Trip 11: Hudson River, Manhattan

By Vladimir Brezina

George Washington Bridge on a winter day

Sunday, 27 February 2000

Launched at Dyckman Street around 10 a.m. First paddle since ice gone. Relatively mild winter day, but foggy, despite forecast, essentially all day. Brighter spots through the clouds now and then, but rather grey, and so a little cold, most of the time.

Paddled south under George Washington Bridge and along the Manhattan shoreline, with ebb current. Slight head wind (10 knots) and so some whitecaps. Later wind calmed down; in the afternoon completely calm.

Reached Downtown Boathouse around 11:30 a.m. Turned round and returned, dodging between the piers, against the current. Just south of Chelsea Piers sopke with paddler from there, Rufus, with all-new red Khatsalano and full high-tech equipment. Gave him my phone number: may go out with him and his group of Feathercrafters in future.

Lunch on the water in empty marina immediately adjacent to driving range at Chelsea Piers. Then continued north along Manhattan shoreline to 79th Street. now should have been strong flood current, but still slight ebb. Some weak flood current only much later, at peak of astronomical cycle, and in retrospect ebb current in the morning was much stronger than it should have been: presumably runoff and ice melting up the river.

From 79th Street crossed river and went up along New Jersey side. Under George Washington Bridge and back across to Dyckman Street. Started packing up the boat around 4 p.m.; now, of course, sun finally coming out, weakly.

(Note: Here we see more of the essential Vlad. First his characterization of a 10-kt wind as “slight”; most paddlers consider that substantial! Second is his joy in connecting with kindred spirits, along with his teasing characterization of the “high-tech equipment”. And finally, there’s his thoughtful analysis of the current; indeed in springtime (which was rapidly approaching) the runoff often cancels the flood entirely in the Hudson.)

12 responses to “Trip 11: Hudson River, Manhattan

  1. I live in a tiny village in NW England. I have never visited USA. I am fascinated by Vlad’s descriptions of his kayaking in the middle of New York . I would never have guessed that this was done. All my “knowledge” of NEW YORK comes from what I’ve seen in TV shows. Thank you for keeping the his blog alive. 😊 Have a good week. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder if he ever if he ever did connect with that Khatsolano Kid, or at least if that’s someone we know now. I’m impressed with his speed heading down. I think this post would finally put to rest that questions of whether runoff affects our tidal estuary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      I don’t know, Julie, but we’ll find out :-). He recorded just under 300 trips, so if he did, it will be there. He only stopped once this blog was well underway…

      And agree on the runoff. I’m surprised that it hit so early in the season–I tend to hit it in March, April, and often May. May always surprises me, because I expect it to be DONE by then and it isn’t…


  3. Thank you so much for including well-known sights on the map so we can relate to his route! Hope your Autumn in New York will be lovely! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had some trouble commenting before – not your issue, but mine – so I’m back, and I just wanted to say it was interesting to me to learn that ice melting upriver could affect tides that much. And I too like seeing the maps, they make a difference. Hope you have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      Thanks! I had to figure out how to make them :-). If you look carefully you’ll see my learning process at work…

      Thanks again for reading and posting…


  5. Just catching up on email after being away for a few weeks. Thanks for posting, Johna!

    Liked by 1 person

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