Last weekend, Jean cinched up her tuilik and headed to Croton-On-Hudson, New York, for the 3-day Hudson River Greenland Festival. What is Greenland kayaking, exactly? Well, it’s back-to-basics paddling—like, thousands of years back for the original purpose of stealthy seal hunting with hand-thrown harpoons via “skin-on-frame” kayaks and “skinny stick” paddles made of driftwood. Plus, you get to roll a lot. (Seals are big and feisty and they tend to knock you over in their death throes; therefore, Innuit and Aleutian peoples have invented as many lifesaving qajaq rolls as they’ve got words for snow.)
In the late 20s, Europeans got to thinking this whole rolling thing was pretty cool. But it wasn’t until the 80s that a renaissance of native kayaking skills and techniques occurred within West Greenland and beyond. Read about the efforts of Qaannat Kattuffiat and QAJAQ USA to preserve and promote Greenland’s kayak traditions, ensuring that this knowledge survives to be passed on to future generations.
Please click on the slideshow, below! Highlights include a trip to Bannerman Castle (yes Alex, skinny-stick people do stop rolling long enough to go somewhere!); Greenland paddle workshop; hanging out with the uber-fit Greenland champion Maligiaq Padilla; learning from celebrity mentors Dubside, Kam and Gwen, and others; trying a forward finishing roll (as opposed to the layback roll Jean kinda figured out last fall) and staying warm in Sunday’s drizzle. Enjoy!
Beats going to the gym! Happy summer :) Jean & Alex
Finally! We pulled our new GoPro out of the box and stuck it on Jean’s kayak. (In between those two events, much swearing and fumbling for reading glasses…have you seen how tiny the pieces are??? You need tweezers to install the memory card!) But we did it. TA-DAAAH!! Our first action-y video—5/31 paddle from HHYC in Larchmont to Echo Bay in New Rochelle. :)
Oh, yeah—we’re checking the box on our TBD (To Be Done!) Thursday post about getting a GoPro. The next TBD: learn to use it.
Recreational kayaks at Rye Municipal Marina are a row of lollipops against a vivid blue sky. We paddled there with Gary and Ivy on Memorial Day weekend (5/24), when The World’s Orangest Hat (Gary’s, from the Yonkers dollar store) got into the same shot with The World’s Most Visible Paddle (Alex’s, covered in reflective tape from reflectivelyyours.com, tagline: Be Seen Better… a case of truth in advertising):
Gary’s new Stellar S18S surf ski is a vivid yellow. But that’s now why he (and others) are scooping them up…
At less than 30 lbs., the kayakski (not a real term, just our take) is literally easy to scoop up. (Below, Gary dares the rest of us to try this at home.)
See more vivid photos here :)
We needed to launch by 8:30 yesterday morning. But when we got to the municipal lot where our car lives, we were confounded. (Click for video clip)
Sure, we like our Thule racks. But this fellow loooves them! No amount of shooing could drive him away. So…we drove away. Somewhere around Level 2, he abandoned her. Is he thinking about her now? Forever dreaming of “the one that got away?”
The sun broke through the early morning fog. It’s mid-May and just a handful of boats are out of their wintertime shrink-wrap, moored in Echo Bay outside Hudson Park and New Rochelle Marina.
Workmen repair the promenade at Hudson Park
Just the other day, the 1880 New Rochelle Rowing Club was demolished. Rebuilt in 1900 after a fire, the building appeared to be deteriorating—finally, Hurricane Sandy delivered the coup de grace. Friends who’d stored kayaks there were heartbroken, especially when they weren’t allowed to retrieve their yaks!
And now it’s…gone. At least somebody saw fit to save the historic cupola. It once topped the old New Rochelle City Hall (1864), but after that building was demolished a hundred years later, the rowing club rescued the cupola and hoisted it sometime in the 70s. But set a single face to the correct time? Fuhgettabouddit. We’re guessing the works were long gone anyway.
So much for NRRC, home of Fordham Prep Crew and decades of rowing champs. Paddle on.
The heart will break, but broken live on.
See more interpretations of this week’s photo challenge here. :)
While other club members were busy raking and painting and sweating on HHYC Clean-Up Day, we tiptoed to our yaks and stealth-paddled off towards a campsite on Shea Island in Norwalk, CT. First break on our 20-mile journey: Great Captains Island near Greenwich, CT.
Just as we were taking this picture, a distant roar grew louder…
Um, what? It’s a motorboat. It’s a hydroplane. It’s…
…um, we don’t know what the hell it is!
“It’s a quadski,” says the guy. A 140 HP Gibbs Sports Amphibian, to be exact.
Uh-huh. Ok, well, here are facts about this new thing we’re going to have to dodge: The quadski zooms up to 45 mph on land and water. It costs about $40,000. And for an extra $3,000 you can get it in custom colors, including “camo” (camouflage)…LOL, as if that’s going to help you sneak away from Clean-Up Day!
Shiny new toy, painful new drysuit :)
You don’t want to miss the manufacturer’s crazy loud action video. Click below. And then you, too, will have seen everything.