Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year! Last Paddle of 2019 - 12/28/2019, Loon, Seal, and Good Friends

So here we are in the last hours of 2019...TQ and I aren't big partygoers and I always look forward to the Sebago Canoe Club gathering, so we're home and I'm cooking chicken adobo for the potluck (I always like to bring something that I remember from church potlucks at Aiea United Methodist back in small kid time - so many family variations on chicken teriyaki and adobo, I never had enough room to try them all!) and figured I would put up a post about my last paddle of 2019. This ended up being on Saturday, 12/28; I had a good Sunday option too for a birding paddle with Louis, who I'd joined on a foggy foggy day for the Christmas Bird Count (there's a 3-post trip report back a couple of posts), but it turned out TQ was game for a paddle, and since he works on Sundays amd Saturday is our one day off together, I took up Chris C. on her suggested paddle.

She'd been away for a bit and was ready to get back out on the bay, and Saturday looked like a beautiful day for a spin - sunny, not too cold, not too windy. We had a well-matched group of 5 and Chris wanted to go see the seal, so we set off for Ruffle Bar again. That's also a really nice midrange paddle. 
Chris asked me semi-jokingly if we would see a loon - she loves loons and does a perfect loon call; I'd seen loons (or at least loon) on every one of the paddles I did getting up to 300 miles, so I thought there was a good chance - I hedged a little bit because you never know what you'll see out there, but we had a loon turn up before we were past Canarsie Pol. 

We headed on to Ruffle Bar after that and sure enough, there was a seal on the sandbar again - hooray! This one was pretty calm about us; I stopped paddling and drifted by and was able to get some pretty good photos with my not-so-zoomy Ricoh waterproof camera, including one with the Manhattan skyline in the background! Remember the drawing I did when we first saw that scene on a day I'd forgotten my camera?

OK, actually the drawing was better, but at least you can see I didn't make it up! Click for detail. There is a seal in there, I swear. 

We then paddled on towards the Marine Park Bridge; some of us were feeling ambitious and the bridge was proposed as a goal. As we approached Floyd Bennett Field, though, one of the group suggested that she would be OK with landing and meeting us as we were coming back. The rest of us decided to scratch the bridge and just head back to the Paerdegat with her. This ended up being a good call as we were 2 days after the new moon and there was a very powerful ebb going on. We'd been scooting along beautifully until we turned into the current - then it became a bit of a slog. But we made it home fine. Back at the club, we built a small fire in the woodstove, suitable for an hour or so of hanging out, and shared snacks and stories. A good end to my 2019 paddling! 9 miles, bringing me to 323 miles for the year, 78.5 of those in the last 5 weeks. Felt good!

All photos after this - click for a slideshow view. And have a very Happy New Year! Here's to peace, friendship, and many adventures (big ones, or quiet little ones close to home) in 2020!


songbird's crazy world said...

Sounds like another great day. I love the seal picture.

LauraEhlers said...

What a wonderful way to wrap up the year! Happy New Year!!

my2fish said...

Happy New Year! Looks like a fun time on the water!