Delaware & Hudson Canoe & Kayak Club
2005 Foul Weather Manhattan Island Circumnavigation

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Low water at the Battery +1.0' at 9:39 a.m
High water at the Battery +5.1' at 3:40 p.m.
Full Moon: August 19
Sunset: 7:55 p.m.
Kayakers: Bruce Taterka, Jürgen Englerth

This was a more difficult summer circumnavigation, with constant stiff headwinds, extreme heat & humidity, afternoon thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning, and major boat traffic with chaotic wakes and cross-chop.


Push off south down the Hudson from the Englewood Boat Basin. Hot, hazy and humid with a south breeze in our face but a nice current pushing us south.


George Washington Bridge. South wind.


Grant's Tomb.


Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument (89th St.). South current, stiff breeze, big swells on the Hudson.


42nd St.


34th St. Hot.


10th St. Lots of boat traffic - ferries, The Beast, pleasure boats; wind in our face.


Holland Tunnel. Current still moving south weakly. Wind still blowing from south, big swells & boat wakes. Not quite whitecaps but some foam is blowing off top of waves. Flags are flapping stiffly.


South Cove. Current is slack or very weak.


The Battery. Three Statue of Libery ferries, Coast Guard cutter and S.I. Ferry all pulling in and out.


Rest stop on Manhattan under the Brooklyn Bridge. Temperature is 94 on the Watchtower billboard.


Push off. Strong N current in East River. Boat traffic, wakes & cross chop. Hot.


23rd St. S breeze.


Queensboro Bridge. Jellyfish.


110th St. Footbridge. Skies darken and heavy rain begins to fall. Strong S wind picks up suddenly and big swells come from the south. The rain and wind is a welcome cooling break and we surf the waves and ride the wind into Randall's Island. Thunder but no lightning visible.


Randall's Island beach along sea wall. Rain stops. Sunshine and blue sky move in from the west.


Push off N from Randall's.


Willis Ave. Bridge, paddling against a weak S current in Harlem River. Temperature 83 on History Channel billboard.


141st St. Pouring rain in bright sunshine, weak S breeze at our back.


Yankee Stadium.


I-95. Rain has ended. Breeze shifted to N and is blowing in our face. Current is slack. Light boat traffic, flat water on the Harlem.


207th St. N current picking up, light N breeze.


Spuyten Duyvel. Wind now blowing from the west, again in our face as we prepare to cross the Hudson. Ominous grey thunderheads loom over the Palisades, with bright pink-white pitchfork lightning flashing down every few seconds. There is about 15 seconds between the flashes and booming thunder, putting the lightning about 3 miles to the west. Against our better judgment, instead of waiting we dig our paddles in and paddle hard against the wind and waves, racing to beat the lightning to the NJ side of the Hudson. To the south, NY is bathed in a cool orange light as we strain against the wind and waves. The lightning continues to flash over the Palisades and thunder booms, getting closer as we reach the middle of the river.


We reach the Boat Basin just as the sky unleashes torrential rain and lightning and thunder crash over our heads.

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