Search Results for: seals

Seals & Submarine

Last Saturday: Air temperature in the twenties (Fahrenheit) in the morning, struggling up into the thirties during the afternoon. Colder on the water, of course. Water temperature around forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Definitely drysuit weather, with gloves or pogies a requirement (and hot tea!). Partly sunny, with increasing clouds. Moderate northerly wind, becoming southeasterly in the afternoon. Current indicating a trip to points south. A perfect day to visit, once again, the seals of Swinburne Island, with maybe the Yellow Submarine of Brooklyn thrown in!

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This Year’s Visit to the Swinburne Island Seals

Last week’s excitement about the East River Dolphin reminded us that we hadn’t seen our old friends, the Swinburne Island seals, in almost a year, since last April in fact. So on Sunday we paddled down to visit them again…

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Seals and Swells on Sunday

On Sunday, Johna and I paddled once more to Swinburne Island to see seals.

Swinburne Island, a small island in New York Harbor just south of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, hosts a healthy population of seals every winter. We’ve already visited them once this winter. But now in April, especially with spring arriving so early this year, we were wondering if the seals would still be there.

We were not disappointed!

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Seals Revisited

Every winter, Swinburne Island in New York Harbor is home to a healthy population of seals. And every winter, we paddle out to see them.

But so far this year, our seal-watching trips have all gone awry in one way or another. Last time, we ended up having quite a different kind of adventure in Red Hook, Brooklyn…

So, on Saturday, Johna and I made a determined effort to paddle out to Swinburne Island. Here are a few photos.

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In Memoriam: Vladimir Brezina

By Johna Till Johnson Photo credit: Vlad and Johna in drysuits by Larson Harley, NYC Photographer Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth … Continue reading

A Kayayer’s Guide to Hitchhikers

Kayaking is often a solitary sport. Although paddlers sometimes go out in pairs and groups, the quintessential kayaker is a bit of a loner. Many of us make long trips alone, and prize the time we spend by ourselves.

But sometimes we inadvertently end up with fellow travelers…

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My Kayak Photography

I am often asked how I take my kayaking photos. What camera do I use? Am I not worried that water will damage it? And how do I manage to keep those pesky water drops off the lens?

So, here’s a brief answer.

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The Last Seal of Winter

We saw plenty of wildlife—dolphins, turtles, sharks, birds—last month in Florida. But no seals.

So yesterday we paddled down to Swinburne Island, where seals have never yet failed us, during the winter months. But spring is now, finally, upon us, with temperatures warming dramatically—time for the seals to return north, to their summer homes in Maine and Canada. We may have left it too late…

We paddled around Swinburne a couple of times, sat and scanned the water, waited expectantly… Nothing.

Then, just as we were about to leave, a lone seal head popped up.

The last seal of winter…

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Everglades Challenge: Gear We Love

You can’t make a trip like the Everglades Challenge without relying heavily on your gear. And the quality of that gear varies. Some poorly-designed products break reliably. We haven’t yet found a “waterproof” headlamp that actually lives up to its name, for instance. And we’ve been through almost half a dozen in the past year. (So we make sure to carry plenty of backups.)

There are also those products that perform as they’re supposed to, day in day out. (Everything Kokatat makes comes to mind.) You rely on these products to do their jobs, and never think further about them.

But there are also are a handful of products that either perform infinitely better than you expect, or fill a need you didn’t realize you had…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

This week’s Photo Challenge is Unexpected.

On our kayak trips through New England, we expect to see birds, seals, even whales…

But one day last May, as I was paddling through the desolate Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, I rounded a rocky point and came face to face with this huge, shaggy, horned beast, lounging on the beach and looking at me with uncomfortable interest.

Unexpected, to say the least.

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