Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday Early Morning Sunrise Swim 8/31/2018

"In the Shadow of the Parachute Jump, Coney Island"
Only there was no shadow, and there was no sunrise for this final August edition of the Coney Island Friday Early Morning Sunrise Swims ("FEMSS"). I did get out there and I did get in the water (which was lovely) but it wasn't quite the idyllic lazy Coney Island morning I'd been daydreaming about while getting hot and sticky cleaning the place. The daydream involved a sunrise swim, breakfast at a diner, a little more swimming after the lifeguards were on duty, maybe a nap on the beach, and then a visit to the new shark exhibit at the Coney Island Aquarium.

 I've spent a fair amount of time at Coney Island this summer - enough that I finally joined the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers instead of just taking advantage of their hospitality (as I have done in summers when I only swam once or twice, particular when I was able to do kayak support for a swim or two - this summer I didn't think I would be able to). We've had a very rainy summer but the weekends I did go, the beach was in the most welcoming mood - even the day I attended one of the open-water clinics that is one of the club's offerings for members, when the forecast was I think calling for some rain in the afternoon, it started out a little cloudy and the wind had kicked up a pretty good chop, but then it cleared up. And other days, the beach was positively operating in the spirit of one of those beguiling hosts or hostesses, where you think you're just going to drop by somebody's party for a few minutes to say hi and hours later you still just can't pull yourself away because it's all so lovely. Bright sun sparkling on the cool water, the camaraderie of the CIBBOWS group gathered at Grimaldo's Chair - it's hard to leave sometimes! 

Not so much today. The heat wave has broken, but it's still very, very humid, with the salty air at the beach feeling downright sticky. The clouds were thick and looming, and the wind was enough to lift a mist of sand into the air. The water did feel lovely - it's warmed up since the end of July - and I wouldn't have minded staying out longer, but the usual FEMSS is a short dip ending at 6:30 and when the rest of the small group who'd braved the weather got out, I joined them and headed back home - there was just a little too much sand flying around to make sticking around appealing (and in fact I was crunching sand between my teeth on the subway ride home). Had my nap at home, will have to go back for the sharks another time.

All photos after this - click for a slide show. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Seize the Storage Update, plus 7/27 Friday Early Morning Sunrise Swim and Wedding

Photo from a wonderful morning in July, just before the point when Project Seize the Summer got overrun by Project Seize the Space. More photos on Flickr. 

Project Seize the Space is moving along, I have now officially passed the aggravating zenith of chaos and am progressing towards order. Max chaos was reached on Sunday when I had TQ coming over the next day to help me move a couple of pieces of furniture around to make space for the fantastic real live full-sized totally affordable secondhand bookshelf he'd helped me acquire and bring home the week before. I'd already been pulling stuff out of closets and sorting before putting things away - was mostly still in sorting phase so there was already lot of extra clutter in addition to the usual piles of books in the corners (I call them "bookdrifts", books follow me home and they just seem to collect like snowdrifts in the wintertime) and yet-to-be-sorted bills and stuff.

Hooray for a real bookcase!  

I've been wanting a full-sized bookcase for ages because I just didn't have enough shelves for the books I have, so I was just delighted to find just the bookcase I'd pictured at the antique and secondhand store where he'd gotten some things to furnish his place when he moved to NYC. I hadn't completely decided where to put it when we brought it home, so it landed in the foyer for a week. The 2 pieces of furniture I wanted to move on Monday were a mid-sized bookshelf and a secretary desk with 3 shelves in the base. Those were both fully loaded with books so after TQ and I taught Quick Start Level 2 at Sebago on Sunday morning, I went home and emptied those onto the floor and the bed, and then, with 80% of my library unshelved and sitting in piles and the closets turned inside out, I literally cleared flight paths for the Monday furniture moving. Thankfully TQ was OK with me coming over for the night as at that point the chaos had gotten beyond OK by even my pretty relaxed standards (plus the bed was covered with books).

TQ came over on Monday, we moved the furniture around, and then he stuck around bringing me piles of books while I sorted and shelved them - that moved things along nicely. After the sorting, the new bookshelf actually took most of the books I wanted to keep from both the medium bookshelf plus the "bookdrifts" - that was great. Tuesday I had my mammogram at NYU Langone in the afternoon and I left early to drop off the books and some decent clothing I just don't wear anymore (not being a size 8 anymore and too little troubled by that to think I'll ever get back down there) at the Housing Works bookshop and thrift shop on Crosby Street. Fortunately nice and close to the subway since we're having a heat wave!

There's nothing to be done about it, I have to finish. I've taken this week off for the express purpose of finishing off Project Seize the Space, because September is always one of my crazy months at work and if this doesn't get done this week it's not going to happen. Oh, yes, and the main driver behind all the decluttering (I can say this here now that I've told my parents) is that I've invited TQ to move in with me and he's taken me up on this. We've both been pretty happy with the separate apartments close together set-up we've had for a while, but he hasn't been entirely happy with his apartment, rents in this neighborhood are high and getting higher, and I have a pretty nice place with fixed expenses (was fortunate to buy before this neighborhood really took off - a friend in real estate steered me right!). After all these years, I figured maybe we could give living together a try.

Won't be writing about it much, he's a pretty private person and this is not a relationship blog, but there you go, that's why all this space-clearing has to be finished this week. And yes, so of COURSE this week when everything HAS to get done is when we get another heat wave! And I don't have AC. So this is NOT being a fun staycation. I'm up this late because I hardly got going today until the temperature started coming down a little in the late afternoon - but once I did I was on a roll for a while.

I'd hoped to be wrapping up today, but that didn't happen, but after tonight's work, I finally am really feeling like I'm getting there and that's where the Friday Early Morning Sunrise Swim comes in. I'm thinking that I will roust myself out of bed on Friday morning and and get myself out to Coney Island for my second ever Friday Early Morning Sunrise Swim. This is something a lot of my Coney Island swimmer friends do all summer. I am really not a morning person but the idea of a sunrise swim after spending so much time this wek being sticky and smelly and gross while doing dusty, dirty housework just sounds HEAVENLY. When I originally came up with that idea I was actually thinking that maybe I would just stay in the water up to my chin all day - it does look like it will cool down a bit so that might not be quite necessary, but a beach break after all of this sounds like just the thing.

I did make one this summer - that was a very special occasion and not just because I actually got up in time to see the sunrise. The real special occasion was an absolutely beautiful wedding between two avid Coney Island swimmers! I'd already been plotting to attend the swim with my downstairs neighbor Rochelle, then my friend Jenn (the Brooklyn Runner in Calgary, temporarily back in Brooklyn in July and also an enthusiastic Coney Island swimmer) let me know about the wedding. Allyson has been one of the friendliest and most welcoming of the generally friendly and welcoming Polar Bear Club when I've joined them for April swims for the last few years, she's a great photographer, and she welcomed me and my friend Barbara to her Team Boobie Prize for last year's Coney Island edition of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, so I was so excited to get Jenn's note. I don't know Dr. Romano as well but she sounds pretty amazing herself. A genuine Coney Island love story. And yes, I took pictures!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Thanks Rutabaga!

Unsolicited plug post! :)
Aww! My new paddle just arrived from Rutabaga Paddlesports in Wisconsin. Isn't this nice?

My old paddle that I bought from Randy at New York Kayak back in the early 00's finally gave up the ghost during the great weekend I had at the Hudson Valley Paddlesports Symposiums. I was doing a paddle float self rescue and at the point where you reach down and put your weight on the paddle shaft to get your second leg into the boat, the shaft just gently folded under my weight. Didn't snap, the joint had been getting looser and looser and the carbon fiber had worn thin inside. I finished the rescue with the greenland paddle I carry on my front deck as a spare (one really nice thing about a traditional GP as a spare is there's no mucking around with putting it together, it's ready when you need it) and then went home and started shopping for a new paddle.

Unfortunately New York Kayak closed last year. I was so fortunate to have a really high-quality outfitter that I could get to on my lunch hour for so many years - in the past I would've just gone over there, said "Hey Randy, I broke my old paddle" and he would've fixed me right up. I wasn't even sure what kind I'd had, it was before Werner was putting the name on the blade. I checked with Werner on FB and they ran it by their very experienced repair guy, who id'd it as a Kauai. Unfortunately they don't make those anymore but they recommended a couple of modern equivalents. Various friends let me try theirs out - Cyprus felt too small, Ikelos felt too big, then I went on a fast paddle with a couple of friends at the club and after stubbornly struggling with a low-angle paddle from the club container all the way to Ruffle Bar, Carlos suggested I try the Tybee. AHHH! Not as fancy as my old one but felt right, and that's the main thing.

I had hoped to shop local but August got a little crazy so I just hit the "order online" button on the Werner site - they gave 3 options and I picked Rutabaga, with which I was the most familiar - I have a number of Midwestern paddleblogging friends and they all seem to have mentioned Rutabaga favorably.

I did end up complicating matters a little bit. I've heard a rumor that outfitters use "212" as jargon describing the very demanding type that a Manhattan client sometimes turns out to be and at one point I was afraid I was bordering on that. "212" reflects the Manhattan area code. I did my first change request on line, I'd ordered a 220 cm and when I got it realized I wanted a 215 - they took care of that just fine, said send it back with a note and they would call me about the shipping, which I would have to cover. I did that then got to use a Shuna carbon fiber for the Breezy Point swim I helped out with - that's when I was afraid I was getting to be a bother; I called Rutabaga (from my office, which is in the 212 area code!) to ask if instead of switching a Tybee for a Tybee, I could instead switch to a Shuna. I figured they probably wouldn't mind TOO much because this was a switch to a more expensive paddle, but it was going to involve a little more attention.

However it all ended up being a moot point, because they didn't have the Shuna CF in stock and I decided to just stick with my original switch - probably should've been sniffier about it to maintain the "212" reputation but hey, I'm really a "718" with "808" roots, both a little less high-maintenance. Customer service rep was really nice all the way through, and the next day when the paddle I'd returned was logged back into their system, she called me back to talk shipping; I mentioned I was hoping to get it by Saturday so I could use it for a thing I was doing on Sunday; she said I could use UPS to be sure but she also said that the basic 5-day shipping through the USPS usually got things there in 4, particuarly since she was going to be able to get this into the morning pickup since it was still very early there in Wisconsin.  I went with that, and sure enough, when I went down to the lobby this afternoon on my way out to pick up some snacks for tomorrow's students, there it was with that friendly note on the b
ox. Very nice! I like to shop local but I would definitely order from these folks again. 

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Funny thing - well, not THAT funny - look how close the Tybee blade shape is the the Kauai blade shape. I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to gear - whatever I was happy with before, I just want that again.

Friday, August 24, 2018

One more memory...

These, I'm keeping.

September '08 - Obama had just been declared the Democratic candidate...

January 2009. Kind of chokes me up looking at this now. Miss them.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

What Goes Around Comes Around, Or, How I Started Dancing, Stopped Dancing, Started Kayaking, And Eventually Got The Dancing Back Too

Pity I didn't get any use out of these DANCE SHOES, isn't it? 😉

Another rambling walk down Memory Lane because of something I pulled out of a closet. Ah closet cleaning. Once every fifteen years whether they need it or not, eh?

1998 was the year I started paddling seriously.

My main hobby before that had been Irish music and dance. I'd been introduced to Irish music by a co-worker at Carnegie Hall, where I had my first long-term job in NYC (got to go to the Carnegie Hall Centennial Gala, even!). One March, I'd found a copy of John B. Keane's The Bodhrán Makers in a St. Patrick's Day display at a nearby Barnes and Noble. The Bodhrán Makers is an excellent novel about small town life in Ireland in the 1950's, with the bodhrán (goatskin drum) makers of the title being rural folks who were terribly poor but cherished rich musical traditions that had been handed down through the generations, and the people of the town - particularly the Church - who wanted to see the old ways dead and gone. Fantastic book, in fact I just stopped typing for a minute to go find it because now that I'm thinking about it, of course I have to read it again.

I'd first read my dad's copy in the UK, where my folks were living when I first moved to NYC. I'd really enjoyed it, so when I saw it at the bookstore, I grabbed it. Well, when Annmarie from the development department walked by my desk and saw it, she came to an abrupt halt, pointed at the book, and said,

"WHERE did you get THAT?"

Am's family is good solid Brooklyn Irish with deep roots remaining in Ireland, and she was very familiar with the author (best known here in the States for writing the play that became the 1990 film The Field, starring Richard Harris, and held in the highest regard in his home country). She already knew the book but this was in March of 1993 and it had just had its US release in October 1992. She was completely startled to see it sitting on a random co-worker's desk! Once I told her where I'd gotten it, she smiled and said,

"If you like that book, there's someplace we need to go some night".

"Someplace" turned out to be a local pub (was it Muldoon's, or Kate Kearney's? So long ago!) where Brian Conway and Don Meade were running a weekly seisiún.

I was completely enchanted by the music and Am and I got to doing that as a regular thing. Next Am introduced me to the Irish Arts Center, where we signed up for set dancing classes. She also brought me a tin whistle back from one of her trips to visit family in Ireland, so that's where that started, and I was doing some Irish song classes there for a while too.

Annmarie has ended up being pretty much my oldest and best friend here in NYC. Her family made a habit of welcoming young folks who were far from their own families for Thanksgivings and other events; TQ and I tend to go to his mom's for most holidays now but I've had some great times with Am's family and I still look forward to seeing everyone at the big family gathering an aunt and uncle hold around St. Patrick's Day every year in Brooklyn. Am moved out of the city years ago and I don't see her as often as I used too, but I still see her whenever I can.

Anyways - once she introduced me to Irish music and dance, that became What I Did through most of the 90's. At first it was set dancing (much like square dancing except that instead of a caller, there are set "figures" that the dancers learn). There was a great Irish social dance scene in the 90's, with Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies (great musician!) and friends playing for set dancers at Flannery's Pub every Wednesday night and ceilis to go to on weekends. I made a good group of friends through the dancing, eventually started dating one of the guys, it was pretty much my entire social life. Good exercise, to boot!

For a while I just did set dancing, then the fella and I started taking step dancing at the IAC. He'd done it for a little while as a kid until his mother made the mistake of having him appear onstage before his elementary school classmates in West Virginia shortly after they'd moved there from somewhere where Irish American kids just took Irish dance classes because "that is how they do" (quoting Zefrank). Oh yeah, and she put him in a kilt. Turned out 1970's children in West Virginia weren't ready for a little new boy in a skirt, the curtain went up and the laughter began and they were laughing at him, not with him, and that was the end of his dance career at that point, but he was genuine Irish American (last name Murphy, ok?) and as an adult he'd gotten interested again. I wasn't particularly good at it, but I was having fun plugging away, and after I'd been doing it for a while, I started talking about getting some proper shoes for it. I'd been using the same shoes I'd used for set dancing and they just weren't really bangety enough for the step dancing, which is the solo percussive dance that everybody's now seen in Riverdance. I mentioned that I needed some "riverdancing" shoes to my folks and they decided that would be a great birthday present.

Now at that point I think they were in Hawaii, so they couldn't exactly take me out shopping, but they sent me a check that was going to cover the shoes plus a really nice dinner or two with the fella.

Except that that was when the fella heard from his college dreamgirl, and then things kind of fell apart. She was thinking of moving to NYC, and yeah, she was willing to think about going out with him (which she'd never been willing to do in college, which I think was part of the appeal). Turned out that he was still carrying a torch for her lo these many years, which in hindsight wasn't all that surprising (I had all along been more into him than vice versa), so was the end of us (sad trombone).

Unfortunately that then made the social dancing really frickin' weird. Irish set dancing may not have the obvious smolder factor of, say, tango, but the fella was a good dancer, we danced well together, and although we would split off and dance the occasional set with friends we mostly danced together.

Lost my partner, what'll I do?

So one day I wandered down to the Hudson to watch the water go by and think things over and there went a whole flock of tiny boats. Oooh.

Take a kayaking lesson and discover a new addiction that didn't need to be a couple thing at ALL, that's what!

Oh, yes, when TQ came along it did become something of a couples thing - but that was years down the road and I guess I was ready. And the boating is still nowhere near as much of a partner thing as dancing had gotten to be - we like paddling together but we both like paddling on our own and with other friends, too. Better balance, really.

Anyways, with the What I Do in my life changing (I kept on with the tin whistle 'cause that had been more my thing than our thing, I backed off on the dance, and was loving the time on the river) I sat on the shoe money for a while and then all of the sudden it was fall and I wanted to keep paddling and that's when the theoretical shoes magically transformed into an actual Henderson paddling suit. POOF!;

i mean really, you'd think it just sat in the closet the whole time, wouldn't you?
Practically pristine...what a waste...

No, seriously, this was a great piece of gear and I wore it absolutely to shreds. At first it was just out on the river, then as it started to wear out, I got a new one, and this one became my pool suit. There was a while when I was regularly going to weekly pool sessions in the wintertime (note to self: you should get back into that!); chlorine's hard on gear so it's good to have something old to sacrifice, and this Henderson suit did that dirty job for a very long time.

I have finally just chucked it as part of project Seize the Storage. Old gear goes. But here's the comes around-goes around part - with dance classes back into my life (delightfully small world, Megan, one of my teachers from way back when, literally turned up calling a square dance in the back yard at Sebago and it turns out she's teaching close to where I work and at a good time for me to get over there) that right about the same time as the wetsuit that was originally meant to be a pair of dance shoes reached the end of a spectacularly long and honorable run -

I finally got the shoes! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Closet cleanout finds

When I bought my apartment, which has excellent closets for an NYC apartment, my dad told me that the first rule of storage dynamics is that the amount of stuff you have automatically expands to fit the available closet space. I've now been there for just shy of 15 years and yep, Dad was right. I started out the summer mostly focused on Project Seize the Summer, which was important and which has been going pretty well, but here in August certain circumstances made me decide that I also needed to devote some time to Project Seize the Storage.

Mostly I'm not enthusiastic about cleaning (it hasn't helped that the weather's been hot and muggy and I haven't got a.c.), and the closet project is especially aggravating as the apartment went from looking like a smallish tornado hit it to looking like a Cat 5 hurricane went through, because I've been pulling stuff out and if I don't just immediately throw it away (like I did with the rolodex - I can't believe I had a rolodex...) it doesn't just back where it came from, figuring out where what's left actually goes is the last step.  So, not necessarily enjoying this, but I am starting to see some results, and I've been finding some fun stuff in the process. 

Little bittersweet - three pictures of ice coming down the East River on a very cold winter. This was taken from my cubicle in World Trade Center 2. I absolutely loved the view and watching the ice come and go was just fascinating. I think I have at least one more from the series in my filing cabinet, I'll put these with that one. Good find.

Then there was this. Paddler Magazine did a spread about paddlers' responses to 9/11. I was a partner at Manhattan Kayak at the time and I am still very proud to have been able to help out with this.

ok, enough wistful nostalgia, here's a funny nostalgia. Look what I still had! 

HA! Do kids these days even know what these are??? OK, this didn't make the cut (it didn't actually have any phone numbers in it) but what a funny thing to find. And yes, I threw away the stash of floppy disks I found too - no idea what was on them, I broke open the cases and cut up the disks in case it was anything sensitive, pretty sure whatever was on 'em wouldn't have been worth the bother of taking them to a place that could actually transfer the info. Floppy disks and an empty Rolodex. The things you just stash when you think you have more closet space than you'll ever need, right?  

WOOHOO! Then there's the things you stashed and forgot you had. Delighted to find this photo of me and my folks and my sister whitewater rafting on the Ocoee in North Carolina. Think this goes back to 1999 or so. That's me with the giant smile in the back. This was such a fun vacation, and a terrific intro to whitewater. The next day we went down an easy section of the Nantahala in duckies - that was also a blast. There was a picture from that, too, I hadn't seen either one in ages and thought I'd lost both of them but here this one was after all!

So ok, I guess cleaning out the closets once every 15 years whether they need it or not (and ok, they kind of did) is worth doing.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Today Show goes whalewatching with Gotham Whale!

So I've sadly had to hit the pause button on Project Seize the Summer here in August due to immovable deadlines both work- and self-imposed - but there's always living vicariously through Facebook, right? I haven't made it out whalewatching yet this year, but I've been following the summer's fun on the FB pages of NYC whalewatching boat American Princess, marine mammal photographer extraordinaire Artie Raslich, and Gotham Whale, the not-for-profit that's dedicated to spreading the news about the whales that have returned to our local waters.

For me, the photo above was the introduction to Gotham Whale - it went viral among the local recreational water users a couple of years ago, with much debate over whether it was Photoshopped or not; fortunately Artie puts his copyright mark on his photos so it was easy to find him, and after the quickest of Google searches I was completely convinced and made my first post about Gotham Whale. It's actually kind of entertaining to read that post again now that I've been friends with them for a while!

Anyways, they've been having a really good summer out there, lots of whales and dolphins, and earlier this week they were featured on the Today Show!

Want to go see the whales of the NY bight for yourself? Visit for schedule and reservations. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Ke Aloha Outrigger's Hudson River Cup, Hoboken, 7/28/2018

So glad my friend Derek stopped by - thanks for the photo!

I haven't been keeping up with the blogging very well, but that's at least in part because Operation Seize the Summer has been going pretty well and I've been getting out and doing a good bit more on and in the water this year than I managed to last year.

My last post was from the inter-club race day at Inwood, where I ended up racing for Sebago, getting the club points pretty much by virtue of putting my butt in a boat and not getting distracted by a passing seagull (paddle paddle paddle paddle OOH LOOK BIRD! MUST TAKE PICTURE! - anyone who's paddled with me can tell you that's not really too much of an exaggeration
) and wandering off the course without crossing the finish line. The following week was Ke Aloha Outrigger's Hudson River Cup race; I'd gone to the first one the year before and just had a blast, winning the kayak race, which consisted of me and one of the volunteers from the Hoboken Cove Boathouse paddling the sitatops the boathouse uses for their public paddling program (you can paddle with them for free on summer weekends, there's a link at the end if you'd like more info, also a link to a Flickr album of course - if you're just here for the pix, skip on down there!). The other guy was actually faster than me, but the timing was such that we were paddling into a strong current on the return leg, I knew the trick about pulling over to into some slower-moving water, and the other guy didn't and by the time he figured out what I was doing it was too late for him to catch me. It worked out fine but oh, that moment I made the turn at the buoy and suddenly discovered that I wasn't making ANY headway AT ALL...jeeze, I was having visions of having to be fished out by one of the safety boats! It was such a relief to find that sidling over into quieter water let me start moving again. 

Starting Line 2018

This year they stepped things up a bit. The sea kayak race went from being a little short one of I think it was about 2 miles up to a 5 mile distance, which I thought that sounded like a good test distance to see how I'm coming along with the general fitness level. I was not interested in doing that distance in a Drifter, though, so I got in touch with some friends there who were kind enough to hook me up with a QCC700, which is a good fast touring boat. Unfortunately I failed to do justice to the boat - I set the foot pegs a little too short and ended up getting foot cramps and a shin cramp (ow ow ow, that was a new one for me!) maybe a third of the way in. I'd been holding onto 3rd place of the 4 sea kayakers until that happened; I tried to suck it up and keep going but when the guy who'd been in 4th breezed by me I decided that if I was going to be in last place, I might as well be comfortable. Fortunately QCC's have footpegs that you can adjust easily while seated in the boat , and once I took care of that the cramps eventually eased off and I was able to get moving again. I didn't catch the guy who'd passed me to get into third but I also wasn't too far behind him.

Answer to the test of my general fitness level - I did five miles in just under one hour and eighteen minutes, in a fast boat, but with a episode of foot cramps; it's frequently said that the average cruising speed of a trained paddler is 3 mph, so I was at least doing better than that. However, I had absolutely no extra gas for a finishing kick at the end (I wanted to 'cause the other guy was just NOT that far ahead of me, but it just wasn't happening) - so there's still progress to make.

Sea kayaks were split by gender this year though, so I still brought home a trophy - 2nd place women's was the same tiki bar coconut mug as last year's 1st place so now I have a matched set! Now, I would LOVE to see more sea kayaks in this next year, but they drew a really nice number of outriggers and stand-up paddleboards - the race definitely grew this year and that was really good to see. Ke Aloha is a relatively new organization, but counts among its founders and members some of the most experienced outrigger paddlers in the area - I'm happy to support them, many of them are old friends from my Pier 63 days and they're good people, they didn't name their new club "Ke Aloha" lightly. These folks know how to run a major race and I'm looking forward to seeing the Hudson River Cup continue to grow.

In addition to the races, the boathouse folks also put together the Ohana Festival that went on throughout the day in Maxwell Place Park. The post-race atmosphere was thoroughly enjoyable, with ono-kine grindz, arts and crafts for the keiki, cornhole boards (not particularly Hawaiian but good fun for a summer day in the park), and lovely music and dance by the talented performers from Aloha Hula NYC - couldn't think of a nicer way to spend a day. You didn't have to be in the race to have fun!  As I said on Facebook when I posted the video snippet you'll see at the end of this post, "Lying on the grass after a five mile kayak race on the Hudson, looking up at the sky, Bill Wynne singing, happy people all around...can't get much closer to da 'aina without getting on a plane". Mahalo nui loa to Ke Aloha and the Hoboken Cove Boathouse for another great event!

Looking forward to 2019!


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Lots more photos on Flickr, click here to view

147 from Bonnie on Vimeo.