Tag Archives: Circumnavigation

A Late-Summer Staten Island Circumnavigation

By Vladimir Brezina

Staten Island circumnavigation 83

High on our list of paddling priorities for this summer has been the Staten Island circumnavigation.

It’s a trip that has everything—the busy New York Harbor and the open water of the Lower Bay, islands and lighthouses, surf on sandy beaches, grassy creeks and salt marshes, wildlife, heavy industry, decayed piers, shipwrecks, huge container ports, container ships, barges, and tugs of all shapes and sizes, imposing bridges, and finally the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline glowing in the sunset or, after it, sparkling with a myriad lights…

And all this in just twelve hours of paddling!

We used to do a Staten Island circumnavigation often, but suddenly we realized we hadn’t done one for two years—since Hurricane Sandy, in fact. We wondered how Sandy might have changed the familiar landmarks…

And the long days of summer were drawing to an end.

So on Saturday we went. Here are some photos.

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A Moonlight Manhattan Circumnavigation at the End of Summer

By Johna Till Johnson

(Sorry, no photos this time! For one thing, I didn’t have a camera. And for another, it was, ahem, dark. So I’ve used a few of Vlad’s photos from previous circumnavigations.)

She rose up ahead of us, brilliantly lit in all her resplendent orange glory: the Staten Island Ferry, blazing against the dark night sky.

It was around 3:30 AM, and she was docked at Whitehall, at the southern tip of Manhattan.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m deeply wary of the Staten Island Ferry. (“Deeply wary” sounds way better than “scared silly”, which is closer to the truth—of all the ferries, this one is the largest and seems to move the fastest, and I worry irrationally that one day I’ll be caught in its churning engines.)

Staten Island Ferry

A daylight view of the Staten Island Ferry at Whitehall

This night was no exception: There were ten of us, and the brisk ebb current was pushing us relentlessly into the ferry’s path.

The question was (with apologies to the Clash): “Should I stay or should I go?” Should we bank on the ferry’s remaining docked for the five minutes it would take us to glide past, or should we hold up and wait, back-paddling against the current, while she departed?

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Long Island Kayak Circumnavigation: Day 10—Homeward Bound!

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

<— Previous: Day 9

Sunken Meadow State Park to Pier 40, Manhattan
44 nautical miles (51 land miles)

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(click on photos to expand them—they look a lot better when they’re BIGGER!)

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Long Island Kayak Circumnavigation: Day 9—High Water Beach

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

<— Previous: Day 8

Roanoke Point to Sunken Meadow State Park
28 nautical miles (32 land miles)

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(click on photos to expand them—they look a lot better when they’re BIGGER!)

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Long Island Kayak Circumnavigation: Day 8—Independence Day

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

<— Previous: Day 7

Greenport to Roanoke Point, Riverhead
16 nautical miles (18 land miles)

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(click on photos to expand them—they look a lot better when they’re BIGGER!)

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Long Island Kayak Circumnavigation: Day 7—Around Orient Point

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

<— Previous: Day 6

Greenport (Bay side) around Orient Point to Greenport (Sound side)
17 nautical miles (20 land miles)

(click on photos to expand them—they look a lot better when they’re BIGGER!)

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Long Island Kayak Circumnavigation: Day 6—Across the Forks

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

<— Previous: Day 5

Montauk Point to Greenport
22 nautical miles (25 land miles)

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(click on photos to expand them—they look a lot better when they’re BIGGER!)

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