Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sebago sailing...

I couldn't make it because I had errands to run but a couple of clubmates got in a lovely (if cold) day on the water last weekend. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Turnbacktime Tuesday

Because I'm going to be kind of busy on Thursday, and also in honor of FINALLY writing down the last day of my Hudson River paddle in my journal. Yes, I just did that tonight!

Not that I hadn't done a writeup - I did cover that day when I did the trip reporting here on Frogma, which was pretty soon after I got back, but all the other days involved transcribing from my journal. I didn't actually write in the journal on the last day, though - I'd been very good about writing something for all the other days (plus quite a bit about the lead-in with the prep and all) but the day I got back, there was helping Carolina move stuff, getting my boat back to the club, unpacking and showering and lunching and napping and then taking the poor fella who was so sweetly waiting for me at Valentino Park after I'd abandoned him for ten days to go waltzing all over New York State out for some highly deserved sushi. That used up the rest of the day, and then it was back to work, and then once I had the day typed up here I guess I just lost track of getting it into the paper journal. I looked in that journal the other day and was quite surprised to find that it ended in Yonkers! Oops.

Next adventure starts soon - this time TQ gets to come with me (yay!) and although I got a new journal, because the old one was almost finished and I didn't think there would be enough room left for 10 days if sailing in the US Virgin Islands, I just decided that I wanted to have the Hudson River log put to bed before I went.

So that's done, and in honor of that, here are a few pictures from that summer adventure that didn't make it into any of the posts (there was a lot of mileage to cover, literally) but that I'd liked enough that I'd had vague intentions of putting them up. So here you go. If I could turn back tiiiime...

The Bronck Island Flyswatter of Mercy - courtesy of the Hudson River Watertrail Association, my "host" for most of the trip (my campsites were mostly Watertrail sites).

Pretty not-flowers - I think they're actually winged seed pods, but flowerlike in color

Actual flowers, catching the morning sun on Esopus Island

A small riverpool at one of the waterfront parks along the way - fun to see.

USCGC Penobscot Bay - they're breaking ice now, read more about her here.

Some people keep kayaks or rowboats or sailing dinghies on the beach at their waterfront homes. Some people.

Got it in my head that I wanted to take a picture of an Amtrak train looking like a train in a travel poster. This was pretty good. Driver saw me taking pictures as the train approached and gave me a friendly little toot-toot on the horn. I waved and grinned like a kid.

Interesting art/graffiti on a driftwood log

Old building from NYC's Catskill water supply - anybody know more?
Amy Moran waiting for time to go - I'm a member of a Flickr group for Moran tugs, never got around to posting this one.

DEP skimmer Cormorant - mentioned in Tugster.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ice Flight Pix -

Hello from a very chilly NYC! I don't like it much when it's so cold that taking a deep breath outside burns all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, but there's one thing I DO definitely enjoy about the cold weather, and that's watching to see whether the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club is going to get to have a season.

Having a cold snap that lasts for a few days is usually enough to get me checking out

Just thought to check this afternoon - they're not there yet, but there is ice on some stretches of the Hudson and the first ice flight shots are up!  

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Oahu 2010 - Songbird singing on the Aiea Loop Trail

Old Man Winter is finally paying NYC a visit after a delightfully mild start; it's cold and gray and snowy. So how about a distant white-rumped sharma singing in the Hawaiian sun?


I was actually inspired to dig into my files from 2010, when I last made it home to Oahu, by a lovely video of the same kind of bird that was posted yesterday in one of the Facebook Hawaii groups of which I'm a member. I'd filmed this during my hike on the Aiea Loop Trail because the song was so beautiful. I don't recall hearing this song when I came here as a kid but as I mention in the YouTube description, I don't know whether that's because these birds, members of the thrush family introduced from Asia, were not as established back then, or because this time I was hiking quietly on my own and when I came here as a kid, it was always as part of a riotous pack of Girl Scouts. The video's not perfect but it gives the idea (and it's just so nice to watch on a cold and snowy day).

Here's the video that sent me first to the internet to see if I could ID the bird, then to my own files to see if that was the bird I'd heard. I hadn't actually seen it during my hike, just heard it, but Joe gets a good look at his and actually has a whistled conversation!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Goodbye, Captain Doswell

North River Tug Race and Skills Contest, 2006

Welcome speech at the 2012 tug race awards ceremony

Presenting the award for Best Tattoo, 2012

I met John and his life partner Jean Preece back when the Manhattan Kayak Company moved from Chelsea Piers to the incomparable Pier 63, run by the incomparable John Krevey. Krevey passed away a few years ago, he was shockingly young and when I read of his passing it shook me horribly; although Doswell (Krevey and Doswell were both frequently called by their last names) had been ill for a while, it still hit me very hard when I found out yesterday that he was gone. He was such a good guy and I'm so glad I had the chance to know him (and so honored to have been invited to Jean and John's commitment ceremony last August - what a warm and wonderful day that was).

What a loss to our waterfront. I dug out these pictures from a couple of the Great North River Tug Race and Skills Contests that I attended because John was truly in his element as one of the organizers of these unique events.

Rick Spilman over at the Old Salt Blog has done a very good job of summarizing Capt. Doswell's accomplishments, and has also posted Jean's statement on John's passing. Please visit, it's worth the read.

1/5 note: Mai Armstrong, a good friend of John's and one of his close associates at the Working Harbor Committee, posted a fine tribute to him on the Working Harbor blog this morning. Click here to read 

Friday, January 02, 2015

Sebago Frostbite Regatta 2015 Edition!

With a forecast that was clearly and emphatically calling for winds gusting up to 30 mph, TQ and I were half expecting the paddle section of the annual Sebago New Year's Day Frostbite Regatta to be cancelled, but the morning of the 1st dawned with no updates later than the "Come on out, it's gonna be great!" one that went out a day or two in advance. If there'd been rain or snow in addition, I'm pretty sure it would've been off, but it takes some truly foul weather to stop this event (I think the paddle has been called off once since I joined the club in 2006, we'll paddle in snow, we've crunched through the ice, pretty much takes an actual blizzard to shut us down) and aside from the high winds and slightly nippy temperatures it was an absolutely lovely day, so off we went. And two of us saw seals! The winds were just as forecasted though, so just south of the entrance to Mill Basin, half of us cut our paddle short while the other half decided to go look for more seals.

You might be tempted to say that those who went for the distance were the hardcore set, and I do have to admit that this was probably the shortest paddle I have ever gotten winter-geared up for - but those of us who headed back earlier WERE the ones who stopped outside the basin for the traditional New Year's Day rolls, so maybe we can just say it was 2 different kinds of hardcore. At any rate, it was a nice morning out on the water, followed, as usual, by great food and catching-up back at the clubhouse. Happy 2015!

Gusty winds and clumsy neoprene gloves did make taking pictures a little tricky but I did get some nice shots (sorry, no seals, they were peeking, not posing) and have put together a gallery. Click here to view. Happy 2015!