Has just passed its hallway point & we are down to just two remaining sessions. I understand a lot of folks who aren’t snowbirds or year round cold water diehards kind of just pack their boats & gear away & don’t look back until the azaleas start to bloom.
So if you find yourself in that category you may want to consider getting that kayak off the garage rack a little early this year & hosing out the spiders & joining us on March 25th or April 1st.
Like Steve has mentioned in previous emails, there is always at least one extra spot open at every session by default & additionally you will find at least one or two members will invariably have scheduling conflicts where they can’t make it & generously donate their spots to the first taker.
You would be surprised at how fast you can learn a new skill or overcome bad form with someone right there beside you to coach you out of those ingrained bad habits or show you a new technique.
Also the clear pool water makes it way less intimidating to dunk your head while practicing things like wet exits/self rescues, doing a high brace or learning to roll, re-enter/roll, or even handroll ! Pair of swim goggles & you’ll be instantly more comfortable seeing all your surroundings, paddle position, etc as opposed to the less than optimal <cough> river or bay waters here in Summer. (& no jellyfish or algae blooms to consider). Can even bring a friend & share the session as two hours straight is pretty tiring if you haven’t been in your boat since october or november.
Below here is a quick click ‘n play video of Mike G coming up on both sides & some assorted pics of the preseason sessions so far.Oh, & Mike, Tom & Troy here playing in the deep end
At about 5:30am on February 11th, I loaded the kayak on the car with the help of my wife, before driving her to the train station. We set out pre-coffee, and my brain shifted into autopilot as if it were my normal commute. Add to that, that we were running tight on time for her to make her train. With my focus on getting her to the platform steps asap, it never occurred to me that I even had the boat on the car as I entered the parking structure, and the clearance bar caught under the bow of the boat.
It pried the bow up until the front of the boat flexed enough to allow the bar to snap free. The front hatch completely blew off, the deck seam split in the bow, and the interior seam tape delaminated in various spots from bow to cockpit. And a few long cracks around the deck and hull to boot. Thankfully I did not have bow lines on or I’d also have a bent hood, and other damage to the front end of the car. The crossbars on the outback bent with the pressure, but they didn’t fail either.
Homeowner’s insurance is covering the boat (minus the deductible), and a replacement Progression is already being hand made for me. Alan helped me bend the crossbars back, and more or less…all is well.
The takeaway of this sad tale is simply to remain aware of where you are and what is on your roof!
I put the video together as a part of my emotional healing process. As you can imagine…I too was a bit of a wreck!
Story by Rhonda Moziy
A stone walled fireplace, dim lighting, living room library setting and sliding French doors set the cozy intimate scene of NACK’s Annual Awards Holiday Dinner . On the evening of Sunday, January 22nd 2017, once again, this wonderful dining experience was held at The Irish Coffee Pub at 131 Carleton Avenue, East Islip.
The delicious multicourse meal satisfied our palates starting off with salads, appetizers of Penne a la Vodka, Potato Soup or Beef Barley Soup; main course choices of prime rib, salmon with champagne lobster sauce or stuffed filet of sole. The dessert topped off our meal with warm apple crumb a la mode or brownies all served with tea or coffee.
In attendance were Hal and Pat, Paul and Goldene, Chris K, Mike M, Mike G. Troy, Alan, Debbie, Maryann, Rhonda, Lesley, Awards chair Steve and our President John.
Our president started off the evening by welcoming us all to the NACK Annual Awards event. In his opening he went on to state that NACK’S first awards dinner was held December 2006 – which makes this is our 10th dinner. NACK has grown and changed a lot since then. He went on to thank the Board of Directors; Elizabeth, Gordon, John, Ann, Steve, Roy, Debbie, Buddy, and Lynne who is our new Director at Large. He also thanked the Executives: John, Alan, Steve, Bob and Committee Chairs; Greeter & Work-Rhonda, Training and Safety-Debbie, Outreach and Picnic-Paul, Trips & Activities-Alan, Newsletter Hal, Website-Steve & Chris K, Facebook-Roy, and Mary Ann for organizing a great dinner for us tonight.
This year’s celebration honored some wonderful NACK members for their outstanding contributions and achievements. All of these amazing members help make NACK the great club that it is.
Most Valuable Paddler was Chris K., Most Improved Paddler was Michael G., The Presidents Award went to Deborah, The Distinguished Service Trophy went to Alan, and the Trip Leader award went to Paul.
Skills Assessment is a vital part of advancing your enjoyment and safety on the water. Fifteen NACK members earned or advanced their ACA Skills Assessment Levels this past year.
Level 1 Assessment Awards went to Maria and Chris F.
Level 2 Assessment Awards went to Chris F., Vincent, Jonathan B., Michael, Emery, Rhonda, Jahzeel, and Randy
Level 3 Assessment Awards went to Alan M. and Troy S.
Level 4 Assessment Awards went to Deborah H., Stephen M., Jonathan T. and Mike M.
Lynne Basileo earned an Instructor Award.
Continuing his opening speech, he went on to say that this club cannot survive if it was not for all of our members; we might not be the biggest club around but we are one of the best. I am proud of our expert training and continued training at our peer practices. The paddles we have are expertly run and extremely interesting. Our club is known as a Sea Kayak expert. We have great relations with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the New York State Parks on Long Island, the Town of Babylon and more. We are always proving ourselves at the outreach events.
The Pumpkin Paddle could not have been done if it was not for our Kayakers and participants: Pat, Rhonda, Bob, Jonathan, Troy, John, Roy, Chris F, Steve, Buddy, Emery. Having a presence on Social media is important, it helps to legitimize us. Steve and Chris keep our website up to date and Roy handles our Facebook presence. I cannot say enough about our Newsletter, Hal showcases our club in his quarterly novel. However he depends on all of your great articles and input.
John then went on to discuss such issues like the Drone Proposal and Fund. Alan followed by talking about future trips. Debbie then went on to talk about training, instructors, and possible camping trips.
John informed us that he spoke to leaders about instructor endorsements/updates; skills to teach rolling, strokes skill courses including learning and refining there use. He stated that the cost will depend on how many sign up.
He mentioned that during winter pool session there are open spots and instructors offering the following free mini sessions:
January 21 – Mike – Edging, High and Low Braces, Sculling for support.
February 4 – Steve – Wet exits, Stern rudders.
February 25 – John – re-enter and roll (with and without a paddle float)
March 4 – Open choice.
March 25 – Tom – Hand of God/Scoop/Sling rescues.
April 1- Debbie – warmup yoga, boat carrying, Cowgirl self-rescue, Chest sculling, Balance bracing.
Also mentioned was Peer Practices slated to start in May and we discussed what day of the week we wanted to do practices this year. ACA Day Trip Leader cost is to be determined, it is a 2 day course in 1 or 2 weekends. We have not finalized the cost but after you lead a few trips you will get an amount refunded.
Alan talked about trips and asked members to start sending in ideas.
Debbie then took the stage. She commented on the successful year of training we had which culminated in the ACA Assessments of 16 members.
She spoke of how this reflected all the hard work and determination of the participants as well as the instructors to prepare for the Assessments as well as to administer them. She also gave a summary of all the training that was offered by NACK to the members over the course of the year:
Jan – March Pool Sessions with Kayak Rolling Class given by Matt Kane of Prime Paddle Sport,
May- Wayne Horodowich Skills Class & Surfing Class (University of Sea Kayaking, Ca),
June- Level 1/ Level 2 Skills Course given by NACK Instructors (Steve, Tom & Debbie),
July – Level 3 Skills Course given by Nack Instructors (Mike Matty & Debbie),
July & Aug – 2 weekend trips to Kayakwaveology, Stonington, Conn to train in Tide Races and rough water conditions off Fishers Island.(arranged by Lynne Basileo),
Oct–Weekend in Stonington at the Autumn Gales Symposium (arranged by Lynne Basileo),
Nov – VHF Radio class given by Troy
In addition she expressed that we had our weekly peer practices with certified instructors in attendance to offer free coaching. Debbie especially wanted to recognize and thank our core group of instructors, John, Steve, Tom, and Mike M. for their time and dedication to our members and the advancement of safe and fun kayaking. She further went on to commend them for their dedication and being responsible for the success of our training program and greatly appreciate all the help and assistance throughout the year and admire each one of them for their knowledge and skill and their desire to impart that to our members.
She further went on to thank all the members for their participation and dedication to become better paddlers so we can paddle with confidence that we are with skilled paddlers and ended by saying “Now let’s all get out and paddle”! Thank you Debbie for such an informative heartwarming appreciative speech.
NACK is hoping to have a meeting on March 18 about gel coat repair and more detail using VHF radios by Troy.
It was a wonderful evening. Thanks to all of you, our members, for making NACK the great club that it is. Without everyone’s dedication and hard work we could never enjoy this wonderful and fulfilling club.
The Winter Newsletter is now online. Paddling wild water tideraces, Cycling in the Alps, The Great Pumpkin Paddle, Winter Pool and much more.
From “It was the worst of winds”, to “There wasn’t a wisp of wind!” You couldn’t plan two more opposite paddles from one weekend to the next if you wanted. But the first two December weekends of 2016 gave us exactly that.
On Saturday the 3rd I found myself over at Oak Beach with 6 other NACK paddlers plus a friend & his guest down from CT for the day. Plan was to find some mild surf to try out Chris K’s new boat & get in one last hurrah at Democrat Pt. before resigning ourselves to more tame winter paddling interspersed with some warm, soul renewing pool sessions.
Mother Nature scoffed at our plans.
Instead of surf, we ended up with 25-27kn crosswinds (gusting 30-33) & a flood current in the inlet to add to the challenge of getting over to Sore Thumb Beach. For a few spots there it really just seemed like being on a treadmill to nowhere.
Finally tucking around & in the cove @Sore Thumb we beached it & went up on dunes to look across at Demo. Absolutely nothing was happening on the outside so we chose not to waste any effort crossing the inlet & then having to fight a crazy headwind back. We took what meager lemons the conditions gave us & played the best as we could in them. Chris in the latest addition to the NACK fleet managed to squeeze out the ‘run of the day’ on a barely perceptible wave. Rest of us had our moments too but there really wasn’t much to pick from. The new Sterling Progression got a try out from about half of us & really performed well in conditions. (just that these weren’t the conditions we came out for!) Our lunch break was a battle just trying to find a somewhat protected spot away from the horizontal head to toe sandblasting. It really was relentlessly unforgiving.
A few of the group had seen enough & headed back together, watching them paddle back into the wind it seemed like they were never going to ever get back across the bay! The remaining 6 decided to just go explore further south & west around the point. We were rewarded with much bigger & better wind waves but the EXTREMELY difficult turns at the end of our runs coupled with a headlong slog dead into the 25+ knots kind of tipped that work-to-reward ratio into negative territory in short order.
After about a half dozen (or less) goes at it we all grouped up tightly again & headed back to our launch point. Once there, some of us practiced rolling & were surprised at how fast the ice cream headaches came after just a few dousings in the 51°degree waters. All in all was a good time. Getting nine paddlers out in December was satisfying all in itself after struggling some times to even get a half dozen of us together ‘in season’!
Article here is getting longer than I thought so let me just quickly say this past Sunday, the 11th was a totally different experience. Water in bay was now 41° with launch time air at 33° (up from an overnight 24° that left three of us with a bit of an ice covering at the boat ramp to paddle thru).
But once out onto the bay we had a bright sun & incredibly calm flat water. I mean we could literally see the reflection of the Robt. Moses Bridge in the waters below from 3 miles away.
The flocks of shorebirds taking off right in front of us were also very cool. & having no annoying power boaters polluting the vhf airwaves with their “5-by-5 captain!” gibberish gave a nice peaceful feeling to the day.
Paddling west past Indian island we met up with Mike, a friend of the club from the dinghy shop who now made it a foursome.
Though the calm was increasingly disturbed & now was regularly punctuated by the pop-pop-pop of a surprising number of duck hunters out in the marsh islands! (& one group off in the distance hunting off the bow of their boat at anchor). Was a little unnerving I’ll say. ‘Specially one spot as we left Gilgo & were passing the last island before the final long diagonal crossing home. A whole flock of decoys was set up right there off the east side of the island. We managed to get the hunter’s attention to alert him to our presence (he seemed more concerned about us possibly paddling through his decoy field !).
So we went extra far east to give a wide berth & let him get back to business. Trip ended up being a respectable 10 miles.
I will say even though it was great outing, I DO miss those Summer paddling days that are just mere memories now. Especially so when I arrived home to that frozen garden hose that I was hoping would be ready for a quick washdown of my boat & winter gear! (more pics here) and a short video here
Thanks here to Paul for planning & leading us Sunday & to Troy for showing up (& providing plenty of post-paddle hot chocolate) & as I’m not a solo paddler in any season I’m glad you guys aren’t hibernating. 🙂 Happy Holidays to all & see you’s back on water 1.1.17 or the week later in the pool. -Alan
On November 30th the Dinghy Shop will be hosting a Cold Weather Paddling Gear Seminar sponsored by Gill, makers of some great paddling and all around outdoors clothing. There will be a seminar by Mike and Paul covering year round layering and what to wear in a variety of conditions. We’ll have a showcase of the new Gill 2017 gear line up from the latest hydrophobic fleece, base layers, light weight jackets, drysuits, and more. There will be gear to try on and all Gill will be on sale. Whether you paddle year round or just in the warm months, Gill has the right gear to keep you safe and comfortable. Join us from 5pm – 7pm on 11/30 for the seminar, raffles, and fun around our wood burning stove. All are welcome.
Click the image below to see their flyer for the event.
Article and Photos By Rhonda Moziy
Under a windy faded red and gold autumn day at Belmont Lake State Park, NACK once again performed for the youngsters and adults at The Great Jack-O-Lantern Sail.
On the Pre-Halloween Day of October 28th, our kayaks were once again proudly displayed for a myriad of uses. The bright yellow prevailing kayak on wheels, was the star of the day, the one that got the most expenditure. Bob, Troy, and Chris were the main pull-tow chauffeurs of the famous NACK on-land kayak boat rides. The line of anxious riders grew as long as the fence surrounding the park. A whole year of gym membership for them was covered in less than 3 hours from the uncountable times of running in circles.
In another area, Steve and Roy operated the simulating kayak board rollers. The excitement of feeling what it’s like to be on a kayak was present on the faces of the older children and adults as they steered their way on dry land. Emery later brought out his Kayak Trainer machine to offer a different take on kayaking.
“Trick or Treat” you ask, well Pat and Rhonda safely guarded the bags of chips, popcorn, pretzels, Doritos and Dum Dum lollypops that were set up alongside our NACK brochures on the wooden picnic table nearby. As I handed out the snacks, Pat entertained children with snapping spiders and giving out spider rings.
Crowds of kids in costumes ran from place to place participating in the many other activities including a hay maze, a spooky den, a petting farm, ring-toss and craft booths. Frankenstein roamed around on big stilts. Nearby Babylon Volunteer Fire trucks gave tours and instruction on safety.
As the sun went down, a beautiful evening sunset sky came up. Crowds of kids and their parents lined the shoreline down by the boathouse. Park Rangers at Belmont Lake State Park carefully arranged all artfully carved pumpkins on individual small black square rafts and carefully connected them to NACK kayaks to be flickering gleaming exhibits.
Our dedicated NACKERS geared up for the Great Tow. One by one, kayakers took off with pumpkins illuminating the night while onlookers cheered. The pumpkins were methodically displayed as they circled the lake for all to see.
All eight kayak towers, John, Bob, Chris, Emery, Troy, Roy, Buddy and Jonathan came safely back. The eager owners of the pumpkins waited patiently to claim their carved masterpieces. The evening came to a close with our smiles speaking the pleasures of the magnanimous work of the day. Once again, we can’t wait to do it all again next year.
I’d like to share the wonderful compilation that Kayak Hipster (a.k.a. Luke Rovner) edited which gives a great visibility into the Hudson River Greenland Festival. For those of you who haven’t gone, it makes for a fantastic, inexpensive and nearby getaway in June with some really lovely people. Rather than blab on here about it, I’ll let Luke and his subjects do it for me!
For anyone looking for more info on HRGF, Greenland events and skills, or Luke’s work, below are a handful of great links: