By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina
It was the first Saturday in November, and we desperately needed to get out for a long paddle—we’re seriously starting to train for the Everglades Challenge next spring, and we need to start putting in the mileage.
The currents indicated a southerly trip, and Vlad suggested one that had become very familiar over the years: An out-and-back trip to Sandy Hook. I wasn’t enthusiastic. Much as I love the trip—the closest you can get to open water in New York City’s waterways—we’d done the trip quite often recently, and it felt a bit like a treadmill workout: Paddling for the sake of exercise, not adventure.
I counter-proposed a trip around Staten Island, which we haven’t seen much of this year. I particularly missed the beaches along the south shore, and the excitement of traversing the Kill van Kull at night. But Vlad pointed out that the day wasn’t ideal for a Staten Island circumnavigation—given that the southbound current would only start late in the morning, we’d get back at midnight, if we were lucky. And he didn’t want to do an out-and-back down the coastline of Staten Island, because he likes having a destination.
So Sandy Hook it was.