Date: Mon, 24 May 1999
From: pim van hemmen
Subject: starledger2

Hey Bruce,

Here is a photo from our second Manhattan circumnavigation. The photo is by Arnie Braeske, and it shows us making our way down the Hudson towards the GW bridge.

We left at 8:30 am from Liberty State Park on May 17. It was a perfect morning. Sunshine, little wind, perfect temp (tee shirt weather). There were six of us in five kayaks. Four of us were veterans of last October's expedition and two were new to this venture.

Things went much faster than the first trip last October (probably because we left in daylight, rather than the darkest of all nights). The current up the East River was fast, I thought we had timed it pretty well.

Lunch at what we now call "birdshit island" in the middle of Hell's Gate was uneventful. We left after about an hour and made our way slowly up the Harlem River.

At Spuyten Duyvel we got out for a quick pitstop for snacks and to attend to some personal matters.

Unfortunately, from here on in things started going a bit against us. The wind had turned to the southeast, as the weatherman had predicted, and we had to put some extra muscle into it to make our way home.

We managed to aggravate things by stopping at the 79th street Marine Basin where we had some Coronas and Margueritas (just one apiece). As enjoyable as the siesta turned out to be, it probably put us a bit behind schedule. We had been coasting and at this point we put ourselves in a tidal quandary.

On the final leg, the Hudson developed a lovely swell of about 4-5 feet. It did not deter us, but certainly delayed us enough so that by the time we made it under the Ellis Island Bridge the current was running against us.

It took us about 11 hours to do the whole thing, including about 2.5 hours in pit stops. Everyone had a great time, including the two "rookies", and we're planning our next venture for late September or early October.


PS Some people in our group expressed interest in the night trip (not me, I want to live). Is it open to anyone?

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