May 31, 2009

2009 Open House

I was able to be at the Open House only from noon till 2:00 PM but while I was there I took a lot of photographs which I have posted to Picasa. The weather was nearly perfect even if it did look like there was snow on the ground. We seemed to have had a lot of visitors and a good number of them joining. While Sebago offers some great sailing and kayaking, Sebago is more than water sports. Sebago is people, from those who have been members for decades or more to those who have just joined, from experienced paddlers with American Canoe Club certification to teach and coach to beginners just learning how to paddle.

This was only my second Open House so I do not have a lot to compare it to, but this year we seemed to have more of a variety of visitors: young, middle age and older from various racial-ethnic backgrounds and from three or more of the five boroughs. For awhile on Saturday, Sebago looked like a miniature New York City. There were so many kayaks, canoes and sailboats coming and going from the new dock that at times it resembled the Staten Island Ferry Terminal (photo at right). There were so many people moving about on the new dock that it felt like the BQE, Jackie Robinson, or Van Wyck during rush hour.

If our Open House is any indication of the future, it looks like we are off to a great 2009 summer season of paddling, rowing and sailing.

May 29, 2009

Sebago Canoe Club's Opening Day, Saturday, May 30th - come on out for a fun day!

Bored in Brooklyn? No plans for Saturday?

Don't be bored, come boating! Come on out to Canarsie tomorrow for the Sebago Canoe Club's Open House. Canoeing, kayaking, dinghy rides, burgers & lots and lots of fun.

Don't believe me about the fun? Well, here, maybe last year's winner of the Cutest Attendee Award* can convince you:

There you go! Can you argue with that? And it's even more fun when the boat's in the water.

Full details on the Sebago Canoe Club website.

*ok, so there was no actual contest for the cutest attendee. But if there had been, she totally woulda walked away with it, right?

May 24, 2009

Sebago Canoe Club in Time Out New York magazine!

Suitable for framing! Looky here.
(We are in Canarsie via land, but we do sometimes paddle to the other locations in the article...maybe not with rank beginners...anyway, take the "L" train to the end and come see us, we'd love to have you)
Open Paddles start this Wednesday, and continue Wednesday evening and Saturday morning until Labor Day.
Open House on Saturday, May 30. Get out on the water and enjoy some famous Sebago hospitality.
Click on the website link over there --> to see more.

Conditions in Jamaica Bay

I paddled in Jamaica Bay with Tony and Walter Friday morning, May 22, 2009. It was my first time back in the Bay since October. Water temperature at the dock was 65°F. In the Bay proper it ranged from 58°F to 61°F. The low tide water levels were some of the lowest Walter, Tony or I have ever seen in the Bay. Upon return from a trip the following day, Phil volunteered that the low tide water levels were also some of the lowest he had ever seen, which perhaps explains why a power boat had run aground and was stranded on a sand bar under the Belt Parkway bridge Friday (photo at right).

A fuller account of Friday's trip has been posted on my blog.

Happy Birthday to 300 or so new Sebago Members

Today, May 24th several hundred Praying Mantis were born at the Sebago Canoe Club.
Happy Birthday, guys....

May 23, 2009

Canoe made from used chopsticks...

Of course it is always best to bring your own chopsticks, but the next best thing is recycling. Shuhei Ogawara, a retired city hall employee in the Fukushima Prefecture, spent three months gluing 7382 used chopsticks into a 66 pound, 13'-4' canoe, and coated it with a polyester resin coat. I don't know if I would want to run it down the Nahanni, but it looks pretty good. Launch is planned for May at Lake Inawahiro.

(from Peacock Moon Blog)

May 20, 2009

Winner's Report for Sebago's First Laser District 8 Regatta!

Sebago Laser Regatta 171
Blake Marriner has put up a VERY nice Winner's Report about our regatta over on the Laser District 8 site.

Thanks, Blake! It was fun!

I'll add that I've posted pictures too, but right now it's just a completely unedited mess in my Flickr photostream, not quite ready for general viewing. I took out the ones where the camera didn't focus & most of the "incinerating tent caterpillars while we wait for our guests to arrive" series, but that was about the extent of the first cut. I'll be picking my favorites for one of my photo reports with captions over the next couple of days, and I'll post a link here when I'm done. However, If you were there or are otherwise specifically interested in seeing a hundred-plus uncaptioned random pictures of the regatta, clicking on the picture of Blake will take you to Flickr.

May 17, 2009

Pea-Soup Sailors At Sebago's First Laser District 8 Regatta!

So I was saying the other day, over on my personal blog, about how I always carrying a compass because of Jamaica Bay's ability to occasionally cough up a proper pea-souper.

Saturday's was pretty good!

The weather may've scared off a few potential participants (or more like "given them the excuse they were looking for not to drive into the wilds of Canarsie" ;D, c'mon, we all know that Laser racers don't scare that easily), and I think a lot of us were starting to get that slightly queasy what-if-we-had-a-party-and-nobody-came sort of feeling, but then, phew, the doorbell started to ring, so to speak. By nine-thirty or so, we had enough to make a proper race of it, and then, with a couple more late arrivals, we had enough for a very nice day of racing at the first-ever Laser District 8 regatta hosted by the Sebago Canoe Club. A good start for an event we hope will get bigger & better!

Here was one of the early first-place finishes by the gentleman who eventually took home the first-place plaque. Sorry about the big wobble at the end, I was the recorder & I forgot to stop the camera as I went for my pencil!

Lots more pictures to come!

cross-posted at Frogma

Kayak Fishing Tourney

Proud fisherman with the bass that did not release from the hook. Sometimes you can't save the fish and get it off the hook in time, so it becomes dinner.

May 15, 2009

Day One at Jamaica Bay Fishing Tourney

Today was the opening of the Jamaica Bay Fishing Tournamant.

May 13, 2009

Boaters Rescued in Windswept Jamaica Bay

Fellow Sebago Canoe Club member and NOLS alum John Huntington distributed this link to a story about a rescue of boaters in windswept Jamaica Bay. There is also a follow up link to a story in the New York Post. The boaters were in a fishing boat, not a kayak. Nevertheless I think there is a lesson to be learned here.

I have paddled in Jamaica Bay when the there has been hardly any wind and the water was like glass. Likewise I have been out kayaking in the Bay when there was a strong enough wind over enough fetch to create white caps and standing waves over shallow shoals. The danger lies in calm condition luring inexperienced boaters out into the open bay far from shore only for the weather to drastically change for the worse with little if any warning, catching the boaters unprepared. This is why it is wise to know how to assist in one's own rescue as well as to assist others in being rescued and to practice such rescues (pictured top right) before they are necessary.

With six or seven years of paddling under my PFD, Jamaica Bay does not intimidate or scare me, but I still respect it because it demands respect. Becoming familair with rescue techniques is one way of showing that respect.