Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wild, Wonderful Long Island—Thus Far

By Johna Till Johnson

This is a short post and no photos—we are on our fourth day of what we anticipate will be an 11-day kayak circumnavigation of Long Island.

It’s been amazing thus far. Perfect weather, just enough conditions to keep us interested—and miles of marshes and white sandy beaches.

Currently we’re about 90 miles from our starting point at Pier 40 in lower Manhattan, in a tent on a nameless island in Shinnecock Bay that we’re calling Barking Seagull Island. This is our fourth night of guerilla wilderness camping—incredible that we can do it so near New York City.

Tomorrow we head out for a 30 mile stretch in the Atlantic as we paddle up to, and hopefully around, Montauk Point. We probably won’t be able to land due to the surf, so it will be a long day!

More soon—and full details (and photos) when we’re back at our computers…

Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2012: Follow the Red Herring!

By Vladimir Brezina
(Title suggestion by Johna Till Johnson)

Each summer, NYC Swim organizes a series of short and longer swims in New York City’s waterways. The premier event is the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS), a 28.5-mile race around Manhattan. Along with the English Channel and Catalina Channel swims, it is one of the three swims in the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

Each swimmer is accompanied by a kayaker (as well as a motor boat). Last year, I kayaked for the Lone Starlettes, four women from Texas swimming as a relay. And two of the Starlettes, Gretchen Sanders and Pamela LeBlanc, must have had a good time, because they wanted to return this year and repeat the experience as a two-person relay, The Texas Two-Step.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Create.

And these two did create quite an impression!

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Close Encounters with Florida Birds

By Vladimir Brezina

I am still sorting out my hundreds of photos of birds from our Florida trip back in February. But this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge theme, “Close”, has prompted me to marvel at how closely I was able to approach many of the birds.

I rented a kayak and paddled through the mangroves. The birds perched in the tree tops—some of the trees were absolutely festooned with birds, like some kind of fruit—and looked down at me nonchalantly.

Other birds stood on low branches projecting strategically out over the water. These two just looked at me stolidly, even though I was so close that my kayak was actually bumping into their branch. I could have picked them up with my hands.

And so I was able to get some good shots of the various birds. I have a reasonable idea of what many of them are—some are unmistakable!—but identification by experts would certainly be appreciated!

Some other bird photos from that trip are here, here, here, and here.

Happy Summer!

By Vladimir Brezina

The Summer Solstice, and so the beginning of Summer for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, is today at 23:09 UTC (7:09 p.m. EDT).

Summer—full of possibilities…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

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

OK, Fergiemoto at Creativity Aroused totally got to this idea first. Check out her photo! Hers is much more beautiful. But I have more bugs.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Close.

Kayaking around New York Harbor, sometimes we get just a bit too close!

Sometimes we have the upper hand…

… other times clearly not!

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