The Winter 2016 Newsletter is now online. Our 2015 paddling season revisited and much, much more.
Interested paddlers are invited to participate in free activities at New York Kayak Company (Pier 40, Hudson River Park) this Saturday, December 12th. They include a Cold Water Apparel Clinic, Dry Suit Demo, Gasket Repair Demonstration, Go Pro Clinic, and a big Holiday Sale!
At 11 AM, Kokatat Factory Rep Tom Harsh will present a talk on how to dress for off season paddling. Kokatat makes it easy to manage off season challenges to safety, comfort and performance. Topics will include strategies for avoiding hypothermia, proper layering, and material selection. He will examine the differences between various wet and dry items and how to select the garments that best suit both your off season paddling goals and budget.
Have you ever worn a dry suit? This is your chance to not only try one on, but people who BRING THEIR OWN IMMERSION FOOTWEAR and sign a waiver can see what its like to go for a short swim in a dry suit – it’s really fun!
At Noon, shop owner Randy Henriksen will demonstrate how to replace a neck gasket on a dry suit or dry top.
At 1PM Tom will present an introduction to Go Pro for SUP and Kayak, and participants will be able to get a free SD card and accessory discounts with a new GoPro purchase.
There’s also special Holiday Bargain Pricing for this event only: save 30% on all in stock Kokatat apparel, dry suits included and 15% off any out of stock orders. Save 20% on all in stock Werner Kayak Paddles and 10% off any out of stock orders. 25% off all in stock Red Paddle Inflatable SUP boards and Quick Blade Paddles.
Please spread the word and call 212-924-1327 to reserve your spot today.
The Great Jack-O-Lantern Sail
By Rhonda Moziy
Halloween, a time for frolic and excitement, a time to enjoy autumn leaves at the peak of their splendor. Belmont Lake State Park was the setting for NACK’s Third Annual Great Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Sail.
The bright sunny day on Saturday, October 24, 2015 was met with all kinds of Halloween themed activities. The park was surrounded with pumpkins, skeletons, haystack mazes, balloons, monsters on stilts, children in costumes, activity booths, games and more.
We set up our Safe Paddling with NACK stamp station. Our kayaks were displayed with skeleton heads, spider webs, cemetery fences, and black lanterns. Wooden kayak simulators with paddles were eagerly awaiting visitors and little kayakers. We were ready.
Upon entrance into the event, children were given stamper sheets. Their mission was to complete a Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt by getting a stamp at each station. Completion of these sheets would allow them to enter into a Trick-or-Treat Raffle Drawing.
Crowds of kids in costumes ran from station to station participating in the many activities. They meandered around a Hay Maze, daringly entered into a spooky den, took guesses at the big candy corn jar, tried their luck with Bean Bag Toss; all while keeping an eye out for Frankenstein who was roaming around on big stilts. Safe Paddling with NACK and climbing aboard big red fire trucks with the North Babylon Volunteer Fire Company was only part of the festivities.
While Matt, Buddy, Mike, Bob, Ann, Chris, Alan, Steve and John took turns running the kayak simulation stations; I took my place at the wooden picnic table waiting and eager to greet our little guests.
I was the official stamper and presenter of the treats (decorated Halloween pencils and chocolate kit Kat bars). We were visited by Superheroes of all kinds, Ninja turtles, lady bugs, bumble bees, princesses, witches, a cupcake, a Christmas tree, Dracula, and even Wilbur the pig took time away from Charlotte’s web to stop by.
My hand became fixed in a steady up and down motion as I stamped little yellow papers. The never-ending line of eager kayakers kept up with excitement. To add to the enjoyment, Alan put one of our decorated kayaks on wheels, and ran in circles giving on-land kayak rides to the kids.
Meanwhile, down at the waterfront lake house, folks of Belmont Lake State Park carefully arranged 50 artfully carved pumpkins meticulously on individual small black square rafts. Each pumpkin individually stood out on their own stadium linked together waiting to be displayed illuminating as gleaming lights in the night.
Once darkness fell, crowds of kids and their parents lined the shoreline. Our dedicated NACKERS geared up for the Great Tow. Kayakers were ready and eager to be tied up to their rafts of pumpkins. 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.
After all kayakers came safely back, the eager owners of the pumpkins waited patiently to claim their carved masterpieces. They were excited to know that their pumpkins were famous displays of the night. While the evening came to a close, our smiles spoke the pleasures of all the hard work that was put into the day. A complete salutation that it was all worth it. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.
July 14, a day with a mixture of spotty sunshine, various blankets of clouds and a delightful temperature in the mid 80s, NACK members Lynne Basileo, Bob Horchler, Troy Siegel and Matt Ferrizz. launched their kayaks from the sandy beach on Shore Road and began their outing paddling the protected waters of scenic Setauket Harbor.
The harbor’s edge is lined with a combination of historic homes and those of modern times. As we paddled around to the west, we viewed various estates, including a breath-taking horse farm sitting on seemingly endless acres of historic land. Proceeding across the harbor, we leisurely paddled east along the shore of Old Field Beach, while being entertained by seagulls, cormorants, herons and terns, and to where Setauket and Port Jefferson harbors merge, making our exit out of the harbor and into the Long Island Sound.
Heading west along the coastline, we were delighted to have a close up view and photo opportunity of the Old Field Lighthouse. Another mile and a quarter from the lighthouse brought us to our first rest area and trip destination—Flax Pond.
Flax Pond is a tidal estuary of natural beauty, located on the north shore in Old Field. It is 146 acres of salt marsh owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Paddling inside Flax Pond, one could only hear the sound of chirping birds at the water’s edge, small bait fish breaking the surface, the clattering of the reeds caused by the soft breezes and the water dripping off one’s paddle into the salty body of water. On the return trip back, we picked a spot where we could portage across to the harbor side to a section called The Narrows, which leads into Conscience Bay, to enjoy a second break and relaxing lunch. Our lunch was soon to be cut short as we noticed the thick, dark clouds appearing from the south over the treetops. Back in our boats, we paddled as if we were in a race attempting to reach the finish line of our 12-mile trip in record time. Within minutes of approaching our put-in, the skies opened and warm summer rain came pouring down.
Landing on shore, we unloaded our kayaks and proceeded to secure them on our cars. While attaching the tie downs, the sky started to clear, with patchy sun poking through. All enjoyed a good day on the water!
Everything about the kayak trip was perfect:
The weather was spectacular. Although we all know that you should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature, the water was mostly near 80°, the air temperature about 85°, with a mild southwesterly wind topping out at about 10 MPH.
Lynne, Paul, Troy and Bob completed a 13-mile round trip from Oak Beach parking lot, to the island of East Fire Island, and back.
Lynne’s maiden voyage as an ACA Level 3 Trip Leader showed she was ready for the task. Along the the way, she was announcing the island names and markers from her chart as we were passing or approaching, and kept an eye on the weather, conditions and her paddlers.
Paul, who was the Trip Leading Back-up in Training, was assigned to be the navigator, as we were paddling in his “Stomping-Grounds,” and it showed. He also was the historian.
We stopped along the way at Sexton Island for a quick snack, and then continued around the north and east sides of West Fire Island, stopping along the southwest side of East Fire Island for lunch.
There, Paul found laying in the sand an old friend named “Wilson” (remember the volleyball that Tom Hanks had befriended in the movie Cast Away)? “Wilson” made the voyage back to Oak Beach on the deck of Lynne’s boat.
On the way back, Paul showed us the location of some of the oyster beds and fish trapping areas, both along a section of the bay called Wing Inlet.
Troy, a Licensed Master Boat Captain, who operates a water taxi in the summer right in the area where we were paddling, also offered lots of local knowledge, and made “SECURITE” calls on his VHS radio, advising powerboats to be aware of four kayakers crossing the busy channel and asking them to minimize their wakes.
Bob added some amusement to the end of the trip when we were loading our kayaks back on the car. Bob had his end of the kayak in one hand, and the beautiful “snail-shell” he just plucked from the bay, in his other hand.
Well on the way to the car, Bob had the escargot scared out of him, when the critter, acting like a fish out of water, was slithering out of its shell onto Bob’s hand. The animal was returned to the water immediately. Bob never knew he was supposed to be wary of shells.
Additional Pictures by Lynne, trip planning and navigation by Paul, on water communication by Troy, Map and narrative by Bob.
This just in from ALAN.
Well, after a few official & unofficial April paddles the new paddling season has officially begun (though for a few of us lucky ones, the 2014 season never ended!)
NACK held its first peer practices of the season this past Monday & though it seemed that having a Nassau County option may have bled off some attendance from the Timber Point session, it still was a very productive & enjoyable evening for the foursome who turned up @Great River. A nice outing, capped off by another beautiful, trademark Connetquot sunset. -with no bugs! (yet)
Under a warm late afternoon sun & with now-reasonable water temps we practiced various advanced ruddering strokes & assisted rescues right off the launch area for a while.
And even though early arrivals Tom & Debbie had already warmed up with a paddle downriver & around Nicoll Island, they were more than happy to then lead Ron & myself down & around for another lap.
A steady wind out of the South with some wind driven waves greeted us as we turned into the bay. Was a nice mix of conditions.
Once we were headed back upriver, a quick stop at the ‘drowning hole’ was made to try some practice rolls; then back to home base to call it a night.
Only complaint (if there was to be one) would be the dusk/dark park closures at Timber Pt & Heckscher killed any plans of us catching the full moon rise over the bay that night.
-May have to ‘Go West’ next month to Alhambra or J.Burns for that June Moon.
See you out on the water… -Alan M.