June 27, 2009 by Bethany
Our last written post was gloomy at best, which was accurate for the time. Thankfully, things started picking up that day.
We left the library and went shopping, ate at Rawley’s Famous Hot Dog place, had ice cream, hung out and basically healed our depressed minds and were completely rested and ready to go the next day.
We paddled somewhere around 25 miles the next day, 7am-430pm, to Greenwich CT. Ill tell you what, it was a good thing we rested the day before. Can we say sore and tired! Unfortunately, we thought our camera was broken, and were unable to capture any photos from the day, which of course was the most photogenic day of the trip up to that point. The sky was magnificent, storms, clear skies, and cloudy all in one day. We could see rain approaching from miles and miles away across the sounds and could watch it creep across the water to us. The rain was beautiful when it hit us, and the sky was even more lovely. Funny boat names. Ridiculous bird sightings. Pretty much a fabulous photo day with no camera. sigh. As we entered Greenwich area, we met a man fishing in a way we have never seen before. He threw his line in the water and then yanked feverishly until the line was in. We looked confused and he said in a gravely voice, “im snaggin’ em.” let me tell you, he was. he caught a fish, by simply yanking the hook through the things body! wowzers. So it was a long, fun, and extremely tiring paddle. Thankfully, we were staying with Ben and Sandy and they were exactly what we needed after the long paddle. Showers, laundry, a good meal, and fun conversation. We slept like babies and were back on the water the next morning to paddle into the NYC area.
Greenwich to the Bronx took forever. Let me just say. forever!!! I think the muscular tiredness from the day before made this paddle 100% worse. We were baking in the sun in our drysuits and paddled to a rock in the sound and de-robed like animals shedding old skin. It was heaven. Standing in the sun in my shorts and top was one of the best feelings yet on this trip. We were finally out of the holds of winter… We paddled onward through the thick slow water and we were being tempted every moment by the ever growing skyline on the horizon. we could NOT get there fast enough. We didnt have a plan either…. no place for our boats. A shot in the dark. As the day slowly closed, we paddled up to a small cove on throngs neck, where we saw some boats and a ramp. This was the Bronxonia Yacht Club…. a royal reward after a long days paddle. I honestly dont even know where to begin in describing this place but it was AWESOME! Goodfellas… Everyone wanted to help us out, calling cabs, looking up directions, buy us drinks, planning for the tides the next day, taking photos, and Jimmy even ordered us some real-life honest-to-goodness bronx pizza from Tommy’s Pizza (very very good). Talk about a great way to end the day of paddling. You couldnt plan something that good if you tried. Real NY experience. love em…
We left the bronxonia in a van with a ride from one of the guys inside, Joe, who moved to NY from Naples, Italy when he was 12. I told you this was the real deal. He drove us all the way to Manhattan where we are staying with Rachelann and Nathan, friends from home. There we were greeted with fun and food. You cant ask for more. Honestly.
YESTERDAY we made our final offical getting to NYC paddle, putting us and our boats in queens at the Long Island Community Boathouse. We got up and called a cab to come pick us up at Rachelann and Nathans and take us back to Bronxonia Yacht club. 30 min later we called them back from the street only to find out the wouldn’t be there for ANOTHER 30 min. we started walking to find another cab. We hopped in a new cab and enjoyed a one hour cab ride, due to the cab driver being completely unable to find this place. it was only 7 miles away from Rachelann and Nathans. Thanks to google maps on our phone, we talked him through the bronx to this place… Tommy met us at the gate, pleased that the cab driver couldn’t find it, “thats how we like it and we try to keep it that way.” We launched our boats from their dock, an experience in and of itself, and got down to business. we paddled down the east river, under many large and beautiful bridges, past Laguardia, and rikers island… the prison, sewage treatment plants, and rundown buildings, and then… the fabulous and ever-wonderful Manhattan. At Hell Gate we were paddling upwards of 8 mph, zipping along. We eventually stopped paddling and rafted up just to sit and enjoy the scene. It was unforgettable and more than we were expecting. Really really amazing paddle. We arrived at the Long Island Community Boathouse floating dock 2 hours before anyone would arrive for their evening paddle, so i took a nap right there, across for the skyline, in the east river, next to my boat. I awoke with a darker tan, and then we got to work unpacking our boats and getting ready for a fresh start post NYC.
We met the LICB people, including our contact Ted, and they invited us to their chill paddle in the river to watch the night come on the city. Sounded pretty amazing so we agreed to hang around. They were really nice but the weather wasnt. Lightning was flashing and striking the city as we watched from the boathouse. We eventually made it out on the water, but it was only for 10 min. The sunset however might just have been worth the long, rather stressful, wet wait. We got our bags and enjoyed a ride to the local subway stop where we ate at a diner with the largest meal portions we had ever seen in our lives. Perfect. We ate it all and then rode the subway all the way back to Rachelann and Nathans apartment and went to sleep feeling REALLY accomplished.
now for some nyc fun… and mary poppins tonight!