Thursday, April 29, 2010

Swinburne Seal Paddling Trip

Last Saturday I set out with a great group of kayaks, 11 in all, to see the seals living on Swinburne Island.  It goes down as one of the top 20 paddling trips.  The people were great, the weather was great and the seals were great.  Unfortunately I didn't get any seal pics, they were too quick for me and my water proof camera doesn't have a real zoom.

We set out at 9:30 am from Pier 66, paddled south for about two hours without a break  passing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and continuing past Hoffman Island to Swinburne.  In recent years, since the water pollution has diminished the flourishing fish population has attracted a small seal colony.

It must have been the early 90's since I was there last and that was by sailboat, the Schooner Pioneer. Each year, to reward the hard working crew there was a crew only trip.  We sailed out there at dusk, anchored overnight and the next morning swam off the side of the boat until it was time to return.  To help us against the currents, the life raft was deployed and if we drifted off we could grab on to that and pull ourselve back.  We never even got close to losing anyone. It was all great fun,  usually someone brought a guitar. Of course the singing eventually ended with the Gillian's Island TV show theme.

Last Saturday's trip brought back all the pleasant memories and created a bunch more. After watching the bobbing seals, we circumnavigated Swinburne and headed to the beach on Staten Island for a picnic lunch and awaited the turning of the tides.

The paddle back was more challenging, as the wind picked up. When we got to the Ellis Island & Stature of Liberty are,a there were fun waves. Fabulous paddling through them all.

The only down part of the trip was the exhausted bike ride back to Brooklyn. Once home I showered and enjoyed a sushi dinner and went to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. i am so glad to see you posting again--keep it up!