Tag Archives: East River

Exploring Long Island Sound with 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

IMGP6776 cropped smallA couple of weekends ago, we set out to visit our friends and fellow kayakers Alex and Jean, who are also fellow bloggers at 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots (check out their lovely blog!). They live in New Rochelle, just outside New York City, and just off Long Island Sound.

Heading out to the Sound on a summer weekend is pretty typical for New Yorkers.

IMGP6852 cropped smallWhat’s a little less typical is getting there by kayak.

But hey—we’d been there quite a few times before and knew the route pretty well. And this time we’d have the luxury of spending the night with our friends—so we’d have the chance to explore more than we usually can on an out-and-back trip. We’d been eagerly anticipating this trip for several weeks.

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Paddle to Long Island Sound

By Vladimir Brezina

Last weekend, the currents took us on another of our favorite paddles—from Pier 40 in Manhattan round the Battery, up the East River, through Hell Gate, and round Throgs Neck into Long Island Sound.

Rounding Throgs Neck is like entering another world. The towers of Manhattan are still visible—all this is still within the borders of New York City!—but they are tiny in the distance. The broad blue Sound opens up. Shoals of white sailboats cruise past. Rocks are crowded with cormorants. We paddle past lighthouses and round islands—City Island, Hart Island, Pea Island…

Here are a few photos (click on any photo to start slideshow).

More photos are here.

East River Sunrise

By Vladimir Brezina

A Sunset is always followed by a Sunrise…

… And Once More to Long Island Sound

By Vladimir Brezina

On Sunday, the currents were right for a kayak trip through the East River out to Long Island Sound. Here is a slideshow of the highlights:

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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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An Exciting Manhattan Circumnavigation

By Johna Till Johnson

Note: None of the four of us remembered to bring cameras, so you’ll have to do with a few similar photos from other trips—and your imagination!

This story begins like all good stories: “It was a dark and stormy night…”

Well, no. Actually, it was a dark and stormy morning. Except it didn’t start out that way, but we knew it was headed in that direction. And it got there with a vengeance.

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Irene and Lee Have Left Quite a Mess in New York Harbor…

By Vladimir Brezina

These tropical storms have certainly stirred things up! Hurricane Irene came through ten days ago and deluged the entire region, and a couple of days ago Tropical Storm Lee repeated the performance. This morning, looking out of the window on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, we saw a strange sight in Hell Gate…

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Recycled Adventures: Urban Kayaking, New York City

By Vladimir Brezina

Now that Johna and I are back from our New England kayaking trip (photos here, writeup still to come), it’s back to my regular old paddling routine in New York Harbor.

Here’s an account of one of my standard trips, written up a long time ago for the September/October 2003 issue of ANorAK, the Journal of the Association of North Atlantic Kayakers (a journal now defunct).  Rereading this account, I see that things haven’t changed much over the past decade. There’s mention of sewage, for instance…

In essence, the trip is a 50-nautical-mile circumnavigation of Manhattan with a side excursion into Long Island Sound, looping around City and Hart Islands. I developed this trip for those days when the timing of the tidal currents is such that the East River starts flooding in the early morning, just as I am launching from Pier 40 in lower Manhattan. Following the flood current up the East River soon gets me to Hell Gate, where I am faced with the choice of paddling against the current then coming down the Harlem River, or continuing with the current through Hell Gate into the Upper East River and out into Long Island Sound.  Being lazy, of course I choose the second option, returning to Hell Gate to resume the Manhattan circumnavigation only when the current has turned so that it will push me up the Harlem River. (As a bonus, I get to paddle through Hell Gate both ways at the peak of the current, sometimes boiling along at five or six knots, which can be interesting…)

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