Thursday, November 05, 2015

Release Date 10/27/2015

We paddled across the sound from Orient Point to Stonington CT. 

We were going to to attend some BCU training running in conjunction with the Autumn Gales event run by Kayak Wavelology

The Weather and tides were just about perfect.

The details:
Ebb Starts at the Race 11:45
Max Ebb at the Race 14:50 4.0 Kts!

We launched around 10:30 after driving out from Brooklyn. We met at the boat storage location at 7:00AM. Luckily the traffic was light. We even had time to stop at our favorite breakfast place and get egg and cheese on a roll as well as a nice lunch to go and a bit of attitude from the salty fellows running the deli.
breakfast spot out on the north fork.
at Orient Point about to unload the boats

We knew the current would be big. They run the Gales event on the springs or as close as they can get to it. The usual path is along the island string: Plumb, Great Gull, Little Gull, Fishers. Every other time I have done it we went on the South Side of Fishers, but this time we had to be on the North side to get into Stonington. The fastest route would be to paddle East or even slightly to the North to have the current carry us toward the East. This would be a fast but boring trip since it would all be open water not near land, with no chance of a take out. We opted for the usual trip so we could land at Little Gull. My favorite island next to Raul in PNG and 3 Rooker bar in Florida.

A bunch of bird nests not occupied this time of year.
We got to Little Gull about 12:30. It was getting kind of rough because of the current and the wind. There were a bunch of pissed off seals on the Island. Some were these huge horse head seals. They are about size of a small cow and they paddled around in the water barking at us. There were just 4 or 5 in the water. As we explored the island we found a bunch more on the East end of the island on the rocks and the shore who didnt pay attention to us.


We found a really cool dead seal up on the island that was bleached by the sun with most of its flesh rotted away, just the bones and the skin. We toyed with the idea of trying to take the skull with us, but we didn't have the time or the tools. We later found out that this is totally illegal. This was just a medium one, but teeth were huge you definitely wouldn't want one of these guys biting you!

Yikes teeth. And this is a little guy.

We left Little Gull at 13:30 and headed for Race Rock.

 We pretty quickly had to take a huge ferry angle to keep from being swept way out to sea. As we got into some of the races there were waves to surf. We played a bit, but not to aggressively. We were way out at sea and any out of boat screw-up would have resulted in a mile or two of being blasted straight out to sea.  

Eventually we made it to the eddy created by Race Rock. 

We had a short rest then continued on. I broke out of the race 10 yards further up current than my friend and it 5 minutes he was 250 yards further back than me. I could actually SEE the water 4 inches higher at the top the eddy, there was a ton of current. We really had to fight to get across the 1/2 mile stretch to Fishers Island to have a rest. It was every bit the 4 knots advertised.

Once we got into Fischer's Island Sound we got some current to push us the rest of the way. We landed rigth at 17:30 which was what we planned. We found one free beer in the rental apartment and some hot showers...

You just know this boat is owned by a rich white guy...
Truth: Anticipating something annoying makes it worse.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Release Date 10/18/2015

A stunningly beautiful day up in Cold Spring

The plan was to paddle south on the ebb to the bridge then return on the flood. As the day wore on we decided instead to do a 1-way trip to peekskill and get a cab to go back and get the cars.

We paddled South in a light wind and bright sunlight. The trees were just starting to turn, the peak was probably a week or two away.

We had a great view of West Point. I once did  a race on this exact same course when I was in fighting shape 8 or so  years ago, and I paddled right by West Point chasing the guy who was right in front of me, who was in his 20's and I never caught. I never even noticed West Point!. At any rate it was cool to see the giant castle that is their main building. It pretty much says "piss off we are the USA we will kill you". A huge imposing stone castle like building hanging over the Hudson with not many windows.

We stopped for lunch at a little beach that had kayak racks and lockers.

We then continued South to the location of the "waterfall" when we got to the head of the inlet the waterfall was just trickle. This is an old part of the country. Some brick ruins had a huge London Plain tree growing right in the middle of what used to be a building.

After some discussion we decided to make it a one-way trip to Annsvile Creek in Cold Spring. This is where I took my first kayak classes with Atlantic Kayak Tours, who are still in business, but don't run the concession on the creek any more. It was probably in the 1990s when I took those classes so that's 20 years!!!

On the way we could see the top of Break Neck Ridge the hiking hill. It is super steep and you can really see how it got its name. The picture doesn't do it justice.

It was a fun trip down memory lane to go under the railroad bridge into the embayment. We got out at the paddlesport center, which was closed.

After some screwing around we arranged a taxi shuttle and I fortunately didn't need to go, so i did some boat maintenance. It got cloudy but was till in the 50s when all of a sudden it started to SNOW. It was very light and melted immediately, but was a hell of a thing so early in the year. I hope its not going to be one of those years....
Snow on the hood of the car with kayaks in the reflection.

truth: sometimes a round trip turns into a one way trip.