[NYCkayaker] Kayaking in Constitution Marsh, Cold Spring NY 12/30/12 by

Rick Langer farreach@optonline.net
Fri Jan 4 13:47:57 EST 2013

Thanks for the posting Lee.  Sounds like you guys had a great adventure.


> Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 07:05:45 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
> From: Lee Reiser/Leona Fontaine <lee060@earthlink.net>
> To: "NYCkayaker@rockandwater.net" <NYCkayaker@rockandwater.net>
> Cc: Rick Langer <farreach@optonline.net>
> Subject: [NYCkayaker] Kayaking in Constitution Marsh, Cold Spring NY
> 12/30/12 by Ron Klieman
> Message-ID:
> <22820388.1357301145606.JavaMail.root@elwamui-hound.atl.sa.earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Kayaking in Constitution Marsh, Cold Spring NY 12/30/12 by Ron Klieman
> All sorts of great family stuff has kept me off the water since early fall 
> so last week I called my friend Lee and asked if he wanted to go paddling 
> this weekend.  Being off the water for so long is detrimental to my 
> health, causing symptoms similar to oxygen deprivation in the non-paddling 
> community.  We decided on Sunday and on Cold Spring NY as our launch.  We 
> posted our intent on several kayaking boards to see if anyone wanted to 
> join us. None others did so.
> Paddling in sub- freezing weather is not dangerous, given the right skill 
> set and equipment, otherwise it can be suicidal. With this in mind we 
> listed requirements to scare off any neophytes.
> We launched at 10:00. As soon as we left the protected cove we were hit 
> with 50 mph wind gusts and decided to alter our float plan to a more 
> protected area. Always good to have "plan B".
> Though the marsh in which we were paddling offered more protection from 
> the wind than the more open waters of the Hudson River, the gusts were 
> still quite strong. At every turn we encountered geese and ducks paddling 
> about, preferring the water to the windy sky. Around one bend we spotted a 
> large white swan swimming in the same direction we traveled. He led us 
> around the winding paths for 10 or 15 minutes, undisturbed by our 40 or 50 
> yard following distance. The silence of the marsh was punctuated, now and 
> then, by the crack of the patches if thin ice that we paddled through.
> I was paddling just behind Lee, on his left, in his blind spot, as he made 
> a quick right turn through a narrow channel. Passing the channel before I 
> could react I attempted to turn around but the wind and current pushed me 
> farther downstream. By the time I got back 15 to 20 minutes had elapsed. 
> Lee had noticed that I was no longer behind him and waited 10 or 15 
> minutes for me to catch up then decided to proceed to our destination and 
> join me there. He knew that I was familiar with these waters and that I 
> would probably head in that direction if we got separated. He attempted to 
> call me on his marine radio, as I did him, however we had omitted a 
> standard safety procedure and not agreed on a marine channel to contact 
> each other on. Lee had mentioned channel 68 but in the wind I had not 
> heard. A radio check before launch could have saved much grief. Note to 
> self, remember to practice what you teach others.
> Long story short, we never did succeed in finding each other until we got 
> back to our launch. On comparing notes we realized that neither of us was 
> very concerned about our own safety, but both of us had visions of having 
> to call the others wife to tell her he was missing. Over lunch and a few 
> beers we recounted our individual adventures, each reveling in the safety 
> of the other.
> Ron Kleiman

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