Tuesday, December 17, 2019

12/12/2019 A Quiet Paddle to Broad Channel

2nd paddle of my mini-staycation, and I'd had high hopes for the day as the winds were forecast to be low pretty much all day.

I'd been a little more cautious the day before, sticking close to shore and not too far from home as the weather was going to be kicking up a little in the evening. With such a placid day, this time I headed for the islands and marshes out in the middle of the bay. I started with a leg along the south shore of Canarsie Pol, then over to Ruffle Bar, rounding that counterclockwise and again padding along the south shore. Stopped by the sandbar hoping for a seal sighting (we've been seeing them regularly over there) but no go. Over to Broad Channel, then again south of Ruffle Bar, continuing to Nova Scotia Bar back on the Floyd Bennett Field side of the bay, then I hung a right and headed home. 

Full moon meant very low water -- usually when I paddle to Broad Channel I like to paddle up the little boat channels along which many of the homes are built, not this time though, they were high and dry! A friend once made me laugh pretty hard, he'd been on a club trip on the Hudson River where things got a little rough and after telling me about the day (everyone was fine in the end but there was some work for the trip leaders) he said "We're spoiled in Jamaica Bay, half the time if something goes wrong you just stand up and walk to shore". True - the channels are dredged to keep the bay navigable but outside of that, things get pretty shallow at times! 

The lack of water in the bay was the day's main challenge - I made good use of both the channel markers and the ever so helpful Standing Gulls (see photo below) to avoid actually running aground but there was a lot of time when I was bumping my paddle on the bottom with every stroke. It was a little cold (hot cider tasted great) but lovely with that lack of wind making things as calm as a lake. Lots of birds, a birder friend had loaned me binoculars which I took along and worked out how to use in preparation for Saturday's Audubon Christmas Bird Count, so that was fun. 

Could have stayed out longer if it had been a little warmer, as it was I paddled 12.5 miles and except for no seal, just couldn't have asked for a much nicer paddle.

My original plan had been 10 but I added the leg along the south shore of Canarsie Pol with the bird count I'd been invited to join on Saturday in mind. I was curious about what might be along there. Not much unusual, just brants, buffleheads, canada geese and gulls, the winter usuals. I did see a merganser and a couple of loons later.

Picked one balloon out of the bay. Don't cry, unicorn, now you don't have to kill any ducks. 

Gorgeous day, and left me with 4.5 miles left to my goal of 300 miles for the year. That was to be wrapped up on Saturday with one of my most interesting paddles of the year!

That's the writeup, here are the photos - click on any for a slideshow view. 


songbird's crazy world said...

The beauty of Jamaica Bay ... I love how you capture the skyline in the background

bonnie said...

Thanks! I'm a little obsessed with the skyline, any time it's clear enough for a good view I have to take pictures. I just love the contrast, there's the busy crazy city over there and here I am, technically IN the city but still out in nature. Love that.