Monthly Archives: April 2012

Once More Round Manhattan

By Vladimir Brezina

When the tide or the weather doesn’t cooperate or we simply can’t think of any other trip we’d rather do, we default to paddling round Manhattan. It’s our version of the run round the park. Yet no matter how many times we repeat it, each time we see something new. Manhattan and its waterways look different on a cold, dark day in January and on a mild gray day in March. And they look different again on a beautiful, bright blue sunny day at the end of April: here is a slideshow from yesterday’s Manhattan circumnavigation.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Together.

And even though I’ve posted them already, not too long ago, I just have to use these—

The full series of photos is here.

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Other nice “Together” interpretations:

Get Ready for Blackburn Challenge 2012!

By Vladimir Brezina

The other day I looked at the calendar and suddenly realized that there are barely three months left: it’s high time to get into shape, and get the kayaks shipshape, for this year’s Blackburn Challenge!

The Blackburn Challenge, organized by the Cape Ann Rowing Club, is a ~20-mile open water race around Cape Ann, the rocky cape that projects into the Atlantic Ocean north of Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a well known and well established event—last year was the 25th running of the race (and there was one participant who had been in all 25 of them!). The fun part is that the race is open to “all seaworthy oar or paddle powered craft. Classes include men’s and women’s Banks dories, fixed seat singles, doubles, multi-oars with cox, multi-oars without cox, sliding seat singles & doubles, single & double touring kayaks, single & double racing kayaks, surf skis, and outrigger canoes.” Even, in the last couple of years, paddleboards! So it’s quite a colorful flotilla out there on the ocean during the race!

Johna and I have raced in the Blackburn Challenge in 2010 and 2011, and we will be going again this year. The 2012 Challenge is on Saturday, July 14th. If that sort of thing appeals to you, you should certainly think about going too!

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At the Bottom of the Food Chain

By Vladimir Brezina

In the harbor ecosystem, kayaks are definitely at the bottom of the food chain.

Still, sometimes they remind me of those frisky little mammals scampering under the feet of the great lumbering dinosaurs…

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In Memoriam

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

The old World Trade Center…

It was the posters that finally made it real.

Everyone has a 9/11 story. Mine isn’t all that exceptional. I was in Midtown Manhattan that morning, preparing for a sales trip to New Jersey. I’d been awake since about 2 AM, working on a project for work.

… and the new World Trade Center

When the sirens first started, I didn’t think much of it. At least at first. But they kept going… and going… and going. Finally I looked out of the window and saw the column of smoke rising into the clear pale-blue air—and realized something serious was going on.

Then I turned on the TV and saw what everyone else did: the smoke, the helicopters, the collapse of the towers one by one.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Sun. I’ve already posted one response, but here’s another one.

Here comes the Sun!

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

But you never see the same sun twice…

Two successive sunrises at Amelia Island, Florida. More photos are here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Sun.

Suspended lion face
Spilling at the centre
Of an unfurnished sky
How still you stand,
And how unaided
Single stalkless flower
You pour unrecompensed.

The eye sees you
Simplified by distance
Into an origin,
Your petalled head of flames
Continuously exploding.
Heat is the echo of your
Gold.

Coined there among
Lonely horizontals
You exist openly.
Our needs hourly
Climb and return like angels.
Unclosing like a hand,
You give for ever.

Philip Larkin, Solar

(Cape Cod Bay, July 2011; more photos are here)

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My second interpretation of “Sun” is here.

Other nice “Sun” posts: