Manhattan Ahead as Night Falls

By Vladimir Brezina

As we returned from our paddle on Sunday night, the Manhattan skyline glowed in the last rays of the sunset, then grew cool with a myriad twinkling lights—

(click on any photo to enlarge it)

Manhattan ahead 1 Manhattan ahead 2 Manhattan ahead 3 Manhattan ahead 4 Manhattan ahead 5

And here are some GoPro clips of that part of our trip (the water drops on the lens are a distinct nuisance!):

The story and photos of the rest of the trip are here.

42 responses to “Manhattan Ahead as Night Falls

  1. Magical shots, Vlad.


  2. I like these pics so much I reposted on Facebook. Lovely, indeed.


  3. Wow, gorgeous Vlad. And the video was very interesting too. I think the water drops on the lens added to the adventure. :)


  4. What gorgeous views and the light is so beautiful!


  5. beautiful captures!


  6. Fantastic pics of Gotham city ! As a NYC kayaker Myself the addition of your videos are really helpful so please keep them coming . Your trips have inspired My own kayak adventures albeit usually solo . I notice that when your traveling south towards VZ you often describe crossing the Battery / SI ferry then hugging Gouvernors island but in this video it appears that your cruising almost dead center of the anchorage channel when heating NOrth . Is this your usual course homeward bound and if so why the difference in route ? Thanks …


    • Hi, Stephen,

      We are so happy that you find our posts helpful and even inspiring! :-)

      Actually, we usually travel from Pier 40 to points south, and in reverse when returning, distinctly on one side of the harbor or the other: either on the Brooklyn side, which means via the Battery, the west side of Governors Island, and the Bay Ridge Flats anchorage, or on the Jersey side, via Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We try to stay out of the main shipping channel, although sometimes we of course cross it and in any case in many places the channel is not well defined—medium-sized boats such as ferries and tugs, and even large ships, go everywhere.

      In this video we were paddling up the Jersey side, via the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the mouth of the Morris Canal. In the last two segments, we started crossing the Hudson to Manhattan, roughly at the level of Battery Park City.

      It’s hard to tell any of the above from the actual video because the GoPro has a fish-eye lens, so everything appears to be far away, and distant features appear to be equally far even if they are not. We were actually much closer to the Jersey side than to Manhattan.


  7. Your pictures are always so awesome


  8. The view you get from your kayak is amazing. :-)


  9. Love the changes in the light in these shots – excellent sequence :-)


  10. The video footage is such a fun addition to the still images. The water in the still images would have seemed somewhat “rough” to me, but the video suggests it was pretty smooth paddling?


    • Johna Till Johnson

      Why thank you Kat! As a matter of fact, it was somewhat bouncy. When we stopped to put on our lights, we (naturally enough) picked an area that was reasonably calm… which is where the video was filmed.


    • As Johna said, it varied quite a bit from place to place. Also, the fish-eye lens of the GoPro HERO tends to flatten things out. That is actually a problem with kayak photography generally—when you are in big waves that you want to brag about later, either you don’t dare to take the photo or you find when you get home that the camera has made everything so tame…


  11. How interesting to see the way the change of light changes the appearance of the buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Johna Till Johnson

    Vlad!! You have the video of me miaowing at you! How embarrassing. What would have been better is if you could have captured the Yellow Taxi yelling at us about not having lights on–when we actually did!!

    (Or the New Jersey cops with the bullhorn… but I’m getting ahead of the story :-) :-) :-)


  13. Beautiful sunset shots. I like the second last photo with the purple hues in the sky. Bit of pink too, lovely. I’ve always wanted to shoot a pink sunset sky, but they are rare. Hope you got the lens cleaned – water right in the middle of it! :D


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  15. Love the changing colors, and the GoPro is really, really fun to watch – especially after seeing your photos for so long, now we see you taking them and feel like we’re on the water with you.


    • Except you don’t get that bouncy feeling :-)

      Yes, I’ve always thought that videos would add a lot, but never got round to actually acting on that thought… Another problem is where to store those large video files so that people could see them—at this rate I will soon run out of WordPress space…


  16. I love the video. Thanks for taking me along on a virtual paddle.


  17. Hello Vladimir Brezina,
    Thank you for your Go Pro Shot of your pause to turn on your safety lights at sunset … I just purchased the Techno Lights from Kayalu after using a different system for night paddling — your bow lights in the Go Pro shots are mounted differently than I expect to mount mine …. perhaps you are using a different bow light system…..
    I also appreciate the chance to show my “non paddling spouse” what paddling in a feather craft heron actually feels like :) I am a tall person
    with large feet and the Heron would be a “great boat” :)
    Great shots and many thanks to both of you for your wonderful pictures and reports.
    GW Stover


    • Thanks!

      I am very glad the video was useful (I’ve heard that from other people as well), indeed more useful than I ever expected, in giving an idea of what paddling in the harbor feels like :-) (More videos to come!)

      On the question of lights, we’ve tried a few lighting systems that turned out to be unsatisfactory, mostly because the lights were not truly waterproof, or were waterproof only for a short while. It’s also hard to mount most kinds of lights on a folding kayak with a flexible skin. The lights in the video (eGear—but they may have been discontinued) are a bare-bones solution. The way we have them mounted is not strictly legal—the lights’ visibility is not restricted as legally required—but it works: boats that have come close have always seen us, so far, although they are usually confused at first about the identity of the strange lighted object. Red and green lights are actually not even required for a “vessel under oars”. The rule is that “a vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision”, which we also have.


  18. Awesome shots, love the different colours :)


  19. Wonderful post!


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