Dec 14, 2010

Do you want a bike lane to the Canoe Club?

Do We Really Need an Interconnected Bike Network?

Dec 9, 2010

NY shops charged with dumping sewage into Jamaica Bay

The dye map of the creek, left; and the four men hit with environmental crime charges

NEW YORK — Several stores at Brooklyn shopping center have been dumping raw sewage and restaurant grease into a small creek that empties into Jamaica Bay, a wildlife jewel next to John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said Wednesday.

The businesses, which include a Regal Entertainment multiplex theater, a bagel shop, a TGI Friday's restaurant and a marina, were accused of using busted sewer pipes that leaked human waste into the water and were charged with environmental violations. Residents complained starting last year, but prosecutors say some of the businesses were first cited in 2003.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said it's unclear whether the sewage would cause permanent environmental damage. The leaks did not affect the city's water supply, the largest unfiltered supply system in the world.

The waste was seeping from septic pipes that run along the banks of the Shell Bank Creek, which weaves through Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park neighborhoods in the southeastern tip of Brooklyn, prosecutors charged. The Department of Environmental Protection served a notice to the manager of the Regal Entertainment Group that the lines needed repairing after 2003.

But after complaints in 2009, an investigation using green dye traced discharges of fecal matter and toilet paper to the creek from the movie theater, prosecutors said. The other businesses charged, which include Knapp Street Bagels and the Deauville Marina, also used the pipes.

Dec 4, 2010

List of gear for Herring Fishing

What you need to catch herring:

1.Inexpensive fishing rod...

2.Herring rig..also called a Sabiki rig..$4.99

3.A sinker (2-3 oz. weight)

4.Bucket or container for fish

5.Rag or paper towels for fishscales on your hands

6.Hot chocolate for the kids or yourself

7.Patience and good luck

8.Know the tide charts..incoming tide is good

All this can be found on Emmons Ave, two bait stores are there and the staff knows about what you need for herring fishing....

Nov 28, 2010

Our Club House gets a Make-Over

This is how it looks so far....more to come!

Nov 22, 2010

Sebago Canoe Club's Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center Pool Sessions 2010/2011 Season

Sebago Canoe Club is proud to announce the start of their winter kayak instruction program at the Aquatic Center in Flushing Meadows Park (next to Citifield). Easy walk from the #7 train or free parking is available.

Sebago Canoe Club membership is not required, but Sebago members will be given priority this year. Non-members will be allowed, but will be determined through lottery and non-members can not participate any two weeks in a row.

The sessions will take place most Sunday’s from 9am to 11am

starting December 5th, 2010 and will run until April 3rd.

There will be some cancellations and rescheduling of sessions, determined by swim meet schedules.

Sebago offers the ONLY program that allows full sized sea kayaks in the pool. Other kayak types are allowed as well.

Our program usually has at least 2 ACA certified coaches each week.

The program is for people who have never been in a kayak or are new to kayaking and those who just want to sharpen their skills or learn to roll. Many sessions will have use of the diving area for those experienced kayakers who just want to practice. This is especially good for practicing rescues.

For the beginner: learn how to do a wet exit, learn rescues, learn how to do avoid a capsize.

For the intermediate paddler: sharpen your bracing skills, learn how to scull, learn advanced self rescue techniques and begin to master a roll.

For the more advanced: perfect your roll on both sides, practice your balance braces and finally learn to roll without a paddle.

Have more fun and be safe the first time you get back into the water this spring.


Sebago members will be given priority until the previous Thursday afternoon of each week. A lottery will determine which non-members can participate on the Friday or Saturday before each session.

There is no penalty for cancellation, but it is important to email Steve if you should have to cancel, even if it is Sunday morning. This allows others to participate in your place.

Boats, paddles, PFD's and all equipment provided if needed (see cost below).

Swim caps are required for all participants. If you have one, bring it. If not, one will be provided.


If you bring and share a boat $20.00

Without a boat $25.00

The standard ACA insurance fee will be required for non-ACA Members.(Sebago memmbership includes ACA membership)

You can also join the ACA at these sessions.

We'll be washing the boats out thoroughly before they get in the pool. A hose will be provided.

For those meeting at the Sebago Canoe Club to load boats and car pool, we will meet at at 7:30 AM. Others meet at the rear of the pool before 8:30AM to help move/prep boats and get ready for our time slot.

PLEASE be early, late arrival takes precious pool time away from others.

Reservations or questions contact Steve McAllister, preferably via email at If email is not an option call 917 496 1523.

Click for info about the pool.

Click for Directions. Be aware that we enter the facility from the rear entrance.

Thanks to Dorothy Lewandowski for this opportunity.

Work Day 9 years ago at Sebago

Here are several photos taken over 9 years ago, showing how the club looked before we had a path, ped. gate, only a few containers, no real garden, and an old tractor trailer carcass that used to be a container. Does the club look different today?

Nov 16, 2010

Reconstruction of Bridges on the Belt Parkway

This is an artists conception of the new Paedergat Bridge
Reconstruction of Bridges on the Belt Parkway
click on above text for a detailed PDF of the project.

Beginning in July of 2009, the Department of Transportation started reconstruction of seven bridges and their approaches on the Belt Parkway, over three local streets and four waterways. They are: Bay Ridge Avenue, Nostrand Avenue, Gerritsen Inlet, Mill Basin, Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway, and Fresh Creek Basin Bridges. All are original structures, which were built beginning in 1939. These structures have outlived their useful lives and must be replaced. See details of the reconstruction project (in pdf format) in English, Spanish, or Russian. The first contract to replace seven bridges on the Belt Parkway started in late October 2009. Contract No. 1 includes the replacement of three bridges: Fresh Creek Basin Bridge, Paerdegat Basin Bridge and Rockaway Parkway Bridge. As part of the scope of work, the contractor is required to establish staging areas. The use of these areas prevents the storage of materials, equipment or vehicles on local streets in surrounding residential communities. Staging area No.1 has been established on the Canarsie Circle near the eastbound parkway entrance. Staging area No.2 is being established in the paved area between the westbound parkway entrance service road and Canarsie Road. Staging area No.2 will be utilized for storage of construction material and equipment as well as the contractor's staff. Access into the staging area will be from the Rockaway Parkway service road and from Canarsie Road. Due to the nature of the work, the area must be available during both daytime and nighttime work hours. Every effort will be made to minimize impacts to the surrounding community. Beginning in February 2010, the East 8th Street Access Ramp over the Belt Parkway (also known as the Guider Avenue Bridge) will be fully closed to vehicles and pedestrians. DOT will begin the replacement of the bridge deck (concrete road surface), the steel structure, bridge columns and footings, and the bridge abutments will be replaced or repaired. The new bridge will meet modern safety standards include an improved walking/biking path and have a 75-year life. The anticipated completion date is May 2011. Drivers heading for the westbound Belt Parkway should head north on Coney Island Avenue, turn left onto Avenue Z, turn left onto Hubbard Street, and bear right onto the Shore Parkway Service Road. All pedestrians will use Coney Island Avenue. Beginning in March 2010, there will be intermittent lane closures at night in both directions. This may include full stoppage of traffic for 15-minute intervals between 1:00 am and 5:00 am, Monday through Friday.

Nov 14, 2010

A Particularly Rewarding SailComm Work Day

Hey guys...

Wat'cha watchin'?


It was a particularly rewarding workday for the Sebago Sailing Committee today - it's not just every day that a boat is resurrected!

This 420 has been on the grounds for several years after being donated by a club member a few years back. Unfortunately, for various reasons (primarily lack of knowledge about how to use the boat combined with plenty of boats that people DID know how to use), she's languished on her trailer gathering grime ever since them. A couple of us who have sail-curious family or significant others have looked at her with a lot of interest but none of us really had the time, energy, or skill to spearhead the process of getting her back into working order.

Well, among the numerous sailors who've joined the club this year are a couple of gentleman who have actually sailed these - and so today, they brought her back to life!

It turned out not to be all that difficult, either - listening to the guys talk, there are some structural repairs that need to be done before the boat can be put to regular use - but all the pieces were there & by the early afternoon, they'd gotten her fully rigged & deemed her ready for a trial spin on the Paerdegat - and there she is!

Oh - and speaking of nice old boats ending up in good hands?

A while back, Andy had found & posted a neat old brochure from the Sebago Boat Company. That post ended up drawing comments from a couple of people who were working on restorations. I always enjoy seeing old boats being cared for & loved & I asked Mike, who was working on renovating a "Fisherman's Friend" model that he'd had for 30 years, to let me know when he had pictures. Well, if you are on Facebook - click here to check out his album. Sweet!

Nov 6, 2010

Sebago Swim Support!

Had a lot of fun with Phil, Steve, Tony & a lot of other old friends at the CIBBOWS Veteran's Day Swim today!

Oct 19, 2010

Jamaica Bay's revival begins with mollusks

Oysters, plants cleaning the plumbing like Ty-D-Bowl

By Gary Buiso

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:10 PM
Troubled Jamaica Bay is going from stinky to stunning!

Pilot projects using natural water cleansers such as oysters, and improvements to the sewer system are yielding tangible results, according to a report released by the city on Monday and — more important — those who live and play along the 39-square-mile bay.

“In the past, we would observe a plume of discolored water atop Paerdegat Basin [one of the bay’s inlets], and people would be driven from their patios because of the horrendous smell,” said John Wright, a board member of the Sebago Canoe Club. “We are very pleased to see the progress.”

The bay, part of the National Park Service, borders Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County, and includes approximately 142 square miles of meadowland, marshes, dunes and forests and open water — habitats that support 91 species of fish and 325 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals.

Humans, such as Wright, and his 220-member club will also be the beneficiaries of a cleaner bay, but there is still a long way to go before it’s as clean as it could be.

To that end, the Department of Environmental Protection has tweaked its Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection plan, focusing on upgrades to the wastewater treatment plants that dump approximately 300 million gallons of treated wastewater in the bay every day.

That water has a high concentration of nitrogen, which results in poor water quality that allows harmful algae to thrive. The algae diminish the bay’s oxygen, killing wildlife.

The city — compelled by law by the state to do so — announced that it would invest $115 million to improve the overall water quality and mitigate marshland loss in Jamaica Bay, the bulk of the money going to the installation of new nitrogen control technologies at the four wastewater treatment plants located on the bay. The money, along with $95 million taxpayers previously committed, will reduce nitrogen in the bay by nearly 50 percent by 2020.

Agency commissioner Cas Holloway said the mayor has made the restoration of the bay “a special priority” in the effort to improve harbor water quality throughout the region.

“We are on track to achieve the goals outlined in the [plan] that will substantially improve the overall quality of the bay’s ecology,” he said.

The report notes that the city has already planted 1,000 eelgrass marine plants as part of a $350,000 pilot program to evaluate the potential for establishing small beds, which are seen as beneficial to fish and mollusks; and restored 10,000 oysters to help filter excess nutrients from the water.

Oct 16, 2010

A WNYC radio show about Jamaica Bay Oysters

New York City is the former oyster capitol of the world. There was a time when New York Harbor had over 350 square miles of oyster beds, half of the world supply. Street-side oyster vendors were as popular as hot dog carts are today. Local oysters were a delicious treat, they cleaned the waterways and they bolstered aquatic wildlife. But oysters have since disappeared from New York Harbor, mostly because of human intervention. Now, there are new efforts to reintroduce them in Jamaica Bay.

Mark Kurlansky, the author of The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, and Jeffrey Levinton, distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at SUNY Stony Brook, visit The Brian Lehrer Show to talk about the history of oysters in New York Harbor, and plans to reintroduce them.

Listen to the whole show:
thanks to WNYC public radio

Oct 14, 2010

Jamaica Bay Oyster History

an oyster pushcart selling Jamaica Bay Oysters

Did you know that :

Canarsee Indians dug clams
and oysters west of Coney Islands in Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn and Queens. Oysters were plentiful and popular with European settlers, but by 1810, the natural beds showed signs of exhaustion. In a short time, oyster planting and cultivation became a major metropolitan industry. From 1880 to 1920, New York was the undisputed oyster capital of the United States.

for more info about Oysters and Jamaica bay go to :

Oct 13, 2010

Sebago Member Presents Program

Marcus at an earlier MKC Presentation
On October 19th, 2010, 7pm – 9pm (presentation will start promptly at 7:30pm) at the Pier 66 boathouse, Manhattan (three blocks north of Chelsea Piers, at the intersection of 26th Street and the Hudson River), Sebago Canoe Club member Marcus Demuth will present a program about his recent record setting circumnavigation of Great Britain. You can read about Marcus’ kayak adventures, paddling tips and more at his website. If you thought Marcus was only a sailor, be advised, his recent circumnavigation of Great Britain was by kayak, not laser.

Oct 12, 2010

Columbus Plus Nine

Group photo while beached on Ruffle Bar. Photo by Gary.
Nine paddlers observed the legal Columbus Day Holiday by paddling from the club house, across Jamaica Bay to the Warf Restaurant on Far Rockaway, and back.  The wind was minimal, the sky blue, and the air temperature in the low to mid 70's.  Lunch was enjoyed at the Warf.

For a fuller and only slightly biased and embellished trip report, read the post at Summit to Shore.

Sep 30, 2010

Classic Jersey Skiff Lands at Sebago.

Chris (at the helm) and Phil Maynard in the new melon seed.
Congratulations are in order for Sebago sailor Chris Bickford who just acquired a Melon Seed Skiff! The melon seed is one of a class of traditional gunning skiffs which evolved on the Jersey Shore around Little Egg Harbor and which also includes the well known Barnegat Bay sneakbox. Noted water craft historian Howard Chapelle, in his book American Small Sailing Craft, speculates that the melon seed was "intended as an improvement" on the sneak box, and that the craft produced was drier, more seaworthy, and better able to cope with the rougher water found in the open bays of the area. Though this notion is disputed by some, the fact remains that the melon seed is an able and quite beautiful boat, a smart sailor, and perfectly suited to her new home on Jamaica Bay.

Lines plan from American Small Sailing Craft by Chapelle.
This particular 'seed was built a few years ago by Phil Maynard of Philadelphia. Phil is a talented boat builder, sailor, and pilot, among other things, and brought to this project a unique take on melon seed construction. Traditionally, these boats were carvel (smooth) planked on steamed frames. Many are now built lapstrake, either cedar on oak or glued lapstrake plywood, with maybe six planks per side. Some are cedar strip planked, and quite a few have been built in 'glass.  Phil built his with three planks per side, in stitch and glue plywood, from lines recorded by Chapelle. The overlaid lines in the body plan drawing show how close Phil was able to come to the molded shape of the original, with an economy of material and effort.  

Red lines overlay the original body plan, and indicate the new plank layout.

The melon seed under construction at Phil's shop.

The melon seed under construction at Phil's shop. 
This boat originally carried a sprit sail, similar to that shown in the Chapelle plan. Phil later changed to a higher aspect bermudan rig, with a wishbone sprit boom (actually a "half-bone" in this case). The sail area is generous, but the sail has two fairly deep reefs, so the boat stays manageable through a broad range of wind conditions. The geometry of the boom, with its upward angle towards the mast from the clew, keeps sail twist under control with no need for a vang.

Phil and Chris rig "half bone" sprit boom before launching.

I'm looking forward to sailing this boat myself, and welcome another traditional small craft to Sebago. Happy sailing Chris! For a full gallery of photos, visit Chris' album.

Sep 27, 2010

Newtown Creek Is Declared a Superfund Site

The Environmental Protection Agency has designated another New York City waterway as a Superfund site, promising a thorough environmental cleanup for the long-neglected Newtown Creek, once one of the busiest hubs of industrial activity in the city.
The designation, which was announced on Monday by the agency’s regional administrator in New York, Judith Enck, means that the E.P.A. will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the severely polluted creek to determine what kind of cleanup is needed and to identify continuing sources of pollution. Community advocates, environmental groups and members of Congress had long sought the designation out of concern about the extent of contamination and its possible danger to residents.

Sep 20, 2010

Changing of the Guard

Newly elected Commodore Tony
Pignatello (right) recognizing retiring
Commodore John Wright (left)

Though I have attended a few Quarterly Meetings of the Sebago Canoe Club, the most recent Annual Meeting was my first. Because it was the annual meeting, the agenda included elections.

After the Nominating Committee reported, nominations, including self-nominations, were accepted from the floor, or in this case, because the meeting was held outside, from the grass. All those nominated stood, in turn, in front of the assembled membership to say a few words about their qualifications and vision for the club.

After their speeches, nominees retired to the clubhouse. With nominees out of earshot, various members offered speeches in support of one nominee or another. Ballots were then distributed and cast. With a tie for the fifth slot on the Board, there was an additional tie-breaking vote.

With New York’s primary election having occurred just five days previous, perhaps the small print New York Ballots were still on the minds of the Nominating Committee when they decided to print the names of all nominees on newsprint large enough for all to see from a distance. With regard to tiebreakers and transparency, I think both Florida and Afghanistan could have learned something from the process.

Although they will not take office until October 1, here are the election results.

Commodore: Tony Pignatello
Vice Commodore: Andrew Sherman
Treasurer: Zachary Abrams
Secretary: Rochelle Rubin

Board members (four for two years, one for one year):
Walter Lewandowski
Pete Peterson
John Wright
Joe Glickman
David Zweighaft

Already serving on the Board and moving into the second year of their two year terms are:
Mary Eyster
Jim Luton
Jerry Dunne

Newly elected Commodore Tony Pignatello duly honored retiring Commodore John Wright, presenting him with a plaque recognizing his leadership over the past several years.

Sep 18, 2010

It was a glorious,




GLORIOUS day we had for the first race of the Fall series.

Sep 17, 2010


ARRRRR! Avast ye scurvy scallywags o' Sebago! I would like to bring t'yer attention that Sunday is not only the day o' th' Annual Meetin', but also Talk Like A Pirate Day!

In honor o' th' arrrrr-spicious arrrrr-ccasion, let's have all debates settled by cutlass and pistol, an' a keelhaulin' or two!

That'll liven things up an' mayhap move things along, too, aye? What think ye me hearties?

Sep 7, 2010

Photography Contest... all about paddles....

Do you have a photo of a kayak paddle or a canoe paddle that is ready for a photo contest? Please enter your photo for a chance to win the photo contest..all about paddles...enter here
You will have to join Red Bubble, but it is worth if you are into photography....
While you are there, check out all the photos of canoes and kayaks....
click here

Sep 3, 2010

Boating laws apply to wakes

This is a letter to the editor from a former member of Sebago Canoe Club, who now lives in Florida and is vice commander of Division 4, 7th U.S. Coast Guard District.

"Use caution on local waterways," stated that he and his children were almost swamped by a high-speed boat while they were kayaking on the Indian River. The writer went on to state there was no law relating to wakes outside of a wake-free or manatee zone.

I can relate to this, having paddled Olympic racing canoes and kayaks for the Sebago Canoe Club in Paerdegat Basin and Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn in the 1960s. My children did the same in the late 1980s. While most boat operators were courteous, there were always a few who had no regard for us or our fragile racing boats. Unlike a regular canoe or sea kayak, if we swamped, we were unable to climb back into the Olympic flat-water kayak or canoe without risking cracking the hull, gunwale or combing.

Fortunately, there are laws relating to the safe operation of a motor vessel. These laws do apply to wakes produced by a boat, regardless if you are in a no-wake zone or open waterway. U.S. Code, Title 46, Section 2302, and Florida Statute 327.33 deal with the reckless or careless operation of a motor vessel. Law enforcement agencies have successfully applied these laws to wakes produced by passing vessels -- where a wake caused an injury, damage to another vessel, someone falling overboard, or caused the swamping of another boat. Depending on the circumstances, it could either be reckless operation -- a misdemeanor, or careless operation -- a non-criminal infraction.

All vessel operators are urged to be cognizant of their wakes, particularly when passing smaller, human-powered vessels. Remember, operators of motor vessels are responsible for their own wake at all times.

Editor's note: Sorrentino is vice commander of Division 4, Daytona Beach, 7th U.S. Coast Guard District.

Sep 1, 2010

Public Meetings Re: The Future of Floyd Bennett Field

Just a quick copy & paste from my email to spread the word.

Please find attached, and below, the information for two upcoming public meetings on the future of Floyd Bennett Field. Please distribute the flyer and this information to your contacts and anyone you think might be interested in attending.
Maya Borgenicht
Regional Plan Association
Governors Island Alliance
4 Irving Place, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 917.652.6359
Fax: 212.253.5666
twitter: @govisalliance
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall invite you to join a conversation on the future of Floyd Bennett Field.
Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Anthony Weiner have formed a Blue Ribbon Panel to provide recommendations on possible improvements to Floyd Bennett Field.

The 1400 acre Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, is one of New York City’s largest public spaces. It provides many environmental, recreational, and cultural benefits to the people of Brooklyn and Queens and visitors from the rest of the City and beyond. The National Park Service is now drafting a plan to shape the Field’s future. Please share your thoughts on the Field’s current use and potential with the Borough Presidents and other Blue Ribbon Panel members as they develop recommendations for the Field’s plan for the Senator and Congressman.

For more information go to:

Queens Meeting:
September 27th, 2010, 6-8 PM,
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge,
Queens, N.Y.

Brooklyn Meeting:
September 21st, 2010, 6-8 PM,
Aviator Sports, Hangar 5,
Floyd Bennett Field,
3159 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

For more information please contact Maya Borgenicht or at (917) 652-6359.

Aug 28, 2010

Small East Coast fish fuels big environmental feud

At one time, schools of migrating menhaden could stretch from Maine to Massachusetts. Jamestown colonist John Smith described his boat sailing into solid masses of schooling menhaden--so many of them his crew could scoop them up with frying pans.
What is a menhaden? It is also known as a bunker,a small bait fish, and we used to see hundreds of them in Jamaica bay. Even thousands.. How many do you see when you go for a paddle? Why should you care? This bait fish is missing not because of pollution, our water is the cleanest it has ever been in years...It is missing because of over fishing from the Omega 3 is the article that explains it:click here

Aug 24, 2010

Fall Dinghy Racing Series at Sebago

Jim announces the course for the 3rd race of this spring's Laser Regatta - From Sebaga Laser Regatta 5 22 2010

I'm happy to share the news recently emailed by Jim & Holly, Co-chairs of the Sailing Committee of the Sebago Canoe Club - we'll be having a Fall Racing Series this year! Come join us for some fun days on Jamaica Bay. Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and a full schedule can all be found on the Sailing Committee page at

Hope to see you there!

cross-posted at Frogma

2010 Mayor's Cup - Carnage the way it ought to be

Written by Joe Glickman

Gone were the 30 knot winds, frigid temperatures, and pelting rain that whipped the gun-gray river into froth during last year’s race. There were no frantic paddlers pinned by the current against a parked barge.

Sean Rice pulls the pack (notice the angle they hold the wing paddles)

for the rest of the article, click here

Old map of Paerdegat Basin

Old map of Paerdegat Basin ...from
For more photos of old photos of same area, click here

Aug 15, 2010

Sunday SailCom Cruise

It felt a bit Septemberish, gray skies & cool weather, but the wind was great (more in the low teens than the 5-10 kts the forecast had called for) and Holly & Jim set a good course with the windward leg being the sail to our favorite lunch beach on Ruffle bar, where all the work getting there made my empanada lunch taste extra extra good, and then the trip home again being a big looping S around Ruffle Bar & Canarsie Pol. The trip home was awesome, all reaching & running, and with the wind & the waves, we flew! I felt like I was getting more speed out of Swampfox & maintaining it for longer periods of time than I've managed before in a Sunfish - usually I have a few fantastic moments then do something to foul up whatever I was doing right, but today there were long stretches where things were going great.

I did learn one really good lesson today - I have a light wetsuit top that just needs to always be part of my sailing kit. The weather wasn't quite as warm or sunny as the last forecast I'd seen had been talking about & I was lucky Holly had a spare top because the day (and especially the windward leg) would've been a chilly one if she hadn't had that for me.

I didn't take a lot of pictures because conditions were just enough that the sailing really required two hands & full attention, but here were the few I did.

I can't show you pictures of one of the "end" results but I can tell you that I will be needing a cushion for the next few days! :D

Aug 14, 2010

City of New York awards $27.1 million ARP deal

City of New York awards $27.1 million ARP deal

The City of New York has contracted ThermoEnergy Corporation to deploy an ammonia recovery system at the City's 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment Plant, situated on Jamaica Bay, as part of a $27.1 million deal.

Once in full operation, the company's CASTion Ammonia Recovery Process (ARP) will prevent approximately 2.4 million pounds of ammonia from entering Jamaica Bay each year, helping the City to achieve its goal of improving the health of Jamaica Bay as outlined under Mayor Bloomberg's Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan. The CASTion ARP process will be used to treat the 26th Ward wastewater treatment plant's ammonia-laden, internal recycle stream called "Centrate." When operational, the ARP facility will treat 1,200,000 gallons of water per day.

Cas Holloway, environmental protection commissioner, said: "This past year, the City committed to reduce nitrogen discharges into Jamaica Bay by at least 50% through $200 million of investments in nitrogen-control technologies over the next decade.

"While nitrogen poses no risk to humans, it can reduce the Bay's dissolved oxygen content, which fish and other aquatic life need to thrive."

Aug 12, 2010

The Ultimate Brooklyn Kayak, And Other High Points from Orient Point

With apologies to my good friends at Brooklyn Kayak and Kayak Brooklyn, behold clubmate Eugene and his remarkable craft-

The Ultimate Brooklyn Kayak! Bottom tagged with a proud proclamation of Eugene's place of abode, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and sides featuring a lively cityscape -

with the Brooklyn Bridge & everything:

A couple more interesting facts about the boat & the builder -

1. Eugene had never paddled a kayak before he built this boat. He just enjoys woodworking, saw a plan online & decided to make himself a beautiful boat.
2. The story behind the graphics (which I love!) is that when he was finished, he had a boat that was, indeed, beautiful - on top. The underside had a few cosmetic flaws - and he suddenly started looking at it as a canvas.
3. The boat was designed to be 18 feet. Eugene cut it down to 16 because that's how much room his Bay Ridge Brooklyn basement has.
4. Once he had this awesome kayak, he had to learn to paddle, and that's how he & his girlfriend Jen came to join the Sebago Canoe Club. They've both gotten to be quite good. This was my first time meeting them & I'm looking forward to paddling with them again.

So I promised a trip report, but guess what - you're not exactly going to get one!

Why? Because it was a long, full weekend of fun & I just don't think I can squeeze it all in here if I try to do the traditional first we a, then we b, then we c. I've already sort of done that on the gallery I'd put up, I've added captions & it now gives a pretty nice chronogical account of the paddling, from the pre-trip huddle over charts -

to the day-end boat-toting, and then on to the next day. I also got silly with a Google map (featuring locations like "Ferries! Eek!", "Ice Cream Here, Yay!" and "Here An Osprey", "There An Osprey", "Everywhere an Osprey-Osprey"). So with 2 differents linear explanations of the weekend's adventures - I thought I'd just ramble about a few highlights, like Eugene's Ultimate Brooklyn Kayak (which I've just been dying to post about since the minute I first saw it at their campsite on Friday night). So here we go!

End of the Day Boat Toting:

Why is that a highlight? Because I learned something obvious but amazing from organizer Walter this weekend. Look!

did you know that if, in addition to the person at the bow & the person at the stern, you add one or two at the cockpit, it's easier to carry the boat? Seems obvious, but who ever does it? People on serious kayak camping expeditions, that's who (load up a kayak with enough gear and 2 people CAN'T carry it any more) - and also people who have just had the Wind God kick their okole for them in the last two miles of an almost-15-mile paddle. Worked great - I love my Romany but it's a heavy heavy beast of a thing & if just 2 of us had tried to carry it the 30 yards or so from the beach to the loading area, the arms would've been burning. Add 2 more carriers & whisk whisk whisk, where's the next boat? I know, I know, this should have been a no-brainer, but sometimes it's funny the things I would just never think of on my own.

The Eastern Long Island Kampground Is Growing On Me:

The Eastern Long Island Kampground is growing on me. First time I saw it I sort of looked down my nose at all the RV's - but the folks that run it are really a nice bunch (even found one of our folks who'd forgotten to make a reservation a spot in their full-up campground), the Sunday morning pancakes are really pretty good, and you know, it's just fun seeing a place where packs of kids go hurrahing about on their bikes or splashing in the pool or just generally running around outside instead of being glued to their little beepy things or driven from one scheduled thing to another. Also fun the way almost everybody in the camp hangs out around their campfires talking in the evenings. A few too-cool-for-camp teenyboppers were the exception - for some reason they preferred hanging out in the bathroom simultaneously complaining verbally to their physically-present friends & by text message to their cell-phone friends, sort of a 21st-century Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! There are boob tubes in the RV's but the campfires & conversations do win out.

Blackberries Are Good And Liz Is The Queen:

I love that Walter took us blackberry-picking during our lunch break. This seems like a very North-Fork thing to do, you really do feel like you're out in the country there. Liz was the Blackberry Queen - the rest of us had no restraint (and swimsuits also aren't the best blackberry-picking attire) but she picked enough that there were even some left at breakfast the next morning.

Food, Part 1:
Speaking of food - Tony & Walter (aka Pinky & the Brain) had quite a challenge on their hands organizing meals, especially dinners. The way Sebago trips work, usually everybody handles their own breakfast & lunch food, and then dinners end up being a coordinated thing. With 18 people, this got tricky! The amazing thing was that somehow, even without a real plan (and with some unexpected timing issues on Saturday after a totally abortive attempt at celebratory drinks in Greenport, we were chased from the town by barking, snarling parking-lot attendents), everything worked out great. Jen & Eugene were the linchpins of a fantastic feast on Friday night - the original plan had been more to go out, but they showed up with all of this Russian-style marinated pork & chicken & something like a bushel of fresh sweet corn - I think they could've sent us all to bed full & happy but it got better, sort of kicked off the Stone Soup effect. I remembered I'd grabbed a big cucumber out of my garden right before Mary Ann & I left, put that & some good cheese out, somebody else mixed up some great yogurt-mint dip, more cheese appeared, sausage, wine, caprese salad, artichoke dip...what a feast.

Why Is Kayak Distance Is Not Like Every Other Distance?:
We need a paddler Einstein to appear and give us the equations that explain how it is that in any given 15 mile paddle, it can it happen that the last 2 miles of the day end up being longer than the entire preceding 13. This is a fact. Anyone who paddled the last 2 miles will tell you so.

Food, Part 2:
Friday night was Camp Food Magic Night. Saturday night, not so much. Actually had a bit of tension to it - everybody was tired from the aforementioned last 2 miles & I'm only half-joking about the snarling parking lot attendants - they only chased us out of their parking lot, but in the process completely split up our group, despite pleas to let us stay together. Eventually we all regrouped at camp, where we'd all originally planned to eat, but by that point Braun's, the excellent seafood takeout place where a number of us had planned to pick up food to bring back, had closed. There was a lot of confusion over what was available at camp - shrimp, no, no shrimp, not enough food, might be enough food - and everybody was tired & a bit cranky & that was sort of another low point. But by then, everybody just wanted food & nobody was married to the Group Dining Experience & so thank goodness, we just sort of split off into smaller groups & went our own ways. Mary Ann, Elizabeth & I ended up going to this little local favorite (warmly recommended by one of the Kampground managers as he & his wife's favorite place for dinner), where some really great seafood & a nice bottle of local chardonnay proved extraordinarily soothing. Think everybody else found something good too because at the end of the evening, we all regrouped around the campfire & the day finished on a good note with a few more minutes of talking (now cheerful) and marshmallow roasting.

Maybe the moral of the story is if there are 18 of you, and it's Saturday night, skip the celebratory drink in Greenport & just go drink the wine you have in camp!

Even more though - when you're up to 18 people, just be ready to be flexible. In the end, everything worked out great, and some of us even made it to Braun's the next day. Made the perfect pre-drive lunch stop.

Funny that the dinner drama loomed so large!
Losing Stuff, Part 1, or,
I'd Lose My Head If It Wasn't Attached To My Neck, And, It's So Nice to Find Out That People Are Waiting For You:

Also looming large was my gear, or more precisely my inability to hang onto my gear! I don't know what was up with me but I tried my hardest to make this into a Very Expensive Weekend. Tried to lose my camera, my lifejacket, my sprayskirt, my better swimsuit, a pair of shorts & my NYC Watertrail Cap! First loss was the camera. We'd left the lunch break at the point & paddled past the ferries, then reached into my lifejacket pocket to grab the camera & take a picture of the rest of the crew passing the ferry. Oh camera! Checked the cockpit. Checked the dayhatch. Gone. Asked Walter to check the dayhatch. Confirmed, no camera. I'd known I'd had it right before we launched. I decided to go back after it. Thank goodness I keep a bright orange float on it - as I approached the spot where we'd launched - aaah! there was a little blob of orange bouncing around just off the beach! I paddled up to it, grabbed it, turned around & began the long catch-up sprint, broken only by a short pause for the ferry. I was glad I had my VHF along because I took advantage of that stop to let the group know I was chasing them. Next voice I heard on the VHF was Dotty, amazingly clear - well, it turned out that she & Susan had stopped to wait for me! Very, very, nice of them - it is tough chasing a distant group, you may be moving faster than them but there's always this long time when you're just seeing dots in the distance & not feeling like you're gaining at all. Nice to find people waited for you - and boy did the ice-cream at the next stop, where the 3 of us caught the rest of the gang, taste good!

I Feel Good:
I was pretty happy with how I did on Saturday - particularly with the longish catch-up sprint after retrieving my camera & also during those sloggy last 2 miles. Last year wasn't a great one for exercise, I was feeling so overworked & then of course we had such a cold & nasty winter; I came into the summer feeling pretty puny. Being back at mostly-full staff at work has made a huge difference - I haven't been consciously sticking to an exercise program or anything but I have been paddling or sailing most weekends since March, and I think those 10 days in Hawaii did a lot too - I was hiking, paddling, swimming or some combination thereof almost every day I was there. I just felt SOLID this weekend. And here -

I don't LOOK too puny, do I?

Losing Stuff, Part 2, or
The Incredible Niceness of the Orient Beach State Park Manager:

The lifejacket & sprayskirt, I didn't realize I'd lost until we were back at Sebago. I'd left them hanging up in the sun in the shower room. I think I decided to leave them there until the last minute to let them dry as much as possible before I put them in the car - but then out of sight, out of mind & the last minute came & went without my remembering that that's what I've done. Fortunately there's a really amazing manager there - I called on Monday morning; she confirmed that she had them (HOORAY - my lifejacket is a Lotus L'ocean, fits me better than any other lifejacket I've ever worn & has been basically irreplaceable since Patagonia bought Lotus & proceeded to drive the company into the ground - it's now defunct, although I've heard a rumour about the founder starting a new one - one quick message to him if by some fluke he reads this - L'OCEAN CLONE, PRETTY PLEASE?) & then, as I was trying to figure out how I was supposed to get 'em back, she completely blew me away by volunteering to go to the post office & mail them back to me. And then the post office blew me away too - she mailed them on Tuesday, the box was less than $10 and it arrived at my office right around lunchtime today. Isn't that fantastic? I was SURE I'd be borrowing club gear for at least a weekend! Now, it did help that she's friends with one of our members & knows about the club - but even so, I still can't get over how nice of her this was. I'm SO glad we'd patronized her park!

And that's pretty much it for the highlights, and lowlights that turned into highlights too. Overall, as I think I'd already said - another fantastic weekend by Tony and Walter. Thanks Guys!

I will just close with -

What A Nice Bunch Of People I Have To Paddle With At The Sebago Canoe Club.

I'll be looking forward to the next Cruising Committee event I can join, which I think is...hmmm...something to do with our friends at the LIC Boathouse, if I'm remembering correctly?

Now that should be fun!

Cross posted at Frogma