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Solo Spring Paddle

I took a short jaunt this morning, short but challenging.

I had hoped to paddle as far as Alpine, but a strong, steady wind from the north hampered my progress. After leaving Inwood, and then paddling past Spuyten Duyvil, I crossed, working against some chop most of the way, hoping that perhaps I’d find some shelter on the western side of the river. I had no such luck. As I paddled into the wind, I had a good rhythm going, but I was thirsty, and it dawned on me that the farther I paddled north, the more following seas I would have to contend with on the way back south.

I pulled out at a small beach somewhere across and north a bit from the Bridge to Nowhere. With small waves pushing in from the north, I had to rudder in, first on one side and then another. I got out and had tea and M&Ms, the wind nonstop as well as the waves. Mind you these were not ocean waves, but there was a shallow run and they gathered speed quickly. After about twenty minutes, I hopped back in and launched.

Getting out was a little tricky, but once I was back on the river proper, things were a bit more straightforward. By then, the current and wind were in the same directions, and I edged towards them to cross the river. This was remarkably easy, and is new technique I am trying out. The idea is, edging against a countervailing force, whether wind or current, narrows your profile, thus reducing its influence. It was only when I had to turn south, chased by little wavelets, that I got more than a little annoyed.

Once back, I put everything away and got out of my drysuit. I stayed inside but watched the scenery from the boathouse, a sunny, if windy day unfurling. While I didn’t go far, I got a lot of experience out of this paddle, managing the wind as well as the current.

Published in 2013 Backpaddle Inwood Inwood Canoe Club

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