NYCkayaker Paddling...and camping...and OH MY!
Mon Nov 6 12:54:50 EST 2006

Thanks to the Cold Spring Kayak Club, Saturday November 4 was a very warm  day
…OK OK…the air was a wee bit was very warm around the  
campfire…it felt warm while moving/walking briskly…and most importantly it was a 
 weekend filled with warm smiles and great times. All organized and 
positively  produced by Mandy, Kathy and their team. 
This was the November 2006 Full Moon Paddle and Camp-out…on Constitution  
Island...smack dab in the middle of the Historic Hudson Highlands. 
Putting up tents…watching the few commercial vessels passing by…the sunny  
afternoon paddle…the food…the story of Kate…the full-moon paddle…homemade  
chili…the guitar…the harmonica…the food…Flat Stanley…the endless smiles…Roddy 
 providing history, humor and commentary… 
But I am getting ahead of the story… 
By noonish we had our tents squared away…and we were off…an afternoon  
paddle from the south side of Constitution Island…water 175+ feet deep…World’s  End
…through refracting waves on the west side of Constitution Island…paddling  
north to the spectacular views of Storm King mountain…under the train trestle  
and some strong paddling into Foundry Cove then into Constitution Marsh…a 
Great  Blue Heron…several Mergansers…some ducks…through Constitution Marsh to 
its south  end…where fallen trees blocked our passage to visit the falls. The 
trip back can  best be described as a short paddle. Jill found the only 
woops-bump on the trip  (“…%&*#$#@! wish those pesky channel markers didn’t move so  
Without Roddy, none of this would have happened. Roddy is the 20-year  
caretaker of the island (since about 1900 a part of West Point). He took us on a  
walking trip through history…from artifacts left by First Nation inhabitants  
several thousand years ago to Revolutionary War encampments to the Warner House  
of the 1800’s to the present-day and a heart-warming tale of an eagle 
release.  The cannon overlooking the Hudson River was brought there by our victorious 
 troops following the British defeat at the Battle of Saratoga. It can be 
seen as  paddlers pass by the bluff opposite West Point. Also visible from the 
water are  the rocky remains of the Revolutionary War munitions storage 
facility. Later,  several of us hiked to an overlook on the west side of the island…
tremendous  views! 
Although the air was cold, it was very still…so about 8PM a few paddlers  got 
back into our kinda-damp-and-cold-from-the-afternoon-paddle gear for the  
full moon paddle. The river was glassy smooth…the moon was overhead casting  
bright light in a cloud-free sky…flickering stern lights from the moving  kayaks…
some baying…some yelping…and some of the same from our fellow campers  warmly 
encamped around the glowing campfire.  
During the full moon paddle, five ducks were released. These ducks had  spent 
their time-to-date enclosed in…well…plastic. They were released to see how  
the currents and tides would treat them. The one I released squealed with  
delight as he/she (gave up trying to figure that out) drifted away from my  
release. Each little (2 inch  diameter) duck had a message on its bottom: PLEASE 
of a larger scientific study  to prove that sooner or later all those who 
enjoy the Hudson River Estuary will  visit the great outfitter there in Cold 
Within an hour or so…our headlamps glowing…our kayaks out of the water  
(hey, it was chilly) we were all reunited back at the campfire…warmed-up with  
Roddy’s chili…some beverages and great discussions. The hot chocolate was  
modified (thank you, Jill) to assure full enjoyment!  
Sunday morning arrived bright and sunny…the campfire had been kept going  all 
night…some cooked eggs and bacon on a handy Coleman stove…others had a more  
traditional breakfast of pretzels and peanut butter. 
Too soon it was time to take down our tents, load up our  kayaks and leave. 
Thanks again to _www.cskc.org_ (  and  Roddy for making 
this a very warm weekend!  
Add _www.cskc.org_ (  to  your list of sites to visit. 
Good, too, are _www.hrwa.org_ ( , _www.seakayakermag.com_ 
(  and _www.boatingonthehudson.com_ 
( .  
Now to put 303 Protectorant on the Eddyline  Nighthawk and get her ready for 
Walt  Thompson 
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