Thursday, December 05, 2019

Bonus Escape, Saturday, 11/30/2019

Saturday the 30th was another beautiful day here in NYC. I've come up with a goal for my 2019 paddling that I'll talk about in another post - I've been tracking my mileage for the year and after the 12 mile paddle on the 23rd, I looked at my total and thought, "Hey, if I worked at it just a little bit I could get to ___ miles by the end of the year". This is going to require a couple of days off from work and some cooperative weather, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

The weather on Saturday couldn't have been any more cooperative - in fact it was a great day for both sailors AND paddlers! As I'd mentioned, my official Escape from Black Friday was on foot because it was a little too breezy to be a good kayaking day; Saturday morning, there was still enough of that breeze left for some of the club's sailors to have a good morning spin. They were coming back just as I was setting out in the afternoon, when the wind was forecast to settle down to a fine level for a long paddle.

It was going towards low water, and I was mostly after getting in at least 10 miles on this one, so I decided to just go along the north shore of the bay, hang a left at the Howard Beach basin, paddle the full length of that basin, back out to the bay, and then back to the Paerdegat, going up to the end of our basin and back down to the club if I felt like it at the end.

That worked out nicely. I saw my first DEFINITE pair of loons of the winter. That's as opposed to what TQ dubbed "Wish Loons", where you see a bird and it dives before you can get a close look at it and it was most likely just a cormorant but you still say maybe it was a loon because you wish it was a loon. Hence Wish Loon. I've seen at least 2 of those but this pair were definitely loons in that pretty, soft gray their plumage goes to in the wintertime. Lovely to see them.

There wasn't a lot of boat traffic but one of the few boats I saw was the Coast Guard! For a moment I actually thought I was going to get pulled over for an inspection - I heard their motor as they came up behind me; I was on the edge of the channel & pulled further over to make sure I was well out of the way as I heard them coming up. Then I heard them throttling way back and looked over my shoulder to see what was going on and saw blue flashing lights! That got my attention! I paused where I was to see if they wanted a word with me, but they just cruised on by, and I waved & they waved back. I was thinking they were just being polite & not "waking" me (I can handle a wake but that's still a considerate thing for a motor vessel to do); when I told TQ about it he also suggested that they might also have wanted to take a look & make sure I had my lifejacket on. That's definitely possible as we are now in the season when NY boating law says anyone out in a recreational craft of 20 feet or less needs to be wearing a lifejacket
 (Nov. 1 - May 1, and about as sensible a law as you could ask for, in my opinion). Either way, I do always like seeing them out there - if you see one boat all day, that's a good one to see. 

Oh, and btw, if they HAD decided to pull me over for an inspection, I totally would've passed - I haven't done a Vessel Safety Check in a long time, but I always have the things I'm supposed to have and then some.

I raced the sunset back, just for fun - I had lights, and paddling along the shore I wasn't worried about getting run down by an inattentive motorboat, but having set out at 1:30 I was shooting to be back to Sebago by then as that would mean I'd maintained a decent clip without too much lollygagging. I did have to pause to take that picture up at the top of this post - the sky with those clouds & sundogs was just too nice!

Ended up back at the club right around my hoped-for time and decided to head on up to the top of the basin & back to make it a full 12 miles. More pictures up there of the new moon over the marsh grass, then back to the club & home.

An excellent bonus escape!

That's the full writeup, all pictures after this, click on any one for a slideshow view. Don't miss the first one, I was really happy with that one! 

1 comment:

songbird's crazy world said...

Sounds ike you had a great afternoon. I am enjoying your photos.