Tag Archives: Kayaking

Cardboard Kayak Race, Redux

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

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Last year, I wrote about the first annual Cardboard Kayak Race, held on City of Water Day at Governors Island.  This year, I was in it!

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. We didn’t build a boat out of cardboard and then race it. But others did! And I was part of a fleet of “safety kayaks” whose job it was to rescue paddlers whose cardboard boats sank (and fish out the sodden detritus).

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Relic.

Kayaking around New York Harbor, we pass many relics of its maritime past—

Binghamton

Binghamton 1
Binghamton 2

Major General William H. Hart

Major General William H. Hart

— the Yellow Submarine, Quester I

Yellow Submarine 1
Yellow Submarine 2

— and, of course, the celebrated Graveyard of Ships

Graveyard of Ships 1
Graveyard of Ships 2

Kayaks Under the Keel

By Vladimir Brezina

Sea kayaking, most of the time, is about wide open waters… But, paradoxically, kayakers also can’t resist exploring tight spaces. They poke the nose of their boat into every sea cave they come across, for instance.

Urban paddling is a bit different. Instead of sea caves, we have low bridges, tunnels, passages under piers.

And now and again, we even get the chance to paddle under another boat…

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… to create our own sea-cave experience

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My Kayak Photography

By Vladimir Brezina

Vlad in action

Vlad in action (photo by Johna)

I am often asked how I take my kayaking photos. What camera do I use? Am I not worried that water will damage it? And how do I manage to keep those pesky water drops off the lens?

So, here’s a brief answer.

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Travel Theme: Fresh

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Fresh.

Yesterday I saw that the ground under the mulberry tree on the corner is littered with fallen mulberries. It’s that time of the year!

And that means that, on our next Manhattan circumnavigation, at a certain spot we know, we’ll be able to pick fresh ripe mulberries right from our kayaks!

Mulberries!
Right from our kayaks
These are red
And some are already ripe

Sandy Hook Paddle with Kayak Cowgirl

By Vladimir Brezina

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On Sunday, we were joined on our regular Sandy Hook paddle by our friend Julie, aka Kayak Cowgirl.

This was her first time to Sandy Hook!

Her writeup begins: “Every girl knows her first time should be special. The weather should be beautiful, rose petals should line the way, and someone more experienced should take her hand.”

And it gets better from there. Go and read her story!

We can’t possibly improve on it. So here, simply, are some photos:

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Travel Theme: Unexpected

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Unexpected.

We were expecting a peaceful paddle through autumnal marshes and creeks. We were certainly not expecting the locals to put up such strong resistance—

Local defenses

Come to think of it, we’ve already had Unexpected as a photo challenge theme. Here‘s another fellow who was quite prepared to defend his turf :-)

Travel Theme: Metal

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Metal.

A few close encounters with New York Harbor metal—

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Red rust
Yellow garbage barge
Orange rust
Black barge
Blue rust
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A Paddle to the Norwalk Islands

By Vladimir Brezina

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Last weekend was sunny and warm: It could already have been early summer. It turned out to be the perfect weekend for our long-planned paddle to the Norwalk Islands with our kayaking friends Alex and Jean, who are also fellow bloggers at 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots (check out their lovely blog!).

Johna and I left, early on Saturday morning, from Manhattan’s Pier 40 as usual.  We joined up with Alex and Jean at their base in Horseshoe Harbor in Larchmont, about half-way into the trip. We made it to the Norwalk Islands comfortably before sunset, and camped on Shea Island. On Sunday, we retraced, more or less, our route. Altogether, over the two days, we paddled about 84 nautical miles (97 land miles).

Here’s the story in photos.

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Travel Theme: Rivers

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Rivers.

Kayaking around Manhattan revolves (so to speak) around three rivers: the Hudson River, the East River, and the Harlem River. (Two and a half of them are not really rivers, but we won’t let that distract us here.)

And so, when we fly back to NYC, we always try to sit by the window. It’s such a pleasure to see these rivers spread out below, and to recognize all the bridges and piers, the islands and bays that we’ve come to know so intimately from kayak level.

From the air (click on any image to expand)…

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… and from kayak level

Typical summertime conditions ;-)

1. East River: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges

Downtown vista

2. East River: Moody Downtown vista

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

... as we launch down the Hudson

3. Hudson River: The new World Trade Center ahead

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

We pass Chelsea Piers

4. Hudson River: Chelsea Piers and the Empire State Building

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5. Hudson River: Summertime evening on the river

One of the classic views

6: East River: Midtown Manhattan vista

From the air…

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… and from kayak level

White mulberries!

7: Harlem River: White mulberries!

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8. Harlem River: Under the RFK Bridge in falling snow

Nocturne: the George Washington Bridge

9. Hudson River: George Washington Bridge nocturne