Trip 10: Hudson River, Manhattan to Peekskill

By Vladimir Brezina

Looking North on the Hudson on a winter’s day

Sunday, 9 January 2000
Launched at Dyckman St just before 9 a.m. Mild winter day. Partly sunny all day, with very little wind: tail winds around 5 knots all day (measured with new wind-meter). River calm. Air temperature climbing to around 50°F in the afternoon. But water temperature (from the Web) in the mid- to upper 30s; wore drysuit for the first time this winter.

Paddled north with good flood current. Reached Croton Point around 12:30 p.m.: 18 1/2 nm in 3 1/2 hours, my best ever so far over this stretch. Lunch. Continued north around 1 p.m. Current now turning against me, but not really felt until past Verplanck.

Reached Peekskill around 3:30 p.m. Relieved to see no ice in Peekskill Bay. Lazed about on the water until sunset (at 4:40 p.m. or so): colorful, interesting cloud formations but not as spectacular as I hoped. Talked with old couple out for a walk that I talked with here last year. Confirmed no ice here yet this winter. Took 5:19 p.m. train back to New York City.

About 26(?) nm, 6 hours paddling time.

(Note: This is one of my favorite logs. It conveys the Vlad that I met in a few succinct words. His power and endurance: Covering 26 nm in 6 hours is an impressive feat, even given the assistance of the wind and current: a sustained pace of 4.3 knots, or almost 5 miles per hour. I also delight in his joy in the “new wind-meter”, and his methodical approach to tracking conditions—both hallmarks of his scientific mind.

But best of all is the throwaway line, “Talked with old couple out for a walk that I talked with here last year.” Pure Vlad! Only he would take time in a terse writeup to note that they were “out for a walk”. And who remembers an encounter with strangers from a year before? Someone who truly sees and connects with people, that’s who. 

All in all, an auspicious way to start the New Year… a year that, as we’ll see, will usher in some of Vlad’s legendary long trips.)



14 responses to “Trip 10: Hudson River, Manhattan to Peekskill

  1. This was my childhood stretch of the Hudson. On my 12th summer (this is my 71st) I took my 12′ aluminum boat from Croton to Lake George. Through all the locks with a pickup truck lift to the lake. The Croton River was my home. Vlad’s appreciation of all of this is rare and wonderful.
    i am sorry I didn’t “find” you guys years sooner. Thanks, Johna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      I am rapidly falling in love with this same section of the Hudson. Some of it is sentimental–from these blogs–but much of it is due to the inherent beauty of the area.

      As for “finding” us now… at least you have years of posts you can go back to read! And there are many years of Vlad’s logs to come, along with future posts! Thanks for reading, and following…


  2. Thank you for the blog – long followed… your continuing eulogy is touching & lovely. It is also eminently useful, particularly for this some time river rower. I love the idea of fine long day trip up the Hudson but certain logistical problems keep it from being as spontaneous as I’d like. I read your all’s account of paddling around Long Island and particularly appreciated the details on stealth camping along the way. Here I wonder – what did Vlad do with his Kayak in Peekskill? Finding places to secure one’s boat ( or myself to camp ) is far more difficult than it should be. I row out of Great Kills harbor on the south shore of Staten Island and would love to have spots around the city / harbor to ‘park’ the boat overnight, planning a return for the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An impressive paddle, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also smiled at the mention of a new “wind meter”, but especially am impressed with his speed to Croton Point. I’ve made that trip in . . .not quite double the amount of time? And we stopped to camp there, not continuing on to Peekskill! He was truly a “tank” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      He was a couple of years into paddling by then, and had gone out every other weekend for increasingly longer trips. It’s worth noting how slowly he built up his speed and endurance.

      That’s one thing I’ve noticed personally as well–short trips are great for skills-building, but they do nothing for building up speed and endurance. A couple of long trips per month, over years, enables you to build up speed and endurance…


  5. Amazing guy. You’re keeping his spirit paddling along. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You know I’m not a paddler, so for me, the fact that he ran into the same couple he’d seen the year before is notable. I hope you’re getting out and enjoying it this summer, Johna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      Yes, to me that was the biggest takeaway from this writeup. He ran into the same couple–and he knew they were out taking their evening walk.I am getting out, yes! Unfortunately what I haven’t been doing is writing up my stories.. but those will come soon enough!

      Thanks for following.. and posting!


Comments are most welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s