Saturday, March 01, 2014

Today's Paddle - Crunchy Water And One Very Emphatic Meander.

Crunch crunch crunch - icebreaking out from the dock this morning.

We get slush tomorrow and snow on Monday but today's forecast looked as though today was going to be one of the nicest paddling days this very long and weathery winter has offered yet. I tried to get something stirred up at the club.

My original plan was to do a loop around Ruffle Bar, with a break on the bar for snacks and maybe a little beachcombing. To give a little wiggle room in case it was reallyreallyREALLY nice, I also mentioned the possibility of throwing in a meander or two - nothing specific, just allowing for a little more time on the water than the basic trip around Ruffle Bar if people wanted it.

Something like this - solid line being main plan, dotted lines being possible variations (click if you can't make out the details):

I called it an 8 to 10 mile trip, figured that we'd be back by 4 at the very, very latest. Mentioned some hope of seals, we didn't see any at Jones Beach but various friends have been spotting them in the Lower Harbor and they have been known to use Ruffle Bar as a haul-out spot for sunning. Thought I would have some company, but lo and behold, nobody RSVP'd, and nobody turned up at the club this morning. I think that leaving the announcement until midafternoon Friday meant that people had already made plans.

So I was on my own.

Ordinarily, when I'm paddling solo in the wintertime, I clip my own wings for safety's sake. I'll generally paddle a route that hugs the shore, and I'll keep it pretty short.

But today I paddled out from under the bridge and there was this, 

And this (serious ice is nothing to mess around with, but this was just a little patch floating around loose between Canarsie Pol and Ruffle Bar - could've gone around but more fun to go through)

And this...just a pretty, pretty day, and a fine temperature for paddling --

 And I went a little berserk after rounding Ruffle Bar, and all of the sudden I was heading for Breezy Point. Because it was like that, and there wasn't anybody out there except the police and the Coast Guard, and it was just too glorious to go home yet - this was one of those diems which you just have to carpe as hard as you can. So I did. 

 And I paddled and I paddled and I paddled and I saw my seal and flocks of loons and longtail ducks and eventually there I was, looking out at the Atlantic - why, if Buoy #8 wasn't in the way I'm sure you could see Captain JP and the Bursledon Blogger. Helloooooo!  
Ended up being pretty close to 18 miles. That buoy lean is in my favor for the homeward bound leg, I had a good strong flood to ride back to the club (that was one of the considerations I actually DID make when I went berserk). The last couple of miles I could tell I hadn't done this sort of thing in a long time, but I was actually happy to actually find that I was pushing myself, it's been a winter that inspired much laziness on my part, good to thoroughly break out of that for a day.

Still had daylight when I got back to the club, with a glorious sunset going on just as I finished putting my boat away and packing up to leave.

It was a very, very, very good day. The weather can now turn as snotty as it wants to for the next couple of days - I had enough outdoor fun today to tide me through.

More pictures to come - this is it for the moment, though, I seem to be pooped for some reason! G'night! 


Joe said...

Nice recap of your day. I'm glad that you got out there and paddled.

Peter said...

Hey Bonnie
you definitely carped your diem.
Good piece.
You should plan to come up to YPRC when the ice clears. in the meantime enjoy the snotty weather.

bonnie said...

Thanks! It was a terrific day - right up with the snowy owl quest paddle back in December.

Would love to get back on the Hudson one of these days - don't get there often enough. You guys are still dealing with ice (the serious no-messing-around kind)? Ugh.

Don't know if I'll enjoy the snotty weather but today will help me put up with it, which is good since fuming about it doesn't seem to change it somehow (NOT FAIR).

Bursledon Blogger said...

Guess you were all well wrapped up, I flew through JFK on Thursday morning it was really freezing cold and there was still quite a bit of snow piled up at the side of the runways.

bonnie said...

Usual winter gear, drysuit with fleece underneath, neoprene hood and gloves, and a thermos of hot tea with lots of honey. But it also warmed up nicely for the day, got up to 37 fahrenheit (4c), and there was very little wind. It was about as good a paddling day as we get around here in the wintertime.

pia said...

Love this post. Both the recap of your day and how you told it. You have so evolved as a writer. Your language is growing with you

angela said...

wonderful! Looks beautiful!