By Vladimir Brezina
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.
(click on any photo to start slideshow)
Then it got too dark to take pictures. But the most exciting part of the trip was still to come! The paddle through the narrow Kill van Kull in a dense traffic of tugs, barges, and that container ship following just behind us… The crossing of the mouth of the Kill van Kull in the dark, from one flashing buoy to the next… The paddle through dark smooth waters past the Statue of Liberty, the sparkling skyline of Manhattan growing ever larger… And finally the crossing of the Hudson back to Pier 40, weaving through the procession of loud party boats on their Saturday-night promenade…
Altogether, 42 nautical miles (about 48 land miles).