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 chilly...but...it 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…
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
RETURN ME TO HUDSON VALLEY OUTFITTERS, MAIN STREET, COLD SPRING. This was part
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_ (http://www.cskc.org/) and Roddy for making
this a very warm weekend!
Add _www.cskc.org_ (http://www.cskc.org) to your list of sites to visit.
Good, too, are _www.hrwa.org_ (http://www.hrwa.org) , _www.seakayakermag.com_
(http://www.seakayakermag.com) and _www.boatingonthehudson.com_
Now to put 303 Protectorant on the Eddyline Nighthawk and get her ready for
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