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Paddling Home

I moved my boat to its new home, at the Inwood Canoe Club. I’d been planning this for a while, since I moved to a neighborhood much closer to Inwood. While I plan to continue volunteering with the Downtown Boathouse, the access issues within the Hudson River Park Trust, along with the friends I’ve  made uptown, clinched the deal. Last Sunday, I met one of the few people who has keys to Pier 96, and with his help pulled the Argonaut down to launch.

It was a beautiful day. The tide was going in the right direction, and the skies were sunny. A moderate breeze kept things cool; being late April, the water was still cold, a scotche over 50 F. I wore my drysuit and had my self-rescue gear. MH, my canoe friend, was paddling down to meet me. He was coming against the current, so we figured we’d meet about halfway.

This is a familiar trail to me, one I trod plenty of times last summer. I kept to the Manhattan side, and not too far out in the channel, so as to spot MH, who I knew would keep close to shore. I rounded out from Pier 96, past the pedestrian pier, the Boat Basin, and onwards. Somewhere between the north end of the mooring field and 125th street, I met up with MH, and we paddled up past further landmarks: Riverbank State Park, the Little Red Lighthouse, and in the distance, the Cloisters.

The Argonaut is safely tucked away in its new home. It’s a funny feeling, realizing you’re home, and not just a guest, and not just stashing your boat for a later trip to a farther destination. I’ve gotten to know some of the waters uptown well over the winter, paddling club boats. Now, I’ll be in my own.

Nothing beats being in your own boat. If nothing else, you don’t have to worry about someone else adjusting the foot pegs.

Published in 2013 Backpaddle Downtown Boathouse Inwood Inwood Canoe Club

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