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Independence Day

Inclement weather kept people away from the boathouse today. As far as I can tell, only two people went paddling besides myself.

In the morning I did some work on my boat. The main thing was filing down the gel work on a repair from last year: fiberglass bandages over some spider cracks. I had the color and gel and took care of that earlier this year . . .or was it last fall? In any case it cured kinda rough, and was big enough that I waited to buy an orbital sander to assist with the labor. That’s kind of its own story; the repair is looking better but still in progress, so more about that later.

I left to grab lunch and watch a World Cup football match, returning in the evening. It rained in the afternoon all through the walk over to the boathouse, and I figured at the least I’d just enjoy working on some trip plans with the garage door open, a pleasant view of the Palisades to keep me company. However, by they time I got there, I could see clear skies and sunshine slowly making their way eastwards to Manhattan.

That did it. I got out my kit, ran my fingers along the repair to check it, and took a little trip. I went up to Spuyten Duyvil as the current spilled out of it; a stiff breeze made the conditions there more interesting than usual, and my boat go cocked sideways to the current. I straightened out, then paddled in and took a look around the conditions, making mental notes for teaching purposes.

After that, I went back onto the Hudson, now ebbing more strongly. A large ocean-going vessel with two cranes on it sped by, kicking up strong wake abetted by wind and curent; I plowed over some 3-foot waves. Fun! Then I set out towards New Jersey, keeping an eye on traffic. There were some sightseeing boats, as well as as a tug steadily making its way up. I thought better of my plan and went down to show off some moves at the Tubby Hook pier.

The little tug turned around – I saw the strange sight of a tug and its towed barge drifting sideways with the current. I thought she might moor but she did not; went south with the current.

I cleaned up, locked up, and that was that. Happy Independence Day, United States!

Published in 2014 Backpaddle ICC Inwood Canoe Club New York City Repairs


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