By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina
Vlad and I have taken half a day off midweek for a training paddle—we need to get our mileage up for the Long Island circumnavigation we’ve got planned in a few weeks.
The currents aren’t right for too much, so we’ve decided to head down to Coney Island, land if possible for a late lunch, and return. (Boat landings are prohibited on the swimming beaches at Coney Island during the summer season, so we are not sure how the landing will work out…)
The day is oddly peaceful for midweek: Despite the usual ferry and commercial traffic, everything feels peaceful and subdued—muffled, perhaps, by the grey clouds that lower overhead and cling like cotton wadding to the buildings and bridges.
Cool, cloudy, muffled: Not what you’d normally think of as a wonderful day. Much less a heavenly one. But just south of Governor’s Island I overhear this exchange on the radio:
Captain 1: “How’s it going? We really need to get together sometime.”
Captain 2: (unintelligible crackle).
Captain 1: “Yeah, I hear ya! (chuckle). Just another day in paradise…”
Vlad and I laugh at that, and wonder. Maybe the two are planning to get together in Bermuda, or the Bahamas? Surely New York Harbor on a cool, rainy day doesn’t qualify as “paradise”.
Guess what? By the end of our trip, I’m not so sure. Yes, we get shooed off the beach at Coney Island by the lifeguards. But we paddle across schools of dancing fish, peruse the Yellow Submarine…. and are greeted upon our return just at sunset by one of the most dramatic, spectacularly colorful rain showers either of us have ever seen.
Just another day in paradise? Look at the pictures, and you decide!