or so makes for great after-work exercise. But if you have planned a trip that involves 4 hours of paddling north, and 1 hour into that you are suddenly forced to turn south & make your way back over the same stretch you just covered (probably at a rollicking 'speed made good' of 4-point-something-odd kts, even though you were only paddling 3), it is Not Going To Be Fun. And waiting for a couple of hours wouldn't work either because Hell Gate would have slammed shut. If I could have come up with one single alternative plan that I thought would actually be fun, I wouldn't have called it off. As it is, I'm calling it a postponement - unfortunately, due to schedules, it's going to be a LONG postponement, but I'll start looking for a date in the spring (sometime after the water's warmed up enough for my non-winterized friends to join us again) pretty soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy September 11th.

Sounds bizarre, doesn't it?

No, I haven't gone insane. Read on.

September 11th is a day that I usually mark here somehow. I was there. A lot of former co-workers of mine didn't make it out. It was the first time in my life I genuinely feared for (and ran for) my life and it will never be just another day for me, even if I don't post about it. I did think of putting up something that would automatically post, but I got so caught up in packing & checking the forecast (hoping it would miraculously improve again, which it utterly failed to do) on the 9th (the day before we drove out to Hither Hills) that remembering to post something to post 2 days later didn't happen.

I had time to myself for reflection that day, though. That's the main thing I need. Even if it's just a little time. That I was with friends was a good thing to add - the last couple of years, I've just been at work & had my time for recollection once I finished in the evening.

But today I found out that September 11th, 2009 was actually a day to be joyful as well, and well worth revisiting.

Congratulation to my friends the Kayak Family on the arrival of their second child! I guess "Strawberry Girl" will have to relinquish her "Kayak Baby" title to her not-so-little baby brother - she will simply have to become "Kayak Toddler" or maybe even "Kayak Kid".

And I guess they'll be needing a K-4 now!

Welcome to the world, Benjamin Colin!

Montauk Lighthouse - from the water! - plus dolphins & a disappearance (temporary but upsetting).

With the storm on Frday, we didn't quite make the mileage we set out for, but we did make it around the point on Day 3.

Sorry about the blurriness. My camera's lens has gotten just roughened enough that the water doesn't just shake off nicely anymore. I had a hand towel in the day hatch but out here, chances of getting it out without it getting soaked were just about nil.

Fortunately things had settled down enough that I was able to clear up the lens before these guys showed up.

Next one is worth clicking on for the full-sized view.

We know about the Marine Mammals Protection Act guidelines. We didn't approach them. They came to us. It was amazing.

It was also amazing, once they left, after what seemed like a good 10 or 15 minute visit, to discover that a member of our group had just kept going & disappeared from view while we watched the dolphins.

That was kind of how the trip was - absolutely amazing paddling, but some unnerving group cohesion issues. Think between the lost 3rd day last year & the lost 1st day this year some of the group was getting pretty intense about making up some miles.

When I worked on the Adirondack, there was a brief period of time when, if the winds & currents were doing certain things, one of our captains would sometimes ask the passengers,

"Is it about the journey, or the destination?"

We were working on a fast, fun-to-sail schooner, and we really liked it the most when we could shut down the motor & show people what canvas (well, dacron I guess) could do. The days when the captain would ask his mystical question would be the days when getting to the Statue of Liberty meant mostly motorsailing, while going somewhere else would mean more sailing sailing. Captain Peter was a pretty persuasive guy & did manage to get a few boatloads of passengers to say "Journey!", but finally we got called on it, there was somebody who was upset enough about going on a NY Harbor cruise without seeing the Statue that they complained to the owners & that was the end of that particular bit of deviousness.

Think on this paddle we've got some "destination" folks who were very focused on getting there, and some "journey" people who'd rather soak in the sights, and that's not always a really easy combination to make work unless you've really sorted things out very well as to goals & group behavior beforehand. With rough conditions raising the stakes & putting one or another of us at a disadvantage at various times, that just exacerbated things.

Of course during the time when the dolphins were with us, almost all of us became awestruck journey folk for a while. Too awestruck, maybe. How can you not notice that one of your set has just kept going?

Our disappearing person had to have been the most destination-focused of all of us - eventually did realize he was alone & came back, but it wasn't too nice not knowing where he was for even the short time he was gone.

Sorry this is all a bit disjointed. Still sorting things out for myself. Got very strange.

But the dolphins were amazing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday's Weather, or, Why We Went Bowling.

Not the best kayaking day ever. Note the airborne sand flowing low along the beach.

Heck With Kayaking. Introducing the Sebago Bowling Team!






Low Pressure!



It was a touch on the windy side for our original plans (and we had 2 of those) for Day 1, Year 3 of the 5 Years Around Long Island paddles. As John H. put it on one of his Twitter post, we went to Plan C.

That's all I have time for now, got a bag of wet, sandy gear festering in the foyer. Glad I decided to take today off. Check out John's Twitter for a nutshell report. Don't miss the dolphins!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Montauk or Bust

From 5 Years Around Long Island - Days 2 & 3

Gotta pack, it's a go!
Thursday AM update -

Fri...E winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 11 to 13 ft...subsiding to 8 to 11 ft in the afternoon. Rain. Vsby 1 to 3 nm.

Hm. Earlier this week, that was today's forecast.

Well, we'll do what we can. A forced day of sightseeing in Montauk isn't such a terrible thing. Maybe we'll get to see some windsurfers tearin' it up out there. I've noticed that the phrase "too much wind" doesn't get bandied about with that set too much! :D

Gets better for kayaking on Saturday & then Sunday's pretty decent.

John H. will be twittering!

A few Labor Day pictures

Urger and a couple of Manhattan Kayak storage clients (hey, I know her!)

Pegasus, seen from the Waterfront Museum - the pair is now travelling the Hudson on their Tug and Barge Tour!

"Sprit, Stern and Nosecone" - the bowsprit belongs to the sloop Clearwater, the stern is that of the Intrepid, and the nose cone back there in the back is that of the Concorde that is part of the Intrepid's collection

Labor Day on the Paerdegat

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fabulous weekend (mostly), fabulous pictures & video, and a whole lotta links

There was an unfortunate, but necessary & productive, stint in the office on Sunday, but before that, on Saturday, I got my dad (who was in town last week for another adventure in campanology) out for a ride on my favorite tugboat, a walk on the High Line, and a Full Moon Paddle at Sebago, and after that, on Monday, I went to the Wharf, how else but by kayak, another great club paddle by Phil (thanks Phil!) & TQ was here for that one (yay).

Yes, of course I took my camera along on all of the above & took a ton of pictures as usual - but no, the fabulous pictures & videos to which my title refers don't happen to be mine. I did get some nice ones & I do hope that eventually I will have time to get some of them up, but in the meantime, remember the big Tugboat Competition I'd mentioned last week? Well, I did not get to attend, partly because of the aforementioned necessary stop at the office --

But you know that Tugster Will would never miss it, so for us who couldn't make it, there's vicarious enjoyment to be had here and here. Turns out that the Old Salt (one of the bloggers whose blogs I shall definitely be adding on that theoretical day in the future when I next get around to updating my blogroll) was also there, Will advised a viewing of his video & I heartily second that suggestion.

Back to work now, I am scrambling to wrap up everything I need to wrap up before the 4-day weekend I'm taking for Leg 3 of our big 5 Years Around Long Island trip. This year's goal - Georgica Pond to Orient Point. I'm looking forward to it, but I do have to say that if we have to postpone - well, there's something fun I am plotting on one of the days of our alternate weekend that I'd be sorry to cancel, but this coming weekend is going to be another wonderful weekend on NY Harbor & I wouldn't be too upset to be around for the culminating days of NY400 week. Yes, we're STILL celebrating Henry Hudson's quadricentennial, and what a harborwide bash it's going to be on Sunday! Why did the hoogaars and botters cross the Atlantic? To get to Harbor Day!

As it is, I'll probably just have to keep relying on Tugster to see what I'm missing while I'm out seeing the lighthouse from the other side (fingers crossed, knocking wood) - but if I was going to be in town, I'd definitely be following PortSideNY's suggestions on how to see our unusual visitors!

Oh - slightly unrelated p.s. - I just wanted to mention that the discussion in the comments after the life jacket law got really interesting. I've followed or participated in the local life jacket debates a thousand times & the discussion tends to follow a pretty well-worn path. I don't think it's ever actually a bad discussion to have - it does get people thinking about safety, and that's always a good thing - but I guess I've watched it play out enough times that I'm afraid don't get a whole lot of new thoughts on the issue from the replays. I posted the rule here, and suddenly I was getting a good eye re-opening as people from far far outside my usual paddling venues started weighing in. Worth a read if you enjoy that sort of safety discussion.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


April 10th, 2009:

From The Old Dock, and Opening Day 2009 (New Dock Dedication)

September 5th, 2009

We lost our gate to an accident yesterday afternoon at 4:00 pm.

As I heard, when I arrived at the club at 7 for the full moon paddle, there was a car chase involved. The 2 cars sped down one of the nearby cross streets; the pursued driver went up on the sidewalk. 5 shots were fired by the pursuer. The pursued car crashed into our gate. The pursuer fled the scene. Our poor Officer of the Day was seated at the usual OOD table just inside the gate (doubtless enjoying a very nice day of what is normally one of the pleasantest ways to knock off a few hours of your work obligaation); fortunately she was unhurt & had the presence of mind to immediately call 911.

There were conflicting rumours last night as to the outcome for the driver of the car that hit our gate, but the last I'd heard, it sounds as though our gate was the only actual fatality.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New NY State Lifejacket Law

Nov. 1, 2009 update - I just noticed an odd inaccuracy while posting a reminder that this rule is now in effect. In the 2nd paragraph, the article states that the law applies to "kayakers, canoeists and all those aboard motorboats under 21 feet". That leaves out a couple of major classes of small recreational craft, rowboats & sailboat, to which the law also applies. The first paragraph, which reads "everyone in all small pleasure craft" is correct.

Just In, Fresh off the AP wire, via NYCKayaker.

> New York has become the first state to require life jackets for everyone in all small pleasure craft during the six coldest months of the year, when capsized boaters drown faster in chilly water.
>ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York has become the first state to require life jackets for everyone in all small pleasure craft during the six coldest months of the year, when capsized boaters drown faster in chilly water.
>Starting Nov. 1, kayakers, canoeists and all those aboard motorboats under 21 feet must wear Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices while on lakes, the ocean or other waterways.
>The rule remains in effect through May 1. Violators will face fines ranging from $100 to $250.
>Similar measures apply to canoes and kayaks in Massachusetts and to all manually propelled vessels, including rowboats, in Connecticut.
>Falling into cold water can trigger shock, disorientation or gasping and inhaling water. Immersion can lead to hypothermia and passing out.

For all I treasure the right to make my own decision when to wear or not wear my PFD in the summertime (as I had JUST mentioned in the comments on yesterday's post, I ALWAYS wear it when I'm paddling in NY Harbor, Jamaica Bay or anywhere else in the metropolitan area, but I've made no secret of the fact that there are times & places where might not).

For off-season boating, I think a regulation like this makes a TON of sense. Always thought CT had the right idea.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


(swiped from these folks)

Can't remember why I'd stashed it on my hard drive AT WORK but somehow the fact that I stumbled across it on my hard drive AT WORK made it seem like a particularly appropriate topic for a quick posting here AT WORK.

Did I mention it's 9:50 pm?

Did I mention I'm AT WORK?

Naaaah, actually it's not that bad, I'd wrapped up the project I needed to finish & was just getting ready to leave when I remembered I'd promised someone I would send them some pictures for a newsletter. Too many irons in too many fires (most but not all AT WORK) have been making me into a bit of a space cadet so I decided I'd just zap those out before I forgot. I'd just forgotten I had this picture. Figured I'd slap it up here since I'm in the bad-blogger club this week!

BTW this actually happened to a motorboat in NY harbor earlier this summer. Fortunately everyone lived to tell the tale.

I will say that it actually can be harder than you might think to see some freighters in the harbor at night.

I will also say, however, that I bet next time they will think a little more as they select their midnight picnic spot!