Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Barren Island Hike, 3/16/2019

OMG, so many duties and distractions in March. I do want to get some more posts up about a really special event we had at Sebago weekend before last before March just completely dribbles away. Couldn't resist that sneak preview of last weekend's fun, though, I'd asked Gianni to take that picture of the 3 of us in our Nigel Dennis Romanys because I love the way a set of Romanys look together and I also absolutely love those 2 other "Romany Gals" - they're wonderful women and it was so nice to be on the water with them again.

But back to Barren Island today!

The main event of the day was actually Sebago's first ever (but hopefully not last) Book Club gathering. Clubmate Shari kicked it off in January when she ran across the book Barren Island, by Carol Zoref. She mentioned it on the club's Google group, suggesting that we all read the book over the winter and then do a paddle to the area in the summertime. Another member suggested adding a book club type discussion at the club much sooner. This was all met with wild enthusiasm and then Shari, being fearless, invited the author to come to the club for a reading/book signing/discussion. Well, WOW. I love it so much when my enthusiasms overlap this way!

And then, to make things even better, Jeff K. had the great idea of leading a hike on Barren Island in the morning on the same day.

Barren Island isn't actually an island anymore. The channels and marshes that separated it from Brooklyn were long ago filled in and the area became Floyd Bennett Field (now part of the Jamaica Bay unit of the National Parks Service's Gateway Recreation Area, hurray!), but it's still there on the nautical chart, as you can see here.

We parked just inside the Aviation Rd. gate to Floyd Bennett Field proper, then crossed Flatbush Avenue over to the trails that take you down to the beach. Jeff told us some of the area's history and then we headed for the shore. It wasn't the longest hike we've ever done distance-wise, coming in at a little under a mile and a half - but with so much interesting stuff to see, what's the rush? And what a beautiful morning for poking around on shore. A little cool and blustery but if you had the right clothes (wind pants were kind of crucial) and maybe a thermos of something hot, just lovely.

Here's the first of 2 sets of photos I'll share; I thought I would start with the scenery. That's it for the writeup, so click on the first photo for a slideshow view. Don't miss the Manhattan skyline in one of the photos, it was a beautifully clear day! 

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