On Memorial Day, I paddled with a friend from Inwood to the marshes at Piermont. It was a beautiful day, with near-perfect conditions, surrounded by otherwise inhospitable days.
We left at 1020, about an hour before max flood. MD and I are strong paddlers, and ultimately it took use just a little over two hours to get to our destination, arriving with plenty of current and time to spare.
Along the way, we stopped by the rockslide. On the New Jersey side, a little north of Alpine, you can see where the cliff face marked by the white vertical stripe collapsed onto the shore below.
We pressed on. This was just over a third of our way to the destination. Along the way, we saw birds of prey circling along the cliffs, presumably catching thermal updrafts, and looking for food. Presumably, the rockslide, with no foliage, was an open kill zone for these feathered fiends.
MD flexes his muscles.
Once we arrived, we paddled a little bit in the marsh, but decided to land on a bumpy shore north of it for lunch. We saw some men fishing, alongside boys setting up old beer cans in order to knock them down with a thrown stick.
We brought a lot. While it’s only two of us, due to the distance we brought along a spare paddle, repair kit, first aid kits, radios, plenty of food, spare clothes in case of hypothermia, and so on. Many things are rarely used, but when they’re missed, they’re missed badly.
There were lots of little birds, as well as tiny crabs, and we could hear frogs. The marsh is not just an ecosystem; it’s also protection against storm surge.
I paddled the Argonaut, my own boat, and a real hauler. MD paddled a skin-on-frame boat that belongs to the club. It’s a bit more fragile, but quite a bit more responsive.
On the way back, we stopped at a waterfall not far south. We know this spot as the “Italian Wine Garden”.
Up close, it’s quite impressive.
Kayak Dov had finished teaching a lesson, paddled after us, and finally caught up with us to urge us to stop at the waterfall.
Eventually we made it home, back to Inwood Canoe Club.
Back in Inwood, we washed the boats and watched the sun set over the Palisades.