Tag Archives: Marine Mammals

Seals and Swells on Sunday

By Vladimir Brezina

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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“A Bizarre Boating Accident”

By Johna Till Johnson
(Photos by Vladimir Brezina)

Since we posted our Red Hook adventure a couple of weeks ago, readers have been asking for more. So here’s a real adventure, which until now, for reasons that will become obvious, we’ve been a bit reluctant to post in full…

We’ve drawn upon the initial couple of hours of this story for a previous post. But at the point where that post left off, the adventure was just beginning!

Two further comments: First, we regret that photos are a little thin in this post. During most of these events, photography would have been difficult, or inadvisable.

And second, this is an example of people going “above and beyond” to be human, even when it could potentially threaten them professionally. So to protect the well-intentioned—and much-appreciated—innocent, all names, dates, and other identifying details have been modified or obscured.

This happened sometime last spring…

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Where the Wild Things Are: Kayaking with Marine Mammals in New York City

By Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

Kayaking in the waterways of New York City is a distinctly urban experience. Instead of quiet nature, New York City kayakers are treated to the sights and sounds of the city and close-up views of a man-made marine ecosystem of seawalls, docks, piers, ferries, tugs, barges, tankers, cruise ships, huge bulkers and container ships, and a myriad marine-industrial activities. The energy of the city is ever-present.

Yet, nature is present too. Between petrochemical plants, there’s a remnant of a beach, or salt-water marsh. Gulls watch from pilings. Rafts of ducks and geese float in the backwaters between piers and nest in odd corners.

And every now and again we receive a reminder that the waters of New York City are really those of the Atlantic Ocean, where wild things are.

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