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Paddled to Brooklyn Bridge Park today from Pier 40 – that’s Houston street and the Hudson river for you landlubbers. With the nature of the tides, that meant we actually left Pier 40 against near-maximum flood tide, meaning it was nearly three knots against us.

It was hard work just to go south. We made it, getting around the ferry terminal at Battery Park City and taking a short break at South Cove. Then we continued on around Battery, towards Pier A.

There was a lot of chop. For one thing there was all that incoming tide glancing off the seawall of Battery. For another, there was enough traffic down there to generate waves that would bounce of the walls and hit us again. I took three foot waves abeam, quartering from all quarters, before, behind. With the tourists on the esplanade, I couldn’t help but break into a reassuring song:

As I sit here today,

Many miles I am away,

From that place I pulled my pony through the draw.

Where the oak and blackjack trees,

Kiss the playful prairie breeze, 

Well I feel like in those hills I still belong.

Way down yonder in the Indian Nation,

Riding my pony on the reservation, 

In the Oklahoma hills where I was born.

Way down yonder in the Indian Nation,

A cowgirl’s life is my occupation,

In the Oklahoma hills where I was born.

Well, I felt at ease.

Shortly after, we passed the New York Water Taxi, the Statue Cruises, and then we just had to wait for the Staten Island ferry to get out of our way. By then we were on the East River, where the incoming tide was in our favor.

We crossed over to Brooklyn, where we saw a class of sit-on-tops learning to paddle. After we said howdy, we paddled down to another pier and landed on a small beach. We made nice with the natives, who were setting up their kayaking program, and then to the Smorgasburg – a moveable feast/flea market that is near the Brooklyn waterfront on Sundays!

We had a lot to choose from. I had a small brisket sandwich, and an Arnold Palmer/Pineapple slushie – so good! We hung out and chatted, waiting for the tide to turn, and then launched and headed back on decidedly friendlier seas – if a tad boring compared to earlier.

Published in 2014 Backpaddle Kayaking New York New York City NYC NYKC Sea


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